goals

The Joy of Running in the Back of the Pack.

Running a half marathon is a huge accomplishment for anyone who does it. There are people in the front, middle, and back of the race. Do you know what goes on in the back of the pack? Sit down. Let me tell you the joy of running in the back of the pack.

I ran a half marathon on Memorial Day. It was my third half marathon.

One thing that has been the same in all my half marathons is that I am a solid back of the pack runner. I start my races in the back and I finish my races in the back. I am well acquainted with waving at the front runners as they pass me on the other side of the road. I can see their faces. I see the focus. I see the determination. I see the drive.

I have never been in the front of the race so I can’t really speak to what it’s like up there. I’m sure it is so exciting. Hearing the cheers as you achieve some incredible time must be enough to keep you floating for days. Seeing all that training pay off must be a reward like no other.

What I can do, though, is tell you what it’s like running in the back. I can tell you about what I see and what I experience. I can tell you what a joy it is to run in the back. 

I can tell you about the focus, determination, and drive.

It takes a ton of hard work on and off the road to finish a half marathon (13.1 miles) in just over an hour.

It takes a lot of focus and determination to run the same distance in 3 or more hours. While the front-runners are eating their bananas and rehydrating, My peeps and I are just starting to hit our sweet spot. We’ve only done a third of the race.

I remember talking to a fast runner after one of my previous half marathons about how much respect I had for how fast he is. I told I couldn’t imagine being that fast. He responded with, “No, I have so much respect for YOU. I can’t imagine being out there for so long and never giving up. We need more of that.”

I can tell you about the stories.

One of the benefits of being a slower runner and hanging out in the back of the pack is that you have ample time to get to know each other.

There are plenty of people who want to be alone and zone out to their music and that’s okay. And there are others who are more than happy to engage. If you are willing to engage with them you can hear some pretty awesome stories.

I have heard stories of incredible weight loss, overcoming cancer, grieving the loss of a loved one, coming out of depression and anxiety, and health scares that can jerk anyone into healthier living.

These are the stories that will get you wondering why you didn’t start earlier.

They make you think about how small your seemingly big obstacles really are now.

These are the stories that tell you that you really can do anything and now is the time to things done.

It is an absolute honor to run in the back.

It is an honor to be in the presence of real-life superheroes.

I could tell you my own story of overcoming depression and making the choice every single day that I am worth the effort to get up and go running even if just for today. But, let me tell you. Those other stories in the back of the pack will bring you to your knees.

I can tell you about the community.

It is like a family in the back.

Just like we tell our stories to each other we also take care of each other. We all know the struggle of being out there for so long.

We know the pain and the frustration. We also know the determination to not quit.

If you are in the back you will hear plenty of, “Come on. It’s only X miles to the end. You’ve already gone Y miles.” Or, “Give me one more mile. I know you’ve got one more mile in you.”

You’ll see strangers wait on the side of the road while someone they just met that day is throwing up or just needing a break.

Finishing times aren’t quite as important in the back. It’s more about just finishing the race.

Isn’t that what life is all about? It’s more about the journey than the finish?

We help each other have the best experience possible.

Running a half marathon is a huge accomplishment for anyone who does it. There are people in the front, middle, and back of the race. Do you know what goes on in the back of the pack? Sit down. Let me tell you the joy of running in the back of the pack.

I will tell you about the competition

In the back of the pack, the competition is with no one but yourself.

The pressure is off.

No one is trying to be the first, second, or 50th place. It is all about finishing and overcoming something.

You are pushing past the leg cramps, labored breathing, and dehydration and accepting nothing less than a finish.

And everyone around you is in the same place as you.

This is when the personal mantras come out to play and you hope and pray that TODAY mind WILL overcome body.

And since the back of the pack is a community, we help each other because we all have that same goal. We aren’t competing with each other. We are competing with ourselves and helping each other.

There is so much HEART in the back of the race. Click To Tweet

I can tell you about the finish line.

Goodness. That finish line. It is amazing.

