I’m running a 10-mile race in April. My training schedule starts the first week of January, and I’m really looking forward to the workouts ahead of me. When I was putting together my training plan, I was reminded by how rewarding it is to have goals on my schedule that involve doing things that aren’t easily accomplished.
I’m not a life-long runner. I only started running this past year after I realized how well running fits with my lifestyle. I like sports that involve very little equipment (a good pair of shoes) and can be done without a lot of planning (no courts to reserve, no gym hours to remember). Plus, I’ve come to genuinely like the experience of running.
However, running 10 miles isn’t a normal thing for me. I’ve actually never ran more than five miles in a single run. Pushing myself up to 10 miles is going to be uncomfortable. There will be days when I’ll be sore and others when I’ll consider quitting, but I hope I’ll finish the race in April with a decent time.
Setting goals that are difficult to achieve opens us up for failure. We might not be successful. We might have to try multiple times to get something right, or we might not get the result we desire. The risk of failure makes achieving a difficult goal that much more rewarding.
As you start to think about resolutions for the new year, consider planning for something that isn’t easily accomplished. Stretch yourself to take on a project with the potential for failure and success. Make 2010 a year when you take a risk for big rewards.
Over the next couple weeks, I’ll write about how to create and organize a schedule for achieving your difficult goals. Right now, though, I want you to brainstorm on what you want to achieve in 2010. Make a list, or three or nine. Visualize your life after achieving different goals. Talk to friends, family and/or your boss about the ideas that are bouncing around in your head and get their feedback. Sit in silence for an hour and listen to the thoughts spinning through your brain. Formulate one or two big, risky resolutions you would like to make happen for yourself.
Start with identifying your resolution because if you don’t know where you’re going, you can’t organize your plan for how to get there.