My goal was to run 5k, and four years on I still run every week. This is the view at the start of my local 10K race.
I'm not always very consistent at making proper goals and sticking to them. I am constantly striving to get better at it (I should probably make that a goal in its own right!). However, my running goal is one that I did achieve. Better still, I kept at it and have every intention to keep going.
I was prompted to think about my running again after Bear and I had our very own 'medal hoard' at the beginning of September. Bear was awarded 3rd place in the Border Camp South competition (an event for people who own Border Terriers) for Best Female Border Terrier and I got a Personal Best in a local 10K event the next day. Two medals in two days!
My PB is nothing amazing compared to many of the runners at the event, but it is still my personal best and I am so happy to have achieved it. There are so many people out there doing amazing things all around us that it can be easy to dismiss the importance of our own achievements. I really believe that setting yourself a goal is such a good way of doing something positive for yourself, and giving yourself the opportunity to shine - something that I think a lot of people struggle with.
Is now the time to set yourself a new goal?
This time of year is a great time to set yourself a new goal, especially if you have children in education and this is a new start for them too. I would love to hear about any goals you want to set yourself - whatever it is. Sometimes the act of telling someone else makes it a bit more real and means you will be more likely to stick to it! I will also be very happy to give you some encouragement along the way. :)
As you are probably aware, I'm particularly interested in working with people who are struggling to get to where they want to be. This could be because of issues with anxiety or lack of confidence connected to something - or someone - that has affected you, a sense of grief or loss or anything at all. In my experience setting a personal goal can be a really useful way of feeling better about yourself whatever situation you find yourself in. I sometimes use goal-setting as part of a plan of treatment as, depending on the goal, it can be one way of taking responsibility for your own health and well-being.
Why I set my own goal
I started running when I was 39. My mum developed severe osteoporosis in her 60s and it was distressing to see her suffering more and more as the years went on and not being able to do anything to help. I knew that high impact weight-bearing exercise was a good way to increase bone density and try and prevent osteoporosis, so I decided running was something I should do. Sport was not my thing when I was younger so this was a big challenge for me. I started using one of the 0-5K apps on my phone and about 6 months after starting the training, and a few months after I turned 40, I ran my first 10k event.
I now run between 30 minutes and an hour every week. A few years ago I could only dream of being someone that could 'just go out for a run'. It didn't seem like something I could ever achieve. It wasn't easy at all but I'm so pleased I persevered. The first few weeks of the training programme were agony. Just running for two minutes even with the knowledge that after that you could walk for 3 minutes seemed an impossibility, not to mention very painful!
It was a mental challenge just as much as a physical one. I can still remember making myself think that with every step I was helping to keep osteoporosis at bay. I also found that there was a huge benefit in exercising outside. I used to try and multi-task while I was running - planning out the rest of the day or working through a problem.
I now see a real benefit in just running and giving my mind a bit of time off. I look around me and see what's going on and notice things that I might not normally notice. When it feels like hard work I still like to think that every step is keeping me a little bit further away from osteoporosis. I also try and remember to be proud of my achievement - it might be a small achievement in the grand scheme of things, but it's still my achievement.
Interested in finding out more?
If you are interested in finding out more about working with me, how I can help you, and possibly setting some goals for yourself, please get in touch using the form below and we can find a time to speak. I'm easy to talk to and a really good listener :)
You might also be interested in reading my posts on gratitude, anxiety and tips on de-stressing and slowing down.