You have been thinking and dreaming of that finish line for 2.5+ hours.

That moment when the finish line of your imagination that propelled you forward becomes the finish line in front of you is indescribable.

The big crowds are probably not there because many have gone home already. And that’s okay because you can hear your family cheering you on. You also have the new family that has been with you every step of the way that day. You celebrate the journey together. You high five, fist bump, sweaty hug, and celebrate. It has been an awesome day of mind over body.

When the race is over you go home to rest and recuperate. In moments of incoherence, you dream of your next big challenge and you think about the awesome people you’ll meet at that next race.

And you smile.

Because we back of the packers have got to stick together. The true spirit of the race happens at the back of the race. And who would bring that if we didn’t?

 

 

Running a half marathon is a huge accomplishment for anyone who does it. There are people in the front, middle, and back of the race. Do you know what goes on in the back of the pack? Sit down. Let me tell you the joy of running in the back of the pack.

 

Running a half marathon is a huge accomplishment for anyone who does it. There are people in the front, middle, and back of the race. Do you know what goes on in the back of the pack? Sit down. Let me tell you the joy of running in the back of the pack.
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How To Not Quit: 5 Tips

Are you having a hard time and wanting to quit? Don't quit yet!! Here are five tips to help you not quit and crush that awesome goal.

Do you ever have those feelings of wanting to quit?

There was a time when you were so passionate about your current project. The vision and the why were strong enough to get you up in the morning and to get you working with reckless abandon till the wee hours of the night.

Then the Honeymoon period passed.

The zing is gone. It starts getting hard. There are new roadblocks and dead ends. Your desire to work on this project is going away, just like the wind.

And then the thought pops into your head. What thought, you ask?

What if I just quit?

How things would be simpler and easier then!! What a wonderful thought!

But, you’ve worked too hard to quit and yet, you just can’t shake those feelings. What should you do now?

How do you fight off the feeling of wanting to quit?

Give Yourself Five Seconds

Running away from our feelings or denying that we are having negative feelings is not the solution to anything. We need to acknowledge that we are having these feelings so that we can work through them and figure out why they are happening to begin with.

So, you want to quit. Nothing seems to be working and you want to give up on this thing and move on to the next shiny thing.

I hear you. It totally stinks.

Give yourself FIVE seconds to wallow and whimper and whine. It’s okay. Go ahead. Feel ALL the feelings.

5…..4….3…..2…..1…..

DONE!

Some problems may be big enough that five seconds just doesn’t cut it. That’s okay. Allow yourself that time. But, put a time limit on the wallowing and stick to that time limit. You can’t wallow forever and get anywhere good.

Do you want to quit? Things not going well? Wallow. Stop. Move on. Click To Tweet

Go Exercise

Exercising is my go-to method of clearing my mind of all the junk and seeing things more clearly.

I especially love to go for really long runs and the length of the runs is often determined by how much junk needs to be cleared out. I never regret a run. (Well, there was that one time when I severely rolled my ankle about three miles from home and I had to start hobbling home while I waited for my husband to pick me up.) I also enjoy a good cleansing yoga workout for mind clearing and mood lifting.

Do something that is physically challenging. Run farther than you thought possible, do a yoga flow you thought way too hard, or lift weights you didn’t think you were ready for.

Whatever your preconceived limits are, go after them like a tiger, and prove to yourself that those limits were actually all in your head.

And guess what?

So are the limits you have in your head for whatever you ware wanting to quit.

Clear your head and prove you can push past your limits with exercise. Click To Tweet

Be Inspired By Someone Else

I am a visual learner and I love to watch all kinds of videos on YouTube. I love TED Talks, coaching videos, motivational videos, etc.

When I’m feeling like I want to quit I almost always go to YouTube and find a video about someone who pushed past her limits and did something amazing. It can be just about anything. It can be someone climbing Mt. Everest or completing some crazy ultramarathon or even refusing to accept the life the world was dealing her and pulling herself up by her bootstraps.

