As I approached this New Year of 2015, I had to stop and think what worked and what didn't work this last year. I did not have a stellar running year, oh I logged the miles, ran the races but I was just not feeling it. I was in the midst of finishing my doctorate, working a full-time and part-time job, and topped it all off with weight gain. There was no more “midnight” candle to burn, just a lump of wax as the residue <lol>.
I was almost ready to take a “running sabbatical” but decided to just step back and re-evaluate the situation. I found the set of goals that I had made myself for 2014 and the priority was school, school, and school. Nothing else mattered and I guess I was a bit angry for I felt that it was all consuming (it was) and it even overtook my running per se, it hijacked my mojo. Once I found the middle ground I started to look at why I run, can I really get better, do I want to get better. As I stated in my previous post I will never be an elite runner for it’s not physically possible BUT I can train to be the best at whatever level I want to become. 2014 Goal Accomplished, I graduated!
Motivation comes in all forms and what works for some does not work for others. For me motivation helps me push for what needs to be accomplished knowing I cannot get to “A” if I do not get started. First and foremost one has to want to do something for “self”, have the desire. Even though some state “I’m doing it because of…” If YOU do not want to do the task, goal, job, etc. it will not happen. Motivation is a state of mind and we all know (at least I do) change your mind/thought process your actions will follow in that direction.
Goals like plans they have to be worked and implemented because they do not happen by themselves. Goals need to be realistically obtainable or they will never come to fruition and one will not succeed. I sit down and take a look at what I want to do and why. What parts of my life will this effect? Is it short term or long term, for a cause, or just something in general. For 2015, I made a list of the things that I wanted to accomplish and ranked them in terms of A-most important, B-middle of the road, and C-whatever was left over. Once everything has been ranked, I step back to see if all of the goals are doable and decide what makes the cut. No need to set goals for the “world” a few will do and keep them in perspective.
Once my goals have been defined, I free write and brainstorm on paper for each of the goals, and then make a flow chart (a list of steps) for that’s just the researcher in me. Free writing allows me to list everything that comes to mind for each of the goals and the flow chart puts them in an ordered, less chaos sequence to follow, a means to an end. I am a visual person and if I see it in writing that allows me to have a point of reference. Also, when things are in writing I tend to commit to it instead of keeping it in my head, again visualization.
Now that the goals have been more or less solidified I determine what is needed to accomplish them. This is where motivation needs to be strong and tough decisions made. If there are habits involved some will need to be broken and new ones established. Keep in mind the hours, days, and months keep moving whether you do something or not. The old saying “time waits for no one”. I tend to picture myself at the starting line of a race; I know the goal so now I have to implement the steps to get there. Just like running you have to maintain a certain pace to finish at a particular time.
Now we all know that life happens more often than not so that is why you need to have a back-up plan to your goals. You do not want to lose sight of the big picture and you do not want to keep starting over, and then you will just quit. Allow yourself to tweak things as you move through the journey for it keeps the stress level down. View goals as a form of self-preservation, a personal challenge, something that allows you to have victory. So get those goals defined, refined, and implemented!
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