Making BIG goals when life is uncertain
When life is crazy and there are not many constants, it can feel like you are just trying to hold on and make it through another month, or week… or even day! I felt that a lot over the last seven years and five moves. Especially since I wasn’t working outside the home, I had times where I felt like a wanderer, always just trying to get my bearings again in a new city.
But, last year around my birthday, I decided it was time for some goals. I wanted real, tangible, measurable goals that could be a new, different sort of benchmark in my life. And it didn’t matter where we were going to be living in a year from now! It was time to focus on the present.
My husband and I have tried to do this to a certain extent each year around our anniversary. We have a notebook that we have had since we got married. Each year, we sit down and reflect on the last year, make some tangible, realistic goals for the coming year (like buying a new car, or taking a trip to a new location). Then, we also spend time “dreaming” (for the lack of a better word) about big, important, fun and sometimes scary, things we’d like to do! Sometimes we have no idea if they will actually happen, but usually it is neat to chat about the possibilities and think into the unknown future!
One goal I made for myself last year was to get back into running like I had prior to giving birth to my first child. I started running in college, and I never really stopped running per se, but I did stop running longer distances (once my show was over at the gym, I was off the treadmill!) I had finished several half marathons prior to my baby, but I just couldn’t get back into the swing of things after I had my son and then my daughter two and a half years later. So, last year I signed up for a marathon!
And I automatically worried (probably rightly so) that I wouldn’t be able to make my goal, but slowly, I started making time to run longer and farther. I saw myself carving out time to do something I loved and that made me feel really good. My miles went up, and with that, so did my happiness!
Then January rolled around and I was only a little more than two months out from my race, I realized a marathon just wasn’t in the cards for me this year. On the other hand, a half-marathon was TOTALLY doable (a task that would not have been possible for me a year ago!) So, I switched my registration and we were back on track! (Hey, I never said goals couldn’t change or shift! They are YOUR goals after all!)
Fast forward to last weekend, and wow, what a race! It was a perfect day for running, (warmer, but still with a crispness in the air) and I was so excited. Believe me, it wasn’t easy. I was in pain for a good deal of the race, and it was the slowest I had ever ran a half marathon. But, I did it and my family was there cheering me on the whole time! I was so, so glad that I set a goal and accomplished it! Now, to figure out my next goal!
What are your goals? Do you ever hold yourself back because of uncertainties about your family and life?
-by Emily Robertson