It’s a new year. A great time to set resolutions. The problem with resolutions is that we often propose a grand sweeping change but don’t have steps to achieve it. What you need are goals not resolutions. And don’t just repackage your resolution as a goal. “I want to start running” is a great goal but is it achievable and how do you know when you’ve reached it? Goals need planning.
Of course, there’s a method and a cute acronym. SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. A better goal is “I want to run the 2015 Rock and Roll Half-Marathon in Phoenix”. That by the way is my goal. The 2014 one is tomorrow, so I have a year.
It’s specific. I want to be able to compete in an event.
Measurable. In October, if you said I’d run two miles. I would have laughed at you. I ran four on Wednesday. For me, I’m creating my own timetable with plans to run a couple of 5K and 10K events this year including a mud run in August. I’m researching training strategies to increase distance and speed.
Attainable. I’m starting a year in advance. Plenty of time to work up to this. I can’t remember the minimum time-frame but deciding in December 2014 for January 2015 isn’t long enough.
Relevant. I’ve been trying to get in shape. I love being outside. And now that I’ve actually tried it, found out that running isn’t so bad and it’s a great time for me to focus on God. I pray, listen to praise music, and enjoy His creation.
Time-bound. I have one year. As soon as I get a list of local events, I’ll plan for ones I want to do and will set goals for them such as time or if it’s a 10K, make sure I can run the distance.
Do you have a crazy dream? Make it specific, set measurable benchmarks, tweak it to be realistic, decide if it’s something you want to do or will be beneficial to you, and set a deadline. Remember the words of Paul to the church in Corinth. He told them all runners run but only one receives the prize. We are to run to win. And to do that, athletes exercise self-control. We are working not for a medal that will tarnish but a permanent reward. We must run with purpose, discipline our bodies. And like Paul, I’m saying this to myself as much as you lest I be disqualified. [my paraphrase of 2 Corinthians 9:24-27 based on the ESV]
What are your goals for 2014?