Editor’s column part III: tackle your goals

On New Year’s Eve, I planned to make this year different. My focus was on losing weight, but I had no idea how much would change in just a few short months.

Instead of the same old New Year’s resolutions I would forget about by the time February rolled around, I sat down and scribbled out a list of everything I wanted to accomplish this year and taped it to the inside of my closet. I did this so every morning when I woke up to select an outfit those goals were staring me right in
the face.

I started out with a few small health goals – lose 10 pounds and run a 5K – along with academic and work-related goals. After running my first 5K in February, I was hooked. All of a sudden my list was covered in running goals, and my focus switched from weight loss to getting stronger and faster.

As my first half marathon was Nov. 1, training took place over the summer. Saturday mornings were devoted to training, and I refused to skip – well, only occasionally skipped – 5:30 a.m. runs on hot, humid mornings.

Waking up to see my Asics lying at the foot of that closet door was usually enough to get me out of the bed and onto the Longleaf Trace.

We have all heard the saying “nothing worth having comes easy,” and with running that is certainly the case. I think that’s how it is with anything, though. If you want to run your first 5K, sign up for a training plan. If you want to make good grades, devote more time to studying. The only way to improve is to work harder.

As trying as those days were and no matter how long of a day I had ahead of me, I never once woke up and said, “I wish I would have slept that hour instead of running.” What I am trying to say is no matter how far-fetched your goals seem, go for it and don’t wait.

I’ve found the way to get the things you want is to:

1.Set your goals. First figure out what it is that you want and write it down. Do not just write it down and put it away, but look at it often and figure out what you have to do to get there. Nothing is more motivating than seeing your plans on paper.

2.Give yourself a deadline. Over the past year it helped me to reach a new distance to go ahead and sign up for a race. That way, I couldn’t back out or quit my training. Having that date marked on my calendar helped me to keep going and push through the hard days.

3.Take some time for yourself. I know, hard work is important, but so is fun. A person has to take some time off from all the work, put the Garmin down and spend some time relaxing. If you push too hard for too long you’re going to get burned out, and it will be that much harder to
pull through.

I have tackled 13.1 miles and accomplished all of the goals I set for this year, but no matter how many things are crossed off the list, there is always something new to add to it.

No matter how you decide to spend it, another year is going to pass anyway. You may as well devote it to doing something you care about. As for my next goal, I’ve got my eye on 26.2.