Last September I went and cheered on a friend of mine who was running the Chicago half marathon with his dad. The atmosphere was so exciting as all these runners crossed the finish line and celebrated accomplishing their goal. I could feel my own adrenaline starting to pump, and I told my friend that next year I wanted to run this race. I use to run regularly with my roommates and have finished two half marathons in the past, so I knew this was something I could do.
So, at the beginning of the summer I printed off a training schedule, got out my running shoes, and set my goal to workout 3 times a week. The first week went pretty well. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t always easy to get my body to move at a faster pace, but I did all my workouts that week. The second week went okay. I was sore now and still struggling to get my body to move faster. Then I missed a workout. It was just one workout; I was really tired that day and had lots of other things going on. Besides, I told myself, I’ll get back on track next week. Well wouldn’t you know, the next week I missed two workouts.
By the following week, I had stopped all together. I was still saying in my mind that this was something I wanted to do, but I kept not doing it. And not doing it got easier, because no one else was doing it with me to keep my accountable. I would get up in the morning and say to myself, “I’m going to run when I get home tonight.” But when I would get home, I would sometimes forget or think I’ll do it tomorrow.
Have any of you had this happen to you? Maybe your goal was to try a new food or learn to play an instrument or watch less TV. Whatever your goal may be, having someone doing it with you or encouraging you is important. When I look back on all the times I’ve reached my running goals, I was doing it with a friend or had a family member would give me support and encouragement daily. I believe this was the thing that kept me from completing my goal this summer. I really hadn’t told many friends that I wanted to run again; I didn’t want others to know if I didn’t reach my goal, because I thought that would be embarrassing. But not telling others also kept me from getting the support I needed to reach my goal. How ironic!
At PAK, we talk about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely). My goal had all these elements, but the thing I was missing was other people. Having others to encourage, support, and keep you accountable is key to reaching your goals, and that is what we try to do at PAK. It is always more fun working toward something and then celebrating with someone else. The start of PAK is just over a month away, so I’ve decided to set a new goal. And this time I’m telling all of you about it so you can help keep me going. My new goal is to workout 2 times a week until the start of PAK. I challenge you to also set a goal and tell someone in your family about it. Maybe your goal is to learn more about how to set a good goal…if so, be sure to join us the first week of our fall session! And remember when it comes to setting goals, two people really is better than one.
PAK Lifestyle Coach