Last Saturday, I did something that I didn’t think was possible six months ago – I ran the Country Music Half Marathon. It was one of the most uplifting experiences of my life. The thousands of runners and spectators created an electric environment. Even if you never intend to run a half or full marathon, I strongly encourage you to witness one. It’s truly amazing.
In January, I decided to train for my first half marathon after reading an encouraging post from Michael Hyatt about the benefits of running. The experience did not disappoint. I learned so much about myself and improved my fitness along the way.
Running the half marathon also taught me a great deal about setting goals and the effort it takes to achieve them. Below are the three things I learned as part of this experience.
Reaching your goals isn’t easy.
I’ve talked previously about overcoming obstacles in relation to my half marathon training. Admittedly, the four months of training wasn’t easy. And, even on race day, it was challenging to reach the finish line.
The truth is that any goal worth achieving is going to be hard work. Whether you’re working on losing weight or developing a product for your business, there will likely be times you will want to slack off or even quit. Don’t. Stick with it, find your inner resolve and just do it. It will pay off in dividends.
The journey is more important than reaching the goal.
Don’t get me wrong, crossing the finish line at the race was an exhilarating experience. However, the months of training was perhaps the most rewarding part of this endeavor. Not only did I build relationships with wonderful people and develop positive exercise habits, but I also learned a lot about myself in the process.
When you are working to achieve something, you test your character and strength. You discover who you really are. Savor the experience and take note of how you handled difficulties that you faced. Learning from the process is the most valuable thing you can do.
The finish line is not the end of the journey.
Running the half marathon was more than crossing a goal off of a to-do list, it was part of my larger strategy to become a healthier person. Instead of hanging up my running shoes, I plan to continue my training regimen and run another race this fall. Now, my goal is to shave 10 minutes off of my finish time.
Once you’ve reached your goal, you don’t pack it up and quit. Instead, set another goal and work towards it. The best part of reaching goals is that it fuels you to take things to the next level.
There is always more we can do and ways we can improve. Look at your life, your business, your relationships. Determine measurable, actionable goals and start working towards them. You’ll be amazed what happens when you do.
What goals are you working towards this year? What have you learned from achieving (or not achieving) your goals?