When a new runner calls me for advice the first thing I ask is, “What is your goal?” Often, they don’t know. They haven’t thought about it. They just want to start running, maybe lose some weight and generally get in shape but I am a true believer in having a more concrete goal and generally that means lining up a race a few weeks or months in the future. Having this clear goal gives you something to aim for. You either meet the goal or you don’t but in the end the results are clear.
This year, I lost the plot. I lost the idea of goal setting, of routine, of having a clear target to aim for and I gave up. Not just on running and exercise but on life. I lived from second to second, holding my breath waiting for the other shoe to drop. And to be fair there were a lot of shoes dropping this year.
We had our major family crisis in March that has continued throughout the year, one that has taken the attention of every person in our family and has often meant that the daily decisions we make are life and death decisions. But even as I write this my mom is on her way to the doctor to find out whether she will be re-admitted to the hospital for the fifth time since October and my father is in the hospital waiting for news on whether he will be going under the knife this afternoon. Needless to say, it has been a stressful year.
But I am tired. I am tired of living without a goal. I am tired of being rudderless and letting life take me where it will. So for the first time in twenty years I am setting New Year’s Resolutions and because I share so much with you I want to share these.
1. I am going to start writing again on a regular basis. I am going to share my stories with you and hope that somewhere in there you will find the motivation to lace up your shoes and get out there.
2. I am going to remember that the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time and that I can’t begin taking those bites unless I start taking charge of my life and stop living second to second.
3. I am going to run the Wrightsville Beach Marathon. Which means working my ass off in the next few months.
4. And most importantly, I am going to stop beating myself up for all of the things that have gone wrong in our lives this year and accept that sometimes life throws us curve balls and we can either learn to deal with them or sit on the bench and let someone else be in charge. I have never been one for the bench and I don’t want to be there anymore.
Life has been tough this year. There is no way around that and I am not one to believe that a change of the date on the calendar is going to make a bit of difference to our crisis but I do believe in goals. I do believe in routine and schedules and plans and the best I can do for 2014 is start with one. This is my plan and I am going to follow it. It isn’t hard or ambitious but it is a start. It is a way to take charge of my life and that’s all I am asking.
Do you have goals for the new years? Have you ever lost the plot and gone rudderless? Share your story, let me know I am not alone.