Last week, I posted about my 60 mile goal. With 11 days to go, I was 37 miles from my goal. Today, I hit mile 60 and, then, I kept running. Why? Because 62.14 miles is 100KM and I don’t know when I’ll ever be hitting this point again. Could be next month. Could be next year. Could be next lifetime. Who knows. All I know is that, today, I decided to accomplish something I’ve never done before. Why? Because, next time I want to accomplish something major when it comes to running, it has to be bigger than this. I’ve done a half-marathon. I’ve done a 100K month. What’s next? Either a full or 200K.
Now, let that translate to anything else in life. If you set a goal and you’re close to another goal, go ahead. Knock both out if you can. And then set a more challenging one next time around. You were given ability not so you could keep it to yourself but so that you could make some amazing waves on this third rock from the sun.
We’re 62 days until 2019. Don’t make excuses. Figure out how you can accomplish your goals.
Make smashing major goals a priority.
At the beginning of this month, I told myself I would knock out 60 miles. Sounds easy, right? Just means I have to average 2 miles each day.
I started strong and continued strong. I was top three on my Nike Running Club app leaderboard… until homecoming. Since homecoming, I’ve had trouble making a dent in my goal.
Yesterday, I told myself, “You have 10 more days until the month is over and 35.4 miles to run. You can do seven five-mile runs (give or take), four ten-milers, or a variation of the two.” So, I knocked out 5.5 miles and called it quits.
Today, I recalculated; 9 days with 30 miles to do. That’s three ten-milers, ten three-milers, six five-mile runs, or five six-mile runs. I had time so I did the ten.
Now, as I recalculate for the remaining eight days, I have greatly increased my chances