How to Ease You into Achieving your Goals? One step at a Time!

Morning run in Charnay

 This morning, I had a wonderful workout running session. It took only 30 minutes of my day, and it made me feel great for the rest of the day.

You maybe saying, "no big deal", everybody exercises, runs and don't write posts about it.

The difference with me, is that I have tried many times, and given up after the first run! I love walking, and I can walk pretty fast, but I just hate running.

I feel awful as soon as I start: my heart seems to be exploding in my chest, my head hurts, my whole body is begging me to stop!

(The lovely path where I run/walk, around the corner of our house in South Beaujolais.)

Does it sound familiar?

Starting, with great energy, passion and enthusiasm, …and then experiencing unexpected obstacles and persuading yourself it's just not for you. Feeling bad about it. Giving it another try, and giving it up. Feeling awful about yourself. and blaming your lack of will-power and self-discipline.

You could replace starting running by:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Starting exercising
  • Moving into a healthy and balanced diet
  • Focusing on your personal and professional priorities
  • Sticking to your commitments
  • Taking action into major areas in your life (personal, social, professional)
  • Achieving financial freedom
  • Completing major tasks,assignments, projects
  • Writing that book!
  • Mastering the discipline in your life in general!

Every time I quit, I tell myself : I'm not a "born-runner", this is just not my thing, I should just give up trying. Some would call it a "limiting belief", I guess or simply a good excuse for not achieving my goals. I have been told I should be patient, give myself some time to do it progressively.

And, as soon as I'm out with my running outfit and shoes, I feel compelled to run, ride like the wind, like in Christopher Cross's song…And forget I'm a beginner and I need a method, a gentle way to ease me into running.

What's the lesson for Achieving Your Goals?

It's all about strategy and motivation!

You must be familiar with the acronym SMART for setting objectives.

In my case, I realized that it was not enough. My objective for running was SMART:

  • Specific : I wanted to be able to run at least 30 mins in a row, 3 times a week
  • Measurable: time and kms
  • Ambitious: I hated running!
  • Realistic: I'm rather sportive and in good shape, I live in the country side
  • Time Related: 3 times a week, 30 min, withing 3 weeks!

Yet, all of my attempts until now failed. Why?

When I see how simple, zero cost, quick and effective running  can be, how it can strengthen my confidence to achieve other goals in my life… I tell myself, there must be a way!

Here's the story of how it all started. If you prefer shorter posts and would rather have the take out, skip to the end!

It all started thanks to Angela Dunn, @BlogBrevity, who wrote an inspiring post  about running with some intercontinental twitter friends and easy steps into running for beginners.

I joined her immediately, with my usual enthusiasm, and frolicked in the snowy hills! 🙂

Even wrote a post immediately after this heroic( baby steps) run in the snow, with pictures!

The next days, for a week, it was really impossible to run, with the icy roads( no, really!)

When I started again, I forgot about the running and walking method, it was too cold, I was out of breath, I run for too long and I felt awful afterwards…

I had forgotten about my key motivators, which were enjoying a pleasurable experience and being proud of myself for achieving small steps and reporting my little success, with some accountability.

I had also forgotten to give myself some methodology, a strategy to progress towards my objective, breaking my goal into smaller chunks and anticipating the obstacles.

I wanted to go directly from zero to 30 mins!

At that time, my dream was to have the support from my running Twitter friends, some music and some clear and precise instructions to follow up!

I even asked Angela on twitter, quite candidly, if there was an app for it!

So I simply googled the question "How to run for beginners" and "Is there an App for beginner runners"?

And I found C25K Plan.

Brilliant!

For only $ 2,99, it enables you to have directly in your ears a step-by-step instruction of when to warm-up, when to run, when to walk, 3 days a week, until you build strength.

And you can customize it with your own music, thanks to your existing iTunes library, just with a simple click!

Now, I'm looking forward these runs and feeling so proud of myself!

Take away, for any goal you want to achieve:

  • Define Your Goal in a SMART way
  • Identify your Key Motivators
  • Break your goal into smaller chunks, easily achieved
  • Design a Strategy, according to your values
  • Follow your Strategy via a clear plan
  • Get some support, mentoring or coaching , especially at the beginning
  • Share your goal with a buddy, with your manager
  • Think about rewarding yourself and celebrating the achievement!

It's the first Monday of May, what is the most important goal you want to achieve this month? Did you prepare yourself for success?

Please share in your comments your goals, your stories, what works best for you regarding achieving goals, and what you may also find difficult right now, what sort of help or feedback you wish you had?

2 thoughts

  1. Very motivating post, Marion! A great methodology to get past the initial cycle and hurdle of exhilaration/great ambition/apathy that we all go through in trying to make a change. Always enjoy exchanging ideas and learning with you. See you on the virtual trail!
    Thank you for sharing,
    Angela

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