If I’m being honest with myself, my follow-through in life is not that great. I say “YES!” to so many things, move forward on my next great idea, start a million projects, and yet hardly ever see myself complete anything in its entirety.
I mean, I do a lot of things right – the things that HAVE to be done right. Like running our household. That’s essential, and it gets done (well, aside from the laundry haha). But my say/do ratio in other areas of life is oftentimes pitifully low.
I recently did have a success that surprised me – I finally ran my first half marathon!
Running a half marathon has been a goal of mine since Eleanor was born. I saw my husband cross the finish line at the Omaha Half in 2013, and I thought, “I want to do that! I want that feeling!”
Then I watched again in 2014…
It’s 2016 now, and I DID cross that finish line, and I DID have that feeling!
But honestly, up until race day, I wasn’t sure I’d follow through. I didn’t broadcast my intention to run the Omaha Half because I was afraid I wouldn’t actually do it. I could just sleep in on race day and nobody would be the wiser ;)
Well, I woke up (late) at 5:30am on Sunday morning, laced up my shoes, and actually ran the darn thing!
The afternoon after my race, I decided to take a hard look at why it worked this time. Why was this particular goal more than a “good intention?”
I realized my goal had these 5 things:
- A concrete plan
Like a REAL plan. Not a vague, “I’ll run more” plan. I took the time to schedule out my workouts week-by-week for the entire summer. Running days, Orange Theory days, and rest days. The plan was THE PLAN.
- Someone counting on me
I registered for the race with my sister. Knowing that this wasn’t just MY goal but hers too made the whole experience feel bigger than me. I had a sense of responsibility not to let her down.
Jeff had my weekly calendar, and without question, he would be 100% available to take care of the girls. Yes, sometimes plans had to change, but we adjusted TOGETHER. Minimal roadblocks to actually getting out and running was a life saver.
- An achievable goal
My goal wasn’t to run a fast half marathon. It was to run a half marathon. Period. Adding another element to my goal would have stressed me out and made me much more likely to bail.
- A bit of fear
It was fairly easy to convince myself to get out and run because the last thing I wanted was to be huffing and puffing my way through the course of race day. I think a bit of fear was a healthy motivator for me.
Reading through these myself, I realize that none of these concepts are revolutionary, but they definitely aren’t things that I’m actively implementing in my day-to-day life. I have many more personal goals, goals for this blog, and goals for my family that I think will be much more achievable if I structure them the same way.
So am I magically going to be perfect? Heck no! But I envision myself crossing many more finish lines!