One common mistake many of us make in creating goals is that we set ourselves up for failure from the beginning. For example, maybe I have always wanted to be a runner, but the quickest I ever move on a daily basis is running to the restroom during commercial breaks of my favorite television program. But, since I have dreamed of being a runner, I decide my goal will be to run a marathon in the near future.
How attainable is that when I don’t even own a pair of running shoes and my diet consists of the daily special at one of our local fast food establishments? Am I setting myself up for success or failure? If you don’t exercise, don’t own a pair of running shoes and have never revised your diet to including healthy options to fuel an active lifestyle, it is not realistic to believe you will just be able to jump up off the couch and start training for a marathon.
To set yourself up for success, let’s make the marathon a long-term goal and devise short term goals that will lead you to attaining your ultimate goal.
So starting off, maybe the more attainable goal would be to run a local 5K in the next six months. This would allow you time to adjust your schedule to include running while providing you with a successful marker to check as you work towards your ultimate goal.
As you become more proficient at running a 5K, you could then graduate to a 10K and then a half marathon before reaching your ultimate goal of running a marathon.
This process allows a couple of things to occur during the transformation from a couch potato to a runner. It allows us to have success along the way, it provides motivation to strive for the next distance and most importantly, it allows us to be proud of what we have accomplished.
The funny thing is that you may determine that a marathon isn’t for you, and that is perfectly understandable, but you discovered that a 5K or a 10K is your perfect distance.
What do you do then? Adjust your goal to maybe improve your personal time or to win your age bracket, but make it attainable and, as discussed in a previous article, make it personal to you.
Working towards goals can give you a sense of purpose, and reaching them boosts your self-confidence. However, make sure they are attainable. Instead of feeling gratified and accomplished, you can end up feeling worse about yourself if you are not being sensible with your expectations.
So, be specific when you set your goals and make sure they are measurable and attainable. This will set you on the path of success to reaching your goals along with next week’s topic … Are your goals realistic?