Friday, January 27, 2012

Week 4: Set goals, and do your best to stick to them

I have been back from Hawaii for exactly one week now, and I promise I will get a vacation recap up this weekend. Catching up from 5 days away from work has not been fun, but I'm almost there. Just a few more emails to respond to, and Monday should be back to business.

Now- on to week 4. People always ask "What are your resolutions for the New Year?", and I usually just shrug my shoulders. I don't know that setting resolutions are really the most realistic thing to do, unless you truly are dedicated to making serious life changes. My life is pretty cool, and there's not much I want to change, but there are still things that I would like to accomplish. More travel, continuing to challenge myself physically, finally creating a savings account (shame on me). Those are some of my goals, and there's no better way to hold yourself accountable than to get things on the calendar, set a date to achieve them, and check it off when you're done.

Back in November, I set a goal for myself to run a half-marathon. My place of work was offering a ridiculously reasonable rate to join the ever-popular Gilbert's Gazelles, so I knew I had no excuses not to. I signed up and eagerly showed up for the first early morning group run. For the first few weeks, training was fantastic. My nagging knee issue wasn't really bothering me, and I was consistently increasing my miles each week. I even lost a few pounds without really trying. And then the bottom fell out. My knee issue was back with a vengeance, and I literally had to stop running during a Thursday morning training session. I just couldn't do it, and I was so upset. I tried to continue, I honestly did. But I finally succumbed to that nagging voice in my head that said continuing on would only make it worse. So I took a few weeks off, and eventually went to see a sports therapist for some Active Release Therapy. Thankfully, his voodoo magic worked.

I had to start back slow, and find my motivation again, but I did it (sort-of). It's the motivation part that I'm really struggling with, and I've had to do a lot of thinking this week about why this goal is important to me. It's easy to make excuses when it feels a little like the cards are stacked against you- injury, holidays, vacation (yeah, I know- hard to feel sorry for me), but they all contributed to a lack of consistency that has hindered me reaching this goal. But my knee is feeling stronger, and I know that while it's going to be hard, there is nothing to physically prevent me from accomplishing this goal.

So on Sunday morning, I will wake up at 5 am, eat my breakfast of toast, peanut butter and banana, and run 13.1 miles with my friends from my training group. It's going to take me awhile (goal for time is 2:20), but more importantly, I want to "run with joy", and think about all the great things that I'm running for. My family, friends, and a wonderful, supportive boyfriend are things that I continue to be thankful for, and I know they will help me push through those last tough miles.

As for the rest of my goals- I'm working on getting them on my "calendar" and setting a date in order to hold myself accountable. They are all important to me, so I need to take the steps to make sure that they happen. What are your goals, and how are you going to accomplish them this year?

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