I almost quit training for my 10K because I’m tired of getting injured. If it wasn’t for my support system and tracking my progress, I definitely would have quit. Here is the story and the five tips you can use for reaching your goals sooner.
It was Saturday at 7am. My sister was FaceTiming with my kids and asked how my 10K training was going. I told her I didn’t think I’d actually even run the race because I kept getting injured. Just then, I heard a voice from the other room say, “you can’t quit, don’t be a quitter.” My husband’s voice trailed off as I continued chatting with my sister, but his words burned into my brain.
Why was I so quick to quit? Why didn’t I think I could run the race? Yes, I had been getting injured a lot, which was frustrating. I also wasn’t running nearly as fast or as long as I wanted to, but I was trying. Why is trying not good enough?
About an hour later, I arrived at the gym and my husband’s words kept looping in my brain as I began my workout. I tried to analyze the reasons I would so easily throw in the towel. What I quickly realized is that I don’t like to do things I’m not good at. I know that might sound silly, but I’ve generally done pretty well in most things I’ve tried. The things I’m not good at, I generally don’t pursue and move onto something easier.
What a realization. I tend to avoid the difficult things in life. Of course, this is not true of all aspects of my life. Especially when it comes to finishing my Ph.D. and keeping this blog alive. Those two things took/take a lot of tenacity and stick-to-it-ness. There were so many times I wanted to quit, but something kept me going.
The same is true for training for this 10K. I was so close to quitting, but my husband and the mini goals I reached kept me going. One single line was my motivator: You fail everything you don’t try. Literally, the day after I wanted to quit, I lifted the most weight on the leg press that I’ve lifted, maybe ever. Even though I couldn’t see improvements in my running I WAS getting stronger because of the running. It was an unexpected outcome, but it was a reminder about how you can’t always see your improvements, which is why it is so important to track your progress and reward yourself along the way. Here are my five tips for reaching your goals sooner.
1. Create Mini Goals
If you break your goal into smaller chunks, it can often feel easier. Smaller goals are more attainable so you will see success quicker, which makes you more willing to continue striving for the larger goal. Meeting these mini goals will give you momentum to keep going.
2. Reward Yourself Along the Way
A great way to keep you motivated is to attach rewards to the mini goals you create. That way, you don’t have to wait for the big goal to get your reward. Just like mini goals, rewards are affirming and motivating. Getting small rewards is a great way to appreciate yourself for the commitment and the small changes you’ve made while propelling you to your bigger reward.
3. Track Your Progress
It is so easy to feel overwhelmed that you’ll never reach your goal because it is often difficult to see progress. Tracking progress is a great way to remind yourself of the changes you’ve made. You should celebrate all of your changes, and even the small improvements are important to acknowledge. Keeping a journal or taking pictures are both great ways to remind yourself of your progress even if you can’t always see it.
4. Recruit Accountability Partners
If there is a major goal you want to accomplish, tell all of your friends and family about it. They can help to reinvigorate your energy and enthusiasm when you’re feeling burned out. Plus, you’ll feel a responsibility toward others which will help with your accountability.
5. Keep Your Eye On the Prize
Any time your energy is waning or you’re tired of working at your goal, remind yourself why it was important to you in the first place. Think about your goal and remember all the reasons you wanted to achieve it. Also consider all of the small goals you have accomplished and how much that means to you. Ultimately, you have to have a good reason to reach for the goal in the first place, so make sure your reason is a strong one you’re passionate about even before you begin. Even when you feel like giving up, remind yourself of how far you’ve come and all of the reasons you don’t want to give up on your goal. Likely, the reasons will outweigh the urge to quit.