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Goals, Schmoals

I’ve never really been someone who loved goals – setting them, reviewing them, completing all those ‘important’ steps to achieve them. Yawn. I’ve read articles about them, attended seminars and various training sessions on them, heck; we learned about them rigorously all throughout school. The importance of setting goals…making them SMART…blah, blah, blah. Whatever. I just don’t DO the whole goal thing.

I don’t know if it is because I’m afraid of failing, if I’m just that non-committal, or if I just don’t want to be held accountable to anyone but my own darn self. I’m not sure…maybe a combination of all that…and my general bad attitude towards someone else telling me what to do (even if that someone else was me). I guess I like the freedom to change my mind…example…my GOAL is to only spend $50 whilst shopping today. However, 30 minutes at Eddie Bauer and I quickly realize this ‘goal’ simply won’t work. It’s just not ‘attainable’, not practical. Before long my goal seems more like a constraint, a burden, some limitation I’ve set upon myself for some reason and I just don’t like that. Not that I’m a fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl (not unlike Ms Vivian) I’m a planner for sure. I like to know what I’m doing, where I’m going, whose going to be there, how much it’s gonna cost me, what time I’m going to be done…you get the idea. I’m pretty anal. So why do I resist the idea that I should set goals??

Well, over the past few months, as I’ve started up this whole running notion…I’ve mentally prepared a few goals for myself. And, I actually verbalized them. To actual people…not the people that live in my head (like my friend Gina who I have conversations with in my head nearly all the time)…but the real live Gina…in the flesh. And YOU, dear blog readers have been privy to my GOAL to run an entire 5K. (That’s 3.1 miles in American.) I think I put it out there to challenge myself…and the pressure was on. The past several weeks I’ve been running with this darn goal in my mind like a black, ominous cloud looming over me while I’m on the treadmill. Grrr…no matter how fast or hard I run, I cannot escape the GOAL I set for myself! Blerg…why did I have to mention it? Why did I have to TELL PEOPLE!?!?!? I could feel myself begin to doubt my abilities. Could I do it? Would I do it? If I didn’t, would I have to admit it to everyone, or would they forget? Is anyone paying attention? Ultimately, I looked at myself and realized I didn’t so much care about telling anyone else. I didn’t really care if you found out whether or not I could do it. I realized I cared if I could do it. I realized how badly I wanted to achieve this stupid goal. For me…and me alone. I wanted to reach this goal, to prove to myself that I have changed…that I’ve made lasting changes…and that I am ABLE to do it.

So yesterday morning I got up, cranked up my Rocky CD while I got dressed, and prepared myself to really reach for that goal. And wouldn’t you know it??? I DID IT!!!! Gina and I ran the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick’s Day 5K together…side by side, she ran my pace, and we ran the whole course. It was hard…it was windy and there was a long, gradual hill towards the end…but I knew that she knew that I had this goal in mind and she knew that I knew that she wouldn’t let me NOT reach it because she knew that I knew deep down I could do it. Coming around the final turn and seeing the finish line she asked if I wanted to push it faster to the finish line…and so I did. I ran the fastest my little legs have ever run…right up to the finish line where Hope, Meghan, and Matt were waiting for us. I saw the time and realized that I had achieved another of my goals…one I hadn’t mentioned out loud to many people. I wanted to improve on my time and was HOPING I could finish in less than 35 mins. Our official time was clocked at 34:41. Somehow I managed to reach both of my goals. It felt (and still feels, actually) great.

Now maybe there is something to the whole goal concept…but I’m not sure I’m 100% sold on it yet. We’ll see…


Emily said…
Way to go! Goals are just a tool for going after what you want for yourself - the important part is the pursuit, that you're always chasing down your life's best, using whatever tools work best for you. I think?

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