Setting New Goals: Get Inspired to Challenge Yourself
Have you ever noticed that we are always introducing our kids to new activities, teaching them new skills, encouraging them to try new sports, and yet we sit on the sidelines? Somewhere between getting older, becoming parents and starting our careers we stopped setting new goals for ourselves! When was the last time you tried something new? Mastered a new skill, tried a new class or attempted a new sport?
Stepping outside your comfort zone and pushing yourself just a little bit will make you find out you are stronger than you think and smarter than you knew. My husband and I recently took on a new challenge this past summer and in addition to overcoming some crazy fears, we made new friends, found out just what we were made of . I think we may have impressed the kids a bit!
As a challenge, we decided to take on triathlons. We are already very active, and I was a lifeguard so a great swimmer and my husband had been riding for year; so what kind of challenge was a triathlon going to be? A BIG one. My husband can’t swim in a lake and I am terrified of triathlon bikes. I had an amazing training group of women and he trained with a group of really experience guys. They made it so much more fun as we trained for 6 months and we learned so much from each of them.
My husband still panics in a lake and I am still terrified of my bike, but we both completed Half Ironmans’ and I learned that I can ride and complete an Olympic distance triathlon in the pouring rain and a Half Ironman in 6 hours of 44 degree heat. Who knew?! Funny thing happened after I reached that Half Ironman goal, I set another one. Two months later I wanted to run a half marathon in under 2 hours. I had never done one that fast before. Never even ‘really’ tried. So I put that goal out there and went for it.
What Reaching a Goal Feels Like
Race day – At one point while running I imagined, visually, what it would be like to crest that hill near the finish line and see 1:58:00 on the time clock and – surprisingly – the tears started. It made me teary to actually see those numbers in my head. Maybe this goal meant more to me than I thought. 21 km later I was at that hill near the finish line. First I could see my kids, ready to jump in and cross the finish line with me. Then I saw the time clock, it was still 100 meters away but I couldn’t believe what it said.
I was going to do it. I saw my kids faces. They knew I was going to do it too. I was going to cross the finish line with 1:58 on the time clock. For some crazy reason reaching that goal meant more to me than completing a 6 hour Half Ironman. I don’t know why. Maybe it has been my years of running. Maybe it was the challenge of a time goal – one that really required pushing my fitness limits. It could be that I really didn’t think I could do it. I have spent all my years just being happy with a finish and this is the first time I actually put a time on myself, asking myself to give it more effort and not just finish but to improve, to go faster, to be better. And I did it. The power of a goal.
How To Set Goals & Succeed: Commitment
Make that commitment. Set your goal and do it publicly. Tell your friends, your neighbours, the grocery store clerk. Get it out there that you are going to do this. The more you say it, the more you believe it and the deeper your commitment.
Don’t try to do it alone. You could learn through an internet video at home alone or you could join a class with others who have similar interests. They will encourage you to come back for the next class, help you through the workout or next training session, and be there to motivate and congratulate you at the end. Signing up for a series of sessions reinforces your commitment. It gets others involved who share the same goals as you and you make new friends!
You make sure the kids get to swimming lessons and school, so make sure you get to your class or get your training time in. Only those items that make your Priority List actually get accomplished so make this goal a priority. You need time to work towards a goal, so make that time a must do.
There are very few things we ‘can’t’ do if we really try. Facing my goals I thought I’m too old for this, still have 3 young kids at home, have no time, husband travels, I don’t have a bike, I don’t like being clipped in to pedals, I will NEVER ride that bike in the rain! But if you take away all the self-doubt and just go for it and simply TRY!
One step at a time, you eventually will cross the finish line! You can make it happen. I challenge you to set some goals!