A few weeks ago a teacher at my university told us how he does goal-setting. He writes his goals down on an index card and revisits it repeatedly until the goal is accomplished or deemed unnecessary. I was amazed because he had a massive box full of goals from the 1960s onward. What struck me the most is that even though he is almost 70, he doesn’t act as if he’s in the last 25% of his life. It’s something I wanted for myself — to not live complacently, but to dream bigger.
He told us to include the following when writing a goal down:
- What the goal is. Be specific. Put a number on it if needed!
- Why you want to achieve it. It can be as self-explanatory as “money” or as confusing as “need to re-center my health”
- How you will achieve the goal and the steps you’ll take.
- Who will you ask to keep you accountable? You’re never in it alone.
- By when you will achieve the goal. Set a deadline to keep you focused, but extend grace to yourself if you don’t meet it on time.
- Today’s date so you remember when you set the goal.
My biggest goal for 2016 is to run a full marathon by Halloween. The funny thing is this: I didn’t ever want to be a runner. Last May, a friend asked me to run a half-marathon. I had only ever ran a 5K, so I said, “I will never, in my life, run a half-marathon.” Little did I know, one thing led to another, and with small bits of training, I grew to love meeting daily running goals. Eventually, I felt comfortable setting a goal for a 10K, then a half-marathon, and now a full marathon. Coincidentally, when my teacher asked us to share our goals with a classmate, the person I was paired up with had already ran a marathon and helped me reaffirm my spur-of-the-moment decision.
There’s no better accountability as a runner than to sign-up for a race! I’m excited to make the Detroit Free Press Marathon my first marathon 🙂
Below is the index card I can carry with me which summarizes my goal. You’ll also see that I made a rough training schedule by week. Hopefully I can stick to it! If I can’t, it’s ok to give myself grace since unexpected things do come up.
Marathon training begins after I recover from my injury! 😀