Watching regular people do seemingly impossible things proves to me that it’s not actually impossible. It’s just a matter of solving problems.

Are you having a hard time and wanting to quit? Don't quit yet!! Here are five tips to help you not quit and crush that awesome goal.

Tap Into Your WHY

If you haven’t already, use the FIVE WHYS Exercise to figure the deepest reason of why you took on this project, to begin with.

Find the Why That Makes You Cry. Click To Tweet

It is that reason that will keep you moving forward no matter how hard it gets.

That WHY is much bigger than you and it transcends everything that could go wrong.

That WHY has the strength and the courage to take on any obstacle with reckless abandon.

It is normal to tuck the why away when the work gets overwhelming. Don’t feel bad if you forget your Why. That’s why you have to remind yourself of the WHY and tap into the power you find there.

Refuse to Quit…Today

There are days when the feeling of wanting to quit is so overwhelming that it seems like the only option. Deep down you don’t want to really quit but what else is there to do?

Refuse to quit….Today. Click To Tweet

Promise yourself that TODAY, you will NOT quit.

Tomorrow, maybe you’ll quit. But, not today.

This is similar to a mind trick or game I play with myself when I’m on a particularly long run. There are almost always times when I feel like I need to quit and stop running. My legs burn, I’m tired, I can’t breathe, whatever the reason may be. The desire to stop running is really REALLY strong. I know there is always more in the tank than what my mind is telling me.

I promise myself that if I run to a certain tree or street lamp in the distance then I can stop running and walk home. That is always just enough to keep me powered up and moving forward because I know there is an end in sight.

Once I get to the blessed promised tree, I repeat the process. Run that that next tree and THEN you can stop running and walk home.

Rinse and repeat. It works every time.

Today is your tree in the distance.

Refuse to quit until you get to the end of the day or tree and then walk home. You did what you promised yourself.

Tomorrow, repeat. Your next tree is at the end of that day. Refuse to quit until you get there.

Keep doing this over and over and over and over. Next thing you know you never quit after all and you did far more than you ever thought possible.

Count Your Blessings And Wins

Remind yourself that you GET to do this!!

Remember that most people in the world don’t have the opportunities that YOU have.

Start a Gratitude and Wins Journal and write in it every single day, morning and night.

Keep a record of all your WINS no matter how small to remind yourself that you really ARE making progress even if seemingly minuscule. Forward is forward.

Use your Gratitude and Wins Journal for an attitude check.

Things may seem bad but when you are reminded of all the things you are doing right then your eyes are more open to the future and how you will get there.

Ready to not quit and tackle your goal?!

Let’s do this!

 

 

 

 
 

Photo by Kyle Szegedi on Unsplash

 

Are you having a hard time and wanting to quit? Don't quit yet!! Here are five tips to help you not quit and crush that awesome goal.
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Leaders Are Readers: Reading Again in 2017

 

Back in December of 2016, I knew there had to be more that I could do to improve my life. What was I missing in my daily routine that I could start now and would have a tangible effect on my life?

I was reminded that the average Millionaire reads for self-development every day. They read at least one non-fiction book a month and oftentimes, more than one. Fiction reading has its time and place for sure. It has even been shown that regular reading of novels and such helps to build empathy and improve how we relate to others.  But, it is still the self-improvement books that take center stage. Books with topics such as self-help, history, biographies, mental training, leadership, and science are the ones that get the millionaire’s attention most of the time.

That got me thinking. 

What do you do when you want to change your life?

Find people you want to be like and do what they do.

Easy, right?

Well, it is easy when you remain coach-able and follow directions….one step at a time.

I knew that I needed to get back into the daily habit of reading.

 
 


 

 

There was a time when I was an avid reader growing up but, unfortunately, it fell by the wayside once I became a mom. Reading with my son was the most reading I got during that season. 

