Mid-Year Running Goals and Summer Smiles Check

June and Summer is here! That means longer and warmer days, and hotter runs. These are the days we covet early morning and night runs, and even running in thunderstorms and the rain. It’s not hard to see why some of us are still reeling at the pace of this year and how quickly Summer has come upon us, and it hardly seems fair that Spring was here for all of a few weeks and now we’re summer running already. Hopefully that means we’ve gotten off the ground with some, or most, of our 2018 goals and have reason to smile.

Right around now, or mid-year, is always a good time to take a step back to reassess how far along we’ve come and where we’re headed. It may be necessary to even adjust some priorities and expectations. Be OK with that. Let it be enough that you were able to get a few things accomplished, or off the ground, and that there are some months left to work with. We are often our worst critics and are first to beat ourselves up when things don’t work out; that can sometimes be a good thing in that it can cause us to own up to our actions and seek to better them. On the other hand, too much of that and the unwillingness to cut ourselves some slack and apply the necessary pat on the back when it’s due, and we could find ourselves a bit jaded and unmotivated to take on the rest of the year.

For my part, I am one to focus on the positives and run with it; some of which include surviving Boston, which became a last-minute goal upon realizing that a PR was going to be near impossible. I did get in a new course – a destination marathon of sorts – out in Providence, RI and picked up a BQ. Additionally, I’m doing better with managing my time and finances around my running, which has allowed me to focus on other non-running related things that needed my attention. Still, there have been a couple of areas that have lost me or not gotten as much attention. The next six months will present ample opportunity to give it another go and place some focus there and on any other outstanding or unfinished business for this year. Some of that focus will be trained on continuing the run or a half-marathon PR, doing my charity run, and getting back on the logging-my-miles wagon. Yep, I’m shaking my heading with a smile here, I’ve fallen off too many times already but I won’t give up. I’ll get it right eventually I know.

One of the reasons it’s important to check in with our goals is that we can realign our them with our reality, if that reality has changed, and view ourselves and the foreseeable future through positive and realistic lens; this sets us up to achieve our year-end goals and leaves us ready to run this year out. So there you have it. Six months later, we’re looking OK and forward to accomplishing what’s left on that 2018 list. More importantly, we’re still smiling!

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On with the New Year, Easy on the Goals

Only 11 days inside the New Year and many of us are already stressing 2018 Goals. If you mean to begin how you want or expect things to end, then this does not bode well for those of us indulging this early in a stress fest. This is why I’ve opted to do things a bit differently this year; instead of my “a million things to-do list,” I’ve opted to keep it simple by having one over-arching goal of managing my time and finances wisely to be better able to do things that really matter (this year) and add value to my life. This has cut down a typically sizeable list to two main goals with strategic steps to get me there with minimum stress.

I am mindful that managing my time and finances wisely doesn’t necessarily translate into success but will require a steadfast and systematic approach to acquiring the art of saying no. No to things that seem appealing, desirable, and irresistible even. No to things that do not add value and gets in the way of me achieving financial satisfaction and causes me to spread myself too thinly across an array of feel-good, do-good obligations. This systematic approach involves noting where I hope to be when December rolls around and listing tactics like: making monthly spending budgets, Starting a savings plan, and utilizing a calendar approach to keep track of my training, races, gym work, hours of sleep, and overall health.

I am not fooled into thinking this is an easy switch. On the contrary, this concentrated effort is probably going to impose constraints on my otherwise free-spirited lifestyle. But, I’m convinced this is the way forward if I stand any chance of achieving a sense of purpose and self this year. I’ve dedicated this month to etching out my plan and to enlist ways to hold myself accountable, thus creating some breathing room to allow me to focus within the limits I have constructed. I’d be less than honest if I didn’t say I’m a tad intimidated by the whole affair. On the other hand, I recognize it as necessary as running. While I’m not one to dwell, the lesson learnt last year RE the limits to my super powers (I’m still getting comfortable with this notion that I’m simply human and can only do so much and not all at once) is one I intend to make work for me this time around.

Here’s to making it happen this year, one goal at a time! 🍻

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