One of my favorite books that love to read, especially when I am in need of motivation, is called Thinking Body, Dancing Mind It is about reaching extraordinary performance in all areas of your life, but I especially enjoy it because the authors share their messages through examples of sports and athletes. One of the chapters that I recently looked back at was about goal setting, because this time of the year really has me analyzing my goals, as I am sure it does for many others. The book shared this quote:
“Within the Self, there is a central force of character that unifies thoughts and actions. When you are not in accord with your goals, you may feel indecision, conflict, or malaise; when you are, a sense of self-confidence and well-being will surround you.”
-I Ching no. 45
I couldn’t agree with this more, especially since I recently decided to abandon my goal of completing a triathlon this spring. I set this goal with a family member last September. Since then, we have been swimming, running, and cycling. This was especially hard for me since I barely knew how to swim at the time and the most i had ever biked was 10 miles! My goal was to be able to complete the swimming portion of a quarter mile in 10 minutes or less, and the last time I swam I had gotten as fast as 1:15 a lap. I could do about six in a row, and I needed to do 8…almost there.
But sometime mid December, I just didn’t feel like going anymore. I thought maybe because I was training and dieting for a bikini show earlier December, that I was just tired. I told myself I’d get back on track as soon as it was over. Well the show came and went, and two weeks passed. Then I said I didn’t want to swim because I felt fat and out of shape, and didn’t want to put on my suit! So I thought to myself, if I’m not going to swim then at least I will bike!….but I never did. When I went to the gym, I would say to myself, “I feel like running, I will run” or “I will bike when I get one outside, because cycling inside is so boring to me!” But that was all excuses! And I knew it…
Why was I making these excuses though? I wanted to do a triathlon and I wanted to do one with my sister! Frustrated with myself, I set out to plan my workouts just so I could have something to follow day by day, no excuses! I wrote it out on my iPad on the way to my New Year’s holiday vacation. I knew that when I got back from my vacation, it’d be business! Crazy, hardcore training! No excuses!
Well, during my vacation, in freezing cold NYC, I completed the longest run that I had done in a while. With gloves, headband, two pair of socks, and tons of layers, I don’t remember complaining at all during the run. It was a hard, exhausting run of course, but it felt natural and fun for me. Thinking back now, I remember asking my friend that week like almost everyday, “When are we going running?” or “let’s go running! Let’s go running!” Also, I didn’t pack my suit for swimming or shorts for biking, I packed my sneakers and outdoor gear for running! That should have told me something.
Well it did, I know the reason that I made all those excuses was not because I was tired, lazy, or lacked motivation, it is because it was the wrong goal for me! So I changed my goal. I changed it that week on vacation actually, when I got an email saying that I had been accepted into the NYC half-marathon lottery for March 2012! I was so excited and still am, I even scream yahoo! Now, my new goal is to do the NYC half-marathon in 97 minutes. That time gives me a guaranteed entry into the NYC full marathon, something that I have wanted to do for a while! You know you have the right goal when you go to bed thinking about how excited you are to get up the next day and make it a great run! There is no indecision or conflict, just self-confidence and well-being! You enjoy the journey of reaching the goal, because it is after all, all about the journey, not the destination!