Goals need to be specific and SMART

Six years later….. getting smarter?

Now in 2018, off the top of my head I couldn’t tell you how many half marathons I have completed. But there have been a lot. I did run and complete my first ever full marathon (26.2 miles) in January of 2017. A normal running week for me now consisted of 20-30 miles, mostly three 5-mile runs and one long run on the weekend. Each year I set new running goals, and each year I made sure to set the bar high for myself. This year my goal was to run 12 half marathons, 1 per month. In my head this actually seemed a little easy.

 

I truly believed I would run forever, or at least until I was 90. I’ve heard so many stories about runners waking up one day and they just stopped running, or after countless injuries (it’s common to be injured, especially as a long distance runner) deciding not to go back after healing.

This would never happen to me, NEVER.

Never say never…

 

In February I went to a spiritual retreat, no long run for me that weekend. I had my 2nd half marathon of the year planned for the following weekend. The spiritual retreat was profound to say the least, which I will go more into in a later post. Monday morning I got up early to get 3 quick and easy miles in to shake the rust off my legs and prep for the upcoming race. The first 5-10 steps were daunting and full of pain. This made no sense to me, but I’m a runner and runners tend to run through the pain, so off I went. It’s been 2 months and I can still mentally see exactly where I was when I thought, “I don’t know if I want to do this anymore”, I was 1 mile in. The thought was SHOCKING to me, but it was also oddly ok. Again I’m a runner, so I completed the 3 miles anyway. Later that day I shared my thoughts with people close to me. They asked how I felt about it; my response was, “I think I’m ok with it”. At the time my biggest concern was my commitment to run 12 half marathons this year.

 

I have learned that not only do goals need to be specific, they also need to be smart. Sometimes the smart thing is to realize the goal may not be 100% correct or in alignment with where we are on our journey. If we begin to realize that a goal is not lining up with what we want 1, 3, 5, 10 months/years from now, it may need to be altered.

 

Be SMART about goals.

Check out the beginning of this story in my previous blog here.

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