The power in setting goals
I enjoy running. There was a time when I was running 5-7 miles per day. For an intermediate runner, running 7 miles at an average pace of 8 minutes is pretty good. Then I hurt my foot and I sat out for over a year while it healed. During my downtime, I gained weight and lost the physical abilities I had developed.
I recently started running again and have slowly been pushing myself (kind of). I have caught myself walking when I shouldn’t be out of made up fear that I will injure my foot again. If I am being real, I am walking because I am not willing to work through my cardio pain, my foot is fine.
This morning as I was getting ready for my run, my wife reminded me that she had to leave at a certain time. This gave me roughly 45 minutes to trot through a few miles and work up a sweat. I set an alarm as a reminder to head back home and to be back in time for her to leave.
As I set out on my walk/run, I quickly got into the mediocre routine of pushing myself followed by a few hundred yard of walking. I convinced myself that maybe this was my new norm and I should just accept that I will not be back in the physical shape I was once in. After all, I am a year older and I have a lot of responsibilities trying to grow my company while staying creative and trying to balance work with my family life. As these thoughts were going through my mind, my alarm rang. I had 8 minutes before my wife had to leave and I was at an intersection where I could either turn back and walk home or go forward and run ¾ of a mile.
What happened during these 5 seconds of making a decision was a transformation in the loser thinking I was beginning to accept. I told myself that turning and walking was not an option and I sprinted ahead. Because I didn’t want to let my wife down, I had set a goal to get back so she could leave on time. I sprinted and reminded myself of how at one point I could do this without hesitation. The idea of my business failing because I was complacent in one aspect of my life pushed me. Not making sales and accepting rejection more easily fueled my burning legs. My lungs felt like they were going to explode but I knew that was my negative thinking trying to sabotage my renewed power.
I got home with 2 minutes to spare. I ran ¾ of a mile in under 6 minutes and I lived to tell about it (meant to be sarcastic and for exaggerated effect). All because I had set a goal of being back at a certain time and the determination not to disappoint people whom I love.
This experience, as insignificant as it may seem, reminded me that setting a goal and not accepting failure as an option is the way I know how to live my life. I realized that a lot of recent issues with clients and lost sales are happening because I had steered from that killer instinct and willingness to work through the pain.
It all begins with a goal. A goal not to disappoint, a goal to be on time, a goal to be the top sales person in your organization, the goal to be a caring parent or the goal to build a 100 million dollar marketing agency that started out of the house.
The power in setting goals is amazing. The power in not allowing rejection or pain that comes with trying to achieve those goals is life changing.
Byron G. Torres
P.S. I will be faster than 8 minute miles again.