Take a Different Approach to Your Goals and Be Successful
The Indy Mini happens every year in May in Indiana. Among runners in this state it’s simply known as “The Mini.” Although there are hundreds of half marathons around the world and dozens right here in Indiana, there’s only one referred to as “The Mini.” We all know it. No other explanation required. I’ve run it 20 times. The last time was in 2017. It was my final farewell to that event and to that distance (13.1 miles). A specialist cautioned me that I needed to deal with my “bad knees.” By drastically reducing my mileage, I’ve been able to continue to run. For that I’m thankful.
Back to the years of running The Mini and dozens of other races. I’d often set goals. I learned early on that it was best to have goals A, B, and C. A was the lofty goal. If everything went exactly right, I’d shoot for that finish time. Goal B was still a happy one and would require some effort. Goal C was there to keep me going and to remind me that simply completing what I set out to do is something to be celebrated.
Recently I heard a podcast host talk about a different approach to your goals. She made two statements. The first was this:
Set goals related to the process, not the outcome.
If you’ve ever trained for a race, especially a half or full marathon, you know that you’ll have a lot of miles to cover on race day. But you don’t start out on day one running 26.2 miles. You start with a few miles then add on. You’ll never get to the end goal if you don’t do a few things along the way. When I trained, my goal was to hit my weekly mileage. Another goal was to complete the specific workouts included in each week’s training plan. I didn’t need to worry about race day that was twelve weeks away. I simply had to focus on hitting my goal for the day or week right in front of me. When I started focusing on the process rather than becoming overwhelmed with the end goal, the outcome took care of itself.
Then the podcast host went on to say:
Set expectations of effort, not outcome.
Back to training for a race. When I set the expectation that I would hit the mileage and push myself on my tempo runs, I became more confident that the outcome would take care of itself. The win came in knowing that I did the work so I didn’t have to stress about the end result.
You might not be thinking about doing a race, but you might want to improve an area of your health. Instead of setting a weight loss goal, take a different approach to your goals. Think about what is involved in the process. What are some things that you know to do that will get you from point A (lacking in healthy habits) to point B (implementing healthy habits that are sustainable).
- Drink water.
- Move regularly.
- Focus on protein.
- Eat to be satisfied but not stuffed.
- Get adequate rest.
Those are just a few things that contribute to improved health. Some of these things can even lead to weight loss. But instead of focusing on that outcome (weight loss), set goals that are related to the process. For example, drink more water today than you did yesterday. Have protein with every meal and snack. And then commit to doing the thing, showing up for yourself each day, putting in the effort.
I have something to help you with the process. If you’re reading this in May or June, consider participating in my annual Mile a Day Challenge. We begin Memorial Day and goto July 4th. Move one mile every day for about five weeks. Commit to showing up each day, one day at a time. Learn more here.
Is it time for you to take a different approach to your goals? Set yourself up for success so you can focus on today and embrace the process. The outcome will take care of itself.
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