Setting Goals, Making Plans

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailWhen 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.

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About Ann Brennan

Ann Brennan is first and foremost a mom of three beautiful children. She is the managing editor of Beyond Limits Magazine and the creator of Ann’s Running Commentary. In 2012, Ann took Ann’s Running Commentary to new levels – first with a segment on the RunRunLive Podcast, chronicling her journey to her first Ironman and second, with a new channel on YouTube. Currently Ann is working on a non-fiction book series and working hard every day to remind people to get up, get active and get out there.
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7 Responses to Setting Goals, Making Plans

  1. Paula Kiger (Big Green Pen) says:

    You are not alone. Not at all. You’re a little bit out in front of many of us who haven’t had the courage/candor to be public. But you’re not alone! Your goals sound great. I just “liked” the marathon you have planned on the off off off off chance that I could come up and run the half or something to be with you on that day but Lordy that is a pipe dream! For now, one bite at a time. It’s the way to go. Sending love and light.

  2. Glen says:

    Hi Ann,

    2013 has been tough on our family, too. We lost our 25 year old son in the spring and had a falling out with our other son – no contact w/ him since… But the sun comes up every morning and life goes on. What choice do we have? Life goes on for us, too.

    For me, my wife, the rest of our family, friends, work, and exercise all help. Routine helps. Your comments about goals helps, too.

    Life is hard. The curve balls are sometimes “bean balls”. Hang in there. You are not alone. We’re all in this together.

  3. Mara says:

    Good luck with your goals. I am going to be taking on my first full marathon this year!

  4. John says:

    Your goals sound great.Keep us posted on your training.

  5. seanheritage says:

    So glad to see you back to writing and openly sharing, Ann. You are most definitely not alone, and I am not alone in acknowledging that I missed your words of inspiration and the opportunity to be motivated by your visible (albeit it virtually) example. As a means of gaining better control of my rudder, I have migrated away from goals and to promises. I despise resolutions, thrive on goals, and am pretty good at holding myself accountable for the promises I make. 2014 is a year of promises for me. Your goals are great and I will do my part to hold you accountable for following through on them. That is my promise to you. The themes of my goals from 2013 were Family, Intersections, and Legacy. Turns out I did pretty well. Enjoyed some great times with my immediate and extended family to include my brothers last days (Family), partnered with others to create tangents of our personal networks (Intersections), and coached many Sailors while also writing a couple of e-books (Legacy). 2014 will be much of the same, but I will make some specific commitments to races so as to hold myself more accountable for my fitness level. I am embarrassed to admit how far off course I have let my fitness level drift.

    Thanks for being you and sharing yourself so openly.

  6. Kristin says:

    Happy New Year!

  7. txa1265 says:

    Ann – it means the world seeing you writing, and I look forward to reading even more from you. I know it has been rough, but I hope the worst is behind you and 2014 is a great year for you and your family. I have loved seeing the pics recently, and hope you and your crew had a great holiday. :)

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