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I’m not a big new years resolution person. I feel like they’re kind of hokie and something that everybody does just because. Because why? Because tradition tells us we should?

If we set goals because somebody tells us we should, what do the goals actually mean? What role in personal growth do they fill?

I’m not a person who does things just because somebody tells me I should. There needs to be a purpose when I set goals for myself. Something other than “Father Time says we should all set goals today….GO!” My brain doesn’t work that way.

This might surprise some of you. Others it won’t. I love a good spreadsheet! LOVE! I mean, I live and die by my spreadsheets. I track everything. Weight. Measurements. Bloodwork. Calories in/out. Sleep patterns. Running times/distances. Everything! Data makes me happy. Happy, happy, happy. I start a new spreadsheet each year for some of the things I track (fitness stuff). Other things (bloodwork) I keep one sheet with each years’ data. At the end of each year I analyze my annual spreadsheets and look at improvement or digression. I make assessments of what I need to do better; what I feel like I’m already doing well.

New Years Day as I watched football and poked around on my computer, I got looking at my mileage for the previous year. It was up significantly from the year before. I smiled to myself, recognizing that for all the self doubt and tears that come along with my workouts and runs, that I was improving.

Then a strange thing happened. I had a thought that I could probably DOUBLE my mileage this year from what I had done the previous year. DOUBLE! Now, that’s just crazy talk, right? Cuh-RAZY! I dismissed it at the time and went on about my day. But that little thought kept nagging at me. It nagged at me all month! Nagging nagger who nags! That’s what my brain had become.

So I did the inexcusable! I set a New Year’s Resolution. Granted, it was the beginning of February, but I had decided. I could hit the 300 mile mark in one year. I could do it! Previously, I had managed 150 miles in a year. Prior to that I have managed 90 miles in a year. Prior to that I had managed 50 miles in a year.

Was 300 unrealistic? I had never made this kind of jump before. It was insane to double my mileage over the course of a year. I knew that I would need to get three runs in each week (and I count walks in as my runs because I do mostly intervals). I started thinking about the typical races I do each year, and the work I do ahead of time before each race and then the doubt set in. I convinced myself that there was no way I could make the 300. But, for whatever reason, I went to my Garmin Connect and set the goal. After all, I could delete if I felt the need.

As is traditional with New Years Resolutions, I did really well keeping on task for the first couple of months. Then life happened. For the entirety of the summer, I probably ran twice. My father in law died in August and his illness and death really threw my world into a bit of a tailspin. In September when things settled down I made the mistake of looking at the goal again. I was not even halfway and I had four months left. I had to really take stalk of whether or not it was worth it to bust my ass to hit the goal. After all, I had some pretty legitimate reasons for failing.

The death of a parent is rough. The illness of a parent is equally as rough. Who would really fault me for abandoning my goal? Surely nobody would risk me bursting into tears right in front of them for mentioning the failure. But there was something in my brain that would not let me dismiss it. So I buckled down. My foot was feeling the best it had felt after a two year battle with on again off again plantar fasciitis. With proper precautions I felt that I could give it a big push and try to complete the 300.

Yesterday when I synced my Forerunner, I got this:

goalsmet

I DID IT!!!

With two weeks to spare!

Now, the question of the day is….

Wait for it…

Drum roll…

How the hell do I top that this year?

 

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