Another Year, Another Resolution
There’s no doubt that I have big plans for this year. Some of them are health-related such as to heal my thyroid and chronic fatigue, others are around my business like meeting a particular financial goal and impacting X number of people thru my work and another is personal, like completing my 200 hour yoga certification. Every year I make these grand goals and many (if not most) of these goals go unmet, except for one. As I look to complete the many (maybe lofty) goals I’ve made for myself this year, I have to think about the one goal I set and actually met and what led me to meet it.
Three years ago I had set a goal for myself to not only run, but legitimately qualify for the Boston Marathon. I had dreamed of this race since I was a kid, believing it was something only Olympic athletes could achieve. As I grew older and got involved in sports, I realized that a goal like that takes a lot of hard work, something I never thought I would have the guts to do. Then my husband and I moved to Maine and every other runner I met had run or was prepping to run Boston. That was it for me. I had to put my money, or my feet rather, where my mouth was.
Thankfully, I have some pretty amazing distance-running friends (who shall remain nameless). They were gracious enough to train me via email and kept me honest about my goals. They held me accountable for every run I completed as well as the two I missed. Not only was I running 6 days a week, completing hill training, speed work, tempo runs and long runs, I refused to give up my yoga practice and 2 days a week I ran 2 ½ miles to the studio, did an hour and a half of heated Vinyasa and ran another 2 ½ miles home. I’m not going to lie when I say it was the hardest I ever worked out in my life!
When the time came for my qualifying marathon, my trainers were honest and projected my completion time based on all my training runs, which was about 15 minutes slower than what I needed to qualify. I was a little discouraged, but I’m also quite headstrong and had decided to prove to them I could do it. Needless to say my stubbornness won and I qualified, with just 4 seconds to spare!
The point of all this is the idea that we all need a little help, or even coaching sometimes. When I started training for this race, I had been running nearly 15 years. I knew how to fuel my body, I knew I would have to do speed work and long runs, but I had no one to guide me. I had actually set this goal for myself years before but never had the courage to follow-thru. My running coaches gave me what I needed to succeed and I don’t mean the training plan. They were there for me when I had a terrible training run, they were there for me when I had some unbelievable runs and they were there when I blew off a run because I had friends in town.
Silly as it sounds, with all the experience I had, I would not have succeeded in my goal without their accountability, expertise and compassion. It took someone with knowledge to guide me to success. Ultimately, yes, I achieved it but I will never underestimate the importance of having the guidance of those two experts.
I say this in an attempt to help people understand when to seek the help they need to achieve their goals. Let’s face it; we can’t be an expert in every aspect of our life. We’re certainly great at many things, but often our ego gets in the way of our own success. I let that keep me from achieving my own goals for years. I always had the potential and drive, but never the right guidance.
I hope as you read this, you are considering your own goals for this year and taking the time to analyze which you may need help with. I’m sure you know how to balance a checkbook, but might hiring a financial advisor make more sense to help you realize your financial goals? Or maybe you love to garden, but would taking a few classes give you the tools you need to get that spring garden up and going early this year? You see it’s not about knowing it all, it’s about knowing when you could use a little help. And often times, it’s this little bit of help, compassion or knowledge that makes all the difference.
I encourage you to take a moment to rethink your goals and how you plan to achieve them this year. Are they realistic? Can they be broken into “bite-sized” pieces? Could the chance of achievement increase with the help and guidance of a coach? And if necessary, seek the expert you need to make them come to fruition. I can say from experience, when that goal becomes realized, there’s nothing quite so sweet.