The average millionaire reads at least one non-fiction book a month. Leaders Are Readers! Click To Tweet

As is the case for any habit, I knew for the habit to stick I couldn’t go crazy with huge goals. It had to be attainable and capable of easy growth. Otherwise, I would burn out by the end of January. 

I set the goal to read twelve books in 2017.

My goal for 2017 was to just get into the habit of daily reading. It didn’t matter what I was reading. I figured I could be more strategic in book choices once I was back in the habit of reading. My goal was to just turn the TV or phone off for a few minutes a day and choose a book instead. 

I am happy to report that, at the time of this writing, I have read TWENTY books in 2017. There will most likely be one or two mushed in there before the ball drops on New Year’s Eve.

I used the Goodreads App to track what books I was reading, to review the books I finished, and to keep a running “To Be Read” list. It really helped me keep a running list of books that were recommended to me in one space. 

Goodreads is also a social network for readers so you can keep up with your reader friends and what they currently reading. It’s great because I can peruse their reading lists and click “Want to Read” whenever something piques my interest. You can find MY profile HERE!

Oh, so you want to know WHAT I read this year?

OKAY! Here’s the list… so far!

(FYI…these are affiliate links to Amazon and I will gain a small commission if you click through and buy anything on Amazon.)

The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic by Jennifer Trafton

Amos Fortune, Free Man by Elizabeth Yates

The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare

Silence: A Novel by Shusaku Endo

Teaching From Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide To Unshakeable Peace by Sarah Mackenzie

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

Celebration of Discipline: The Path To Spiritual Growth by Richard J. Foster

Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewishness of Jesus Can Transform Your Faith by Ann Spangler

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

The Underground Railroad: by Colson Whitehead (PULITZER PRIZE WINNER!)

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit by Seth Godin

Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle by Tom Venuto

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

You are a Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living An Awesome Life by Jen Sincero

Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box by The Arbinger Institute

The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8 AM) by Hal Elrod

I set a goal in 2017 to read 12 books. I read 20 books….so far. That is a goal smashed!!  

I plan to make 2018 even more amazing. I am setting my reading goal to be 30 books. At least half of those books will be non-fiction books.

How about you? 

How many books have you read this year? 

What kind of books did you read? 

 

Happy Reading!!

 
 


 

Stock Image Credit:
Aaron Burden

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Getting Things Done: Outcome Vs. Behavior Goals

Goals.

Do you have goals?  What kind of goals do you have?

I think we can all agree that having goals is incredibly important to being successful in whatever it is you are trying to achieve. It helps to have something to work towards instead of going along with no destination in mind.

But, do you have the right kind of goals?

Having goals is very important and having the right kind of goals is just as important.

Let’s talk about the two types of goals.

OUTCOME goals:

  • “I want to lose 20 lbs. by Christmas.”
  • “I want to run a 5K in under 23 minutes.”
  • “I want to write a book in 2018.”

These type goals do not make sense because LIFE HAPPENS. The world is pretty uncontrollable. You can’t make your body lose 20 pounds on command any more than you can make sure your house is worth a certain amount when you sell it. In other words, you can’t control the outcome.

 
 


 

 

However, you can control your BEHAVIOR:

  • “I will run 4 times every week focusing on increasing my running intervals.”
  • “I will diligently track my food, exercise, and work on my new habit every week.”
  • “I will write 1000 Words A Day.”

Notice how all of the behavior goals are a commitment to do a specific set of actions or tasks that lead to the outcome you want.

You can’t always control the outcome but you can always control the behavior. Click To Tweet

So here’s your assignment for the next couple days….

1) Write down what you would like to achieve in your fitness journey.
2) What can you do this MONTH to help you achieve your future goal (BEHAVIOR goals)?
3) What can you do this WEEK to achieve your future goal?
4) What can you do TODAY to achieve your future goal?

These are all BEHAVIOR goals. 

I would love to hear some of your goals!

It is okay to under-estimate. It is better to meet small goals consistently and add up to big goals.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. 🙂

You will see how all these behaviors will ultimately help you achieve your outcome goal but in controllable and achievable steps that are kinder to your overall being.

