Now that May is right around the corner (how is it already May??!), I am already starting to eye what races are coming up. I am signed up to run the EX2 Off-Road 10K on May 19th and am thinking about signing up for the Alexandria Running Festival Half Marathon. It is scheduled for the end of May and would be a good chance for me to start working toward accomplishing another personal running goal.
Yes, I have goals...running goals, personal goals, Crossfit goals, swimming goals..etc. At the beginning of the year I wrote down several things I wanted to accomplish by year's end and since running has become such a large part of my life, there are a few goals put into that category. I have always been goal driven so developing goals has been something I do in all aspects of my life to keep improving and keep myself focused. If I have something to work toward then I more likely to stay committed and make the sacrifices needed to get that goal accomplished. If you told me in January that I needed to run more in 2012, I would have said "okay, I can do that" and by February I probably would have come back to you and said, "well, I ran a few times but it was boring, painful, and I don't think I'm very good at it" and with that, my attempt at running would be over. I need direction and need to know that all my efforts will result in something. So setting a goal of running a marathon gave me structure and focus. I had a distance, a date, and defined success.
To keep myself accountable, I will share all my 2012 running goals with you!
Complete a marathon Run a mile under 8 mins
- Complete a trail 10k race under 60 mins (race scheduled for May 19)
- Complete half marathon under 2 hrs
Goals are important. They keep you moving forward, give you something to work toward and help you set a vision for your life.
From my experience here are some tips on setting goals:
- Break it down-Set smaller goals to reach a larger goal. If you want to run a marathon some day, start with a 5k and work your way up.
- Write it down- putting something on paper or typing it out helps you to think through what you actually want to do and creates a record you can reference in the future. I use Google docs to track my goals. I am always in Google and can easily open the file as a reminder of all the goals I have set for myself and of course, it is so gratifying to see the things I have crossed off.
- Make it measurable- Being specific about your goal will help you plan and determine success. The truth is, if you can't measure your goal, it is probably not a goal....
- Share your goals- Blog about them, put them on Facebook, write them on your refrigerator..do whatever you need to do to let other people know what you are working toward. You will gain support, be held accountable and having other people witness your success is rewarding. It will give you motivation to start toward your next goal. (Accomplishing goals is made so much better when pasted all over Facebook!)
- Keep setting goals- So you set a goal and failed....that's ok. It happens to everyone, all the time. People just don't talk about their failures like they talk about their successes. Set a new goal or adjust your current goal. Setting goals helps you develop and grow as a person. Learn from your failure and move on. Your failures will make your successes more valuable.
- Celebrate- All that hard work deserves to be recognized. Give yourself time to reflect in your accomplishment and relish in the feeling of marking that item off your growing list. Accomplishing goals is part of personal growth, take the time to appreciate the amazing person that you are becoming!