Bigger Goals

Lately I have been finding that those small goals just aren't enough to keep me motivated. There have been so many things going on in my life that is has been far easier to say that those things need to be done and there just isn't enough time left over for exercise. And to a certain extent that has even been true - things like moving house (again, and not for the last time), and Home Shows, and students' assessment marking, and kids' sports and cultural events can't be put on hold in the same way that a half-hour run can. What does it matter if I skip one?

But it does matter, and that's where the bigger goals come in.

In the same way that for me my weight was a catalyst but not a motivator, small goals alone are a benchmark but not a motivator. Not all people do, but I need something to work towards, and/or something to measure myself against. There are a few things I can do:
  • pick a challenge - find something that I have not done before, that is going to extend me. It doesn't matter if this is a personal goal or something external, but I need to find something that is way bigger than my small goals, but doable if I keep extending them.
  • pick a milestone - and then think how I could beat it. This will be something that I have done before, that I feel I could do better on another go.
  • pick an event - this could be something that I have done before, or not. There are so many different types of things that this could be out there, and so many opportunities. An event gives me something to work towards.
  • pick a date - give myself a deadline. This could be with the smaller goals, so that as well as saying that I have this goal, I can compare that extension to where I am now, and choose a realistic time frame to get to the next point. Or it could be on a larger extension, or the challenge, and again, pick a realistic timeframe within which I could reach that goal. 
I have at the moment committed to something that will cover three of these possibilities; with a team of colleagues (who are all entering different variations) I have entered for the half-marathon distance of the local off-road marathon, the West Coaster

This will be a challenge; I have never done an off-road half before, and this one is seriously off-road, with river-crossings and some serious climbs, as well as cliffs to run along, eek! This will be a great event; as well as my colleagues, there will be some friends from my fitness class doing parts of it as well, and we can all collapse in a heap at the end together. And this is a really clear date; there is even a count-down clock on the website which tells me that it is 83 days, 18 hours and 34 minutes until it all happens, o hell.

All of these things motivate me. All of things make me feel that I must get that run in there. And all of these things make me make a plan of how to make it happen. 

How am I doing that?
  • Take advantage of those moments - there is some interesting weather now we are out on the coast, so I am waiting for those equinoctial thunderstorm squalls to pass over, spotting that bit of blue sky and saying what the hell, if I get a bit wet, that's okay. 
  • Or those other moments - when I get home with the blue small person on the days when the pink small person is dancing, I often have a window between that getting home point and the going out again to collect said pink small person where I can fit something in, and with daylight saving time around the corner, I might even be able to do it after getting both small people home!
  • Realising that more small bits of exercise are just as effective as less big bits, and easier to schedule, so if that's what it takes, I don't have to do 10km (or whatever) every time.
  • Making the small bits hard. Haha, that's easy now. This is the beginning of the 640-odd steps that go straight up the front of the Muriwai hill; it's about a kilometre, but it takes me twice as long as any normal kilometre. I'm sure it must be good for me, and, as part of a 4km circuit, I can do it a couple of times and know that I have done a serious workout. And the view at the top, which is the picture above, is pretty damn stunning!
  • Doing parts of the event - I now live close to the mid-point of the half, so just along the road, I can duck in to either part and do some of it. I can definitely include the loop section, once I get up to that sort of distance, although I don't think I'll be doing the clifftop bit as practice, because that scares me more than a little.
  • Having a schedule - thanks Nicholette for sharing the 12 week plan from one of your other events, now I have in my diary the distances I need to run on the days that I will most likely be able to do them. For me, it is good to have something concrete, rather than a nebulous idea of "I need to do something like..."
And the last thing I need to do is keep prioritising my exercise on the same level as all the bigger stuff. Having a bigger goal, for me, is the way to do that.

How do you make things happen? What sort of bigger goals do you have at the moment? What do you do once you have reached your bigger goal?

#healthandfitness  #fitnessgoals  #muriwai  #goals  #westcoaster

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