Statistics show that 95% of the people who make a New Year’s Resolution will break it by January 15th!
Worst yet, most won’t even set a goal because they don’t want to experience another letdown.
If you’re having trouble achieving your goal, it becomes tempting to give up. It’s much easier to SETTLE for what you already have and focus on what you’ve already accomplished. But let me ask you a question.
Do you want to live a SETTLED life? Or do you want to live an EXTRAORDINARY life?
Chances are you chose the latter. But why do we have trouble achieving our goals? Why is it so difficult to push forward and so easy to give it all up?
There are two reasons why.
1) Your Goal Is Too Broad
Yes, the goal itself is likely getting in its own way.
What do I mean?
Well, how can you know if you hit your target if the target isn’t clear enough to see?
For example, if your goal is to run a farther distance, great! But when do you know you hit it? When you’ve run one extra mile? Or five? Or twenty? Without choosing a specific mileage or signing up for the race, your goal does not exist. You’re better off trying to hit a bullseye wearing a blindfold!
Know this: specificity is the key to reaching our goals. Choose to be a meaningful specific, not a broad generality.
2) Your Goal Is Not Inspiring
Choose a goal that makes you want to leap out of bed in the morning! You’re much more likely to achieve a goal that excites you. Find a goal that you’re “pulled” towards versus one that you must “push” towards.
Stop THINKING about what you SHOULD do and start FEELING what you WANT to do. When rethinking your running goals, get out of your HEAD and step into your HEART. Your extraordinary life depends on it! Remember, the heart knows best.
When you lead with your heart you will not only KNOW the reasons why you want to achieve a goal; you will FEEL it.
We all have a GIFT to contribute to the world, and when you recognize your GIFT, a purpose is born. And when you identify your purpose, NOTHING can stop you; you will ALWAYS find a way.
So now that we know to choose a SPECIFIC goal that INSPIRES us, let’s rethink our running goals. As a runner, SPECIFICALLY, what is it you want most?
If deep down you want to run a marathon but you’ve talked yourself out of it then run the marathon! Don’t settle for a half-marathon.
The first race I EVER ran was a marathon. THE MIND told me, “You’re not a runner yet. You can’t run a marathon!” But my heart told me “Whatever you can believe, you can achieve!”
When I set the goal to run a marathon I wanted it so bad I was pulled towards it. Running a marathon was so compelling and specific that it felt like a natural occurrence. A 5k or half marathon didn’t have the same effect. Now don’t get me wrong, a 5k or half marathon is an incredible goal, but it wasn’t what I was set out to do.
Another instance is when I decided to run my first 100-mile ultramarathon. The goal was both specific and inspiring. A goal of running 100 miles was compelling. I ran ten ultra distances ten weeks in a row during training. I trained at 2:00 am, ran through the entire night, jumped in ice baths, and sacrificed weekends. I walked around sore for months waddling from place to place. Fortunately, at the time my son loved HAPPY FEET, so we spent most nights dancing like penguins.
The point is the goal was so inspirational that I could not stop the natural force of reaching it. Although running 100 miles seemed impossible in THE mind, MY heart knew it was possible all along.
Now, these are two of my own examples; yours could be much different. Your goal could be to lose weight or to set a new PR. But no matter the goal, when it’s specific, compelling, and from the heart, it’s only a matter of time before you reach it. Remember, the moment when your body gives up is the exact moment your HEART gives more.
So now that you understand how to set a meaningful goal, below are some running goals that may interest you. Below I’ve listed 18 running goals to choose from as we enter into 2018. Remember, be specific, feel inspired, pick a goal with your HEART, and let PASSION fuel you to its completion.
1) Run A Marathon Or Ultramarathon
First, remember to choose a SPECIFIC distance. Next, grab a training program and sign up for a race. For example, want to run a marathon? Fantastic! Google “beginner marathon guide,” click the image tab, and choose a “doable” program. Next, print it out or save it as your phone background, this way it’s in vision EVERY SINGLE day.
When signing up for the race DO NOT choose one with a lottery. You want to be 100% certain you are in the race. Also, find a backup race that doesn’t sell out. Make sure it will take place 2-3 weeks after your first choice race. Now you have a backup plan if something prevents you from running on race day. If you’re forced to miss your race then re-do your taper weeks, sign up for your backup race, and follow through with your goal.
It’s essential to eliminate any uncertainty and commit fully to your race.
If you choose to run an ultramarathon then grab a copy of my new best seller! It’s called The Ultramarathon Guide: A Simple Approach To Running Your First Ultramarathon. It’s a short read packed with useful information and a simple approach to training.
Remember, 50k is the new marathon!
2) Eliminate One Acidic Food From Your Diet
Eliminating acidic foods from our diets is vital to our health. It promotes detoxification allowing our bodies to metabolize with much more efficiency. Removing acidic foods encourages weight loss, increases energy, and prevents disease and discomfort. Of which are all essential benefits for running and in life in general.
So what acidic food should you eliminate? Most likely, deep down, you know what foods cause the most problems in your body. Is it dairy? White sugar? Bread? Animal flesh? Caffeine? Alcohol? Or perhaps processed foods in general?
Whichever acid addiction you choose to eliminate, your body will always know best. For example, you may think you SHOULD cut out caffeine, but your body may NOT be sensitive to caffeine. In fact, your morning cup of coffee may be providing you with many health benefits. However, animal flesh may make you feel tired and heavy. Also, eating meat may test your morals. But if eating meat is apart of the way your family lives then cutting it out would seem abnormal.
But here’s the problem, if your goal is to stop drinking coffee you will probably do well at first then give up. Soon you will find yourself back on your Starbucks mobile app ordering your usual good morning pick me up. However, if you feel wrong for eating dead animals and feel GREAT abstaining from it, you become much more likely to follow through with your goal.
You may want to start with a smaller goal of eliminating bread and pasta. Each small step will compound into a new you in the new year!
Personally, over time as I began running 100-mile ultramarathons, I radically altered the way I eat. I follow a holistic approach to running and you know what, I’ve never felt better in my life.
Here’s my promise to you:
If you eat what feels right, and eliminate what feels wrong, you will feel alive! And once you get a taste of a real healthy lifestyle, you will never want to go back. Remember this: it’s not a diet change but a lifestyle change, change the way you eat and change your life forever.
3) Lose 10lbs Off Your Race Weight
Why is it so hard to lose the last 10 pounds?
Most of the time it’s from either diet fatigue or metabolic adaptation. But those last 10 lbs are not only the hardest to drop, but they are also the most rewarding.
Ever run a race where you completely exert all energy supplies? Where you’re so exhausted that the finish line seems one million miles away? At the end of my first marathon, the finish line was in view a quarter mile away, but it felt like an eternity. But each small step into eternity enhanced the light at the finish line a little brighter. So when I crossed the finish line, the joy and excitement were unmeasurable. The most challenging goals are always the most rewarding.
So those last 10 lbs are your GIFT to push through and achieve a weight you will NEVER want to give up. Those last 10 pounds not only require a shift in the kitchen, but they also require a shift in your perspective. It’s a goal that will not only change your weight but will change your life!
4) Set A New PR
Speed is a favorite motivator in the running world. Breaking a personal best motivates many runners.
So choose your strategy and sign up for a race. By signing up for a race, you will give your PR goal a deadline. And we all know how much more productive we are with a deadline.
Also, track your progress. It’s difficult to have a clear vision when you are not tracking your progress. By tracking your progress, it is much easier to believe in the process. Now you can see the finish line rather than becoming doubtful and give up.
So create a deadline, track your progress, and cross the finish line setting a new personal record for the new year!
5) Run A New Running Route
Are you running the same old route? Add a little variety! Run a different direction, or off the road, or down a different trail. Variety will spice up your running routine. Yes, it may slow down your pace, but variety keeps your run fresh. A refreshing change may be precisely what you need to achieve all your running goals this year.
Here’s an idea. Let’s say you have a 20-mile long run tomorrow. When you wake up have a friend, loved one, or an Uber drop you off 20 miles from your house. Next, jump out the car and run home! I used this strategy many times training for my first ultramarathon. Not only does it provide you with a new running route, but also it’s one straight shot to the finish, similar to a race day experience.
6) Run 12 Races, One Race Each Month
Pick 12 races this year, one race per month, and run! Decide if they will all be the same distance or not. You could also build up mileage each month. First run a 5k, then a 10k, then a half marathon, and so on, etc. You could even try something out of the ordinary and run 12 marathons or ultramarathons in a row.
During this process, try not to focus on the overall goal. Focus on each race, that is, focus on one race at a time. So by the end of the year, each small victory eventually will add up to one giant success!
7) Try One New Fueling Technique
Sometimes, the solution you’ve been searching for has been right there in front of you all along. So although you can’t see it from around the corner, it only takes a few steps forward and poof…it’s entirely in reach.
In my new book, I explain a time where I dealt with EXTREME nausea during and after ultramarathons. The cure seemed impossible until I experienced the paradigm shift that created a radical change in my lifestyle. Once I began living and fueling holistically, nausea disintegrated. I gained an incredible level of energy while running and in life. Remember, we do not NEED energy, WE ARE energy.
8) Take A Runners Yoga Class
Sign up and go! See what happens. Who knows, you may not like it, but you may fall in love with it.
Running yoga will improve stamina, increase strength, prevent injury, and help with breathing. Most importantly, running yoga creates inner strength that promotes self-awareness. You learn to overcome the EGO. The EGO is that voice that likes to remind you when you can’t do something. Defeating the EGO will be an extraordinary benefit creating an open space to your next finish line.
9) Meditate Before Each Long Run
Before each long run commit to 10-15 minutes of meditation. Meditation will make you happier, more energetic, and less distracted. When running long distance, meditation will contribute to a mindset that helps you run longer distances.
How does meditation help you run further?
Meditation promotes self-awareness. By becoming more self-aware, we learn to live in the PRESENT moment. Don’t worry about the past and what distance you haven’t run and don’t focus on the future, like crossing the finish line. By having the power to run in the present, your mind focuses only on the act of running. It’s not about the finish line to come, but in the journey to travel. So by mastering the power of running in the present, distance becomes irrelevant. You then learn the secret of the endurance world. You learn how to disconnect from your body and how to run with THE mind.
10) Join A Running Club
Guess what? There’s a ton of other people who love to run until their legs fall off! And the best part is they love having a friend in the process. Most fellow runners prefer having someone to struggle and celebrate with.
Ever notice what you do when something exciting happens in your life? You immediately tell a friend or loved one!
Why do you want to share the great news? Because it allows you to experience it again! We are all in this boat together so learn from others ahead of you, help those behind you, and RUN WITH PASSION!
11) Volunteer For A Race
Life is not about ME…it’s about WE. This year volunteer at a local race. These events always need help setting up, working aid stations, and closing down.
Isn’t it a relief to go around the corner of a race and see those smiling faces handing out water during a tough race? Wouldn’t it be gratifying to provide the same feeling to others?
Plus, volunteering may provide a new perspective on how you can improve yourself. Watch and learn what not to do and pick up some useful tips while you’re at it. When you get too deep into your running goals, it’s wise to take a step back and view your progress objectively. It’s surprising when you first notice what you’ve been missing all along.
Volunteering is a win-win for everyone. So jump online, find a race website, click the volunteer page, and sign up. You’ll likely meet some pretty awesome people too!
12) Run For The Podium
Personally, running has always been about the inner race, the race against myself. Most others see it that way as well. It’s motivating to run faster and further than the last time. But deep down… it feels good to win, doesn’t it? It’s fight or flight at its finest; our bodies physically reject losing.
But winning is not only about you, it also brings people together. Here’s a thought that may alter your perspective on competition.
Do you know where the word ‘compete’ comes from?
‘Compete’ comes from the Latin words ‘com’ meaning ‘together’ and ‘petere’ meaning to ‘aim at’. Compete literally means to come together and reach a desired aim. It doesn’t mean to battle until you destroy your opponent. To compete is to strive together to improve!
Stress, adversity, and resistance are GIFTS in our lives to help us grow. Similar to weights in the gym, resistance helps our muscles grow. And that’s in all areas of our lives, not only the physical. Stress at work helps develop skills. Adversity in life inspires change. Resistance in relationships creates passion. So competition in any sport promotes rapid growth and enables you to improve quicker as an athlete.
So next time your neck and neck at the finish line, do each other a favor, and give it all you got! Because if you don’t win, then you have received a GIFT to work harder and/or you have given the same gift to your competition.
So this year compete in a RACE! Regardless if you win or lose, at the end of the day, it’s a win-win for everyone.
13) Run A Trail Race
Ready for a new adventure roadrunners? This year take a shot at running a trail race! There’s a lot of opinion on how to make the smoothest transfer but here’s my advice, SIGN UP AND GO FOR IT! The first time I ever ran on a trail was on race day. Sure it was tough, but it was worth it!
Need some practical tips and action steps to begin running trails? Check out 12 Practical Trail Running Tips For Beginners. Each tip will help build your foundation in becoming a trail runner.
Trail running is a magnificent experience. You lose and find yourself all on the same trail. A transformational GIFT only provided by the struggles of endurance and nature.
14) Get Fitted For A Pair Of Running Shoes
Are you new to running? If you haven’t already, get fitted for a quality pair of running shoes this year!
First, let me start by saying if buying a new pair of running shoes will cause any procrastination, then, use whatever running shoe you have. What’s most important is heading out the door and moving those feet forward. But if you’re ready to commit to this running stuff, then, let me stress the importance of getting fitted for a new running shoe. When shopping around, it shouldn’t be about the fun new features that the company is advertising; it’s about finding a shoe that’s right for you.
I highly recommend visiting a local running store and being fitted by a professional this year. Make it a goal. These stores assist new runners on a daily basis and should be able to provide a shoe that’s best for your stance, stride, and step. Most of the time, you may have the opportunity to test them out and even be fortunate to receive some free advice from a pro!
15) Learn And Apply A New Technique For Better Form
Believe it or not, most of our injuries stem from improper form. We put all our focus on running faster and farther that we neglect to improve the process to get us there.
I know, there sure is a lot of information available online in regards to proper form. Today, we drown in information; however, there’s so much information available that it becomes difficult to choose. We need WISDOM, not INFORMATION. So here is a recommendation: try “ChiRunning.”
What is ChiRunning?
“ChiRunning is based on movement principles of T’ai Chi, but you don’t need to know T’ai Chi to Chi Run. All you need to know is how using your core can transform your running.”
It makes running exhilarating, effective, and pain-free. Preventing injury while running faster and farther with less effort? It doesn’t get much better than that for a runners progression.
And best yet, ChiRunning believes everyone can experience running this way!
So, Google “ChiRunning” and master one new technique each week. If done correctly, here’s to running faster, farther, and injury free into the new year!
16) Read A New Running Book
I do pretty well keeping up with my reading list; however, when problems arise, they often come from two issues. (1) I procrastinate on reading a particular book even though I know the benefits will save me time in the long run. Or (2) I download so many books at once that I don’t give each book the right amount of focus it deserves.
So this year, if you’re not a regular reader, pick one running book and focus on it from beginning to end. It will not only benefit your running, but depending on the book, it will inspire you to try something new. Perhaps even run a farther distance!
Ready to run an ultramarathon? Check out my new book “The Ultramarathon Guide: A Simple Approach To Running Your First Ultramarathon.” It’s a short read and breaks down the entire process of running an ultramarathon. It also provides a simple training program to get you started. You will discover all you need to know about taking the first steps in this grueling challenge. Click here for the KINDLE version and click here for the PAPERBACK version.
Other good reads are Born To Run, Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner, and Slow Burn: Burn Fat Faster By Exercising Slower.
17) Run A Race Without Your Watch
Technical issues with your watch on race day morning will often create a panic. Some runners will become so reliant on their watch that they would rather not run then run without it.
If this sounds like you, anxious on race day or angry when technical issues arise, this goal may be for you!
It’s a simple goal. On your next race, run without a watch! Run for the love of running. Sure, you may not be able to upload your results to a social running program, but it’s a refreshing change of pace. It will teach you to stay in the present moment and let go of the fixation of the finish line.
So run a race with NO watch and a clear mind and see how it feels. You may be surprised on the outcome.
18) Run A Fun Race
Remember, running should be fun! Grab a couple of buddies and run a fun race. There are races with obstacle courses, color paints, and even zombies!
Besides creating enjoyment, a fun race will break up your pattern. Sometimes we get so focused on a goal that we put our blinders on. We strive to reach our running goals with tunnel vision and miss obvious solutions to our problems. Missed solutions that would create a much shorter path to the achievement of our goal.
Tunnel vision is the failure to see all opportunities.
If you remember ANYTHING remember this: YOU can do ANYTHING! But you need to accept change and have faith in your choices. Only YOU know what YOU want. So choose a goal that makes sense, not one that makes sense to someone else.
Don’t let change intimidate you. Change is indefinite. We are all living through change. We are forever transforming.
With transformation, there’s a hidden benefit in setting goals. Setting a goal allows us to CHOOSE how we change versus allowing outside circumstances to dictate the process.
Transformation, the possibility of change, it inspires ourselves and creates the passion in our hearts that energizes us towards our highest purpose in life.
And guess what? Transformation starts with a foundation. That foundation is our physical body. We must master our physical body before we can master any other parts of our life. And endurance is the secret weapon. It’s the foundation of everything we want in life!
When you have a dream but are too tired to chase it, endurance propels you forward. When you want to lose weight but feel exhausted from the lack of calories, endurance propels you forward. When you raise your kids all day, work all night, and struggle with your college courses, endurance propels you forward.
That’s why running goals are so important; they not only improve your running, they improve your life!
With the power of endurance on your side, ANYTHING is possible.
So before you do anything, RIGHT NOW, take one action towards one of your running goals. Sign up for the race, buy the book, send the email, whatever the goal may be, take one action step NOW. Because like running; momentum is POWERFUL. Taking the first step towards any goal is the toughest part. So take one step NOW and build the momentum that will propel you to the achievement of your next accomplished running goal.
HAPPY NEW YEAR! It’s time to take action, build your endurance, and start a magnificent year. A brand new year with brand new running goals to create a brand new you!
REMEMBER…no matter the goal, when it’s specific, compelling, and from the heart, it’s only a matter of time before you reach it!
Do you want to run a 50k in 2018? If so click the image below and grab a copy of my new book!
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