 
 


 

Stock image credit:
Cathryn Lavery

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How To Conquer Those HUGE Goals

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link.)

Starting a blog is hard.

Running a marathon is hard. 

When I started this blog, I had no idea how much was involved.

I knew that I needed to invest in some coaching this time around. I’ve started blogs in the past but I had zero ideas what I was doing. ZERO. I figured I could bootstrap it and figure it out along the way. In some ways that is true but I am determined to make this blog work. I have a stronger vision and much bigger goals.

So, I bought coaching and it has helped me a ton.

Even with that said, I am still shocked and sometimes overwhelmed about how much there is to grow a profitable blog.

Pinterest to Freebies.
Opt-ins to Twitter.
Producing Products to E-mail marketing
The list goes on and on and on.

Once I got through the awesome course I bought, I realized how big the blogging world really was. Holy Moly Sweet Jesus.

How in the world will I learn all of this?

Here’s what I’m doing. I’ve taken a play from my son’s homeschool playbook. 

EASY + 1

You can relate this to blogging or training to run a marathon .

Here’s how it works.

You see a project or massive goal that you want to attack. It is HUGE and honestly, quite overwhelming. How in the world will you ever get it done? 

You are right. There is no way you can do this where you are right now.

But, you CAN do it by moving one step at a time and challenging yourself bit by bit.

The EASY in this formula is all the things you already know how to do.

It could be that you already know how to post basic blog articles or that you can walk a mile pretty easily.

Keep doing the easy things, putting one foot in front of the other.

But, doing the EASY things like posting basic blog articles and walking for a mile will not get you to a profitable blog or running a marathon.

You have to CHALLENGE yourself. That’s where the +1 comes in.

Don’t stay where you are. Do the easy and take it up a step.

Easy + 1 gets the job done.

Let’s look at a couple scenarios to drive this home. 

Scenario #1

You know how to post basic blog posts. By all means, keep putting out quality content on a regular basis.

Remember, bloggers are writers first. 

Now start adding graphics that you created in places like PicMonkey or Canva .

Got the pictures under your belt? Can you make quality pictures quickly? Yes?

Now your Easy is a basic blog post with awesome graphics.

Add another tool to your “Awesome Profitable Blog” toolbelt. 

Don’t stop there!

Keep making your basic blog posts with awesome graphics.

Then, start sharing those blog posts with awesome graphics in Facebook Groups.

To do that you need to figure out which groups are best for you and your niche, join them, and figure out the atmosphere in there. This will take some time. This is your next +1.

You will be creating basic blog posts with awesome graphics that you share in your favorite Facebook Groups.

Keep doing that, bit by bit, until you have a profitable blog.

Take the Easy and +1 it with each new and challenging step. You WILL get there.

 
 


 

 

Scenario #2

You can only walk a mile at a time but you have this HUGE dream to run across a marathon finish line. (*author waving hand*)

It seems impossible right now. Well, that’s probably because it is impossible….where you are right now.

That’s okay. Don’t give up because it’s impossible now. 

Keep doing your one-mile walk.

Then add another half mile. Do that till it’s easy. And repeat.

Start adding in small bursts of running. Do that till it’s easy.

Lengthen the small bursts of running. Do that till it’s easy.

Increase how far you run each day.

Next thing you know, you are running the marathon (26.2, BABY!!).

That wasn’t so hard, was it?

Okay, yes, it was hard but you tackled it the Easy + 1 way.

This is exactly how I am facing this massive world of profitable blogging AND running my first marathon.

I am not there yet but I am tackling each +1 and adding another tool to my toolbelt with each step.

This method really helps those feelings of being overwhelmed at conquering HUGE goals. Just focus on each new challenging step, step by step, and eventually, you’ll get there. 

In the meantime, your job is to work with diligence and to always pursue that Easy + 1. Click To Tweet

 
 


 

Stock Photo Credit:
Joshua Earle

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