Achieving a Goal: Make. It. Happen.

Doesn’t it feel good to achieve a goal? Our chosen activity of running or walking affords us countless opportunities to set achievable goals and then work toward them. And it feels so good to check one off your list. I got to do that this week.

In our lives, we might set goals at work or they might be healthy initiatives like losing ten pounds or eating better for a month. In running and walking, they could be finishing a half marathon or marathon, participating in 6 half marathons in a year, or they could be time-based as we look to go under 4-hours for a marathon or maybe qualify for Boston.

What I’ve noticed about accomplishing goals is that it can be a habit. If I haven’t done it in a while, it seems impossible to do in any part of my life. So sometimes I’ll set a goal that I know have to work for, but it might be somewhat arbitrary. And relatively short-term. A few months ago I did a seven mile run on Leif Erickson. It was a challenge due to the up and down and I finished in around 65+ minutes. I decided I wanted to finish in under an hour.

So for the next couple months, I ran it about once every two weeks. And in between, I started doing speed work for the first time in a while. I lost a few pounds. All in an attempt to break my totally random and arbitrary goal of starting at the 0 marker, running up to touch the 3.5 marker, and returning to 0 marker before my watch hit one hour.

Last Tuesday I did it. The extra mileage and track workouts helped. Losing 5 pounds helped. Sticking to our long run schedule was plus. So did plenty of rest, a few days off, and eating a good breakfast beforehand. It didn’t hurt I ran it on the first 70 degree day instead of the high 80’s I’d been doing previously. Accomplishing this random goal also helps my other goals of dropping my half marathon time, running at least 4 times a week and dropping a few pounds.

I’m now eager to check other things off my list at work — it really is habit-forming. If you are in a rut, take a look at your running or walking habits and pick one totally random thing that only means something to you. Make it something you need to work for and then put a plan in to make it happen. The more random the better. And then… make. it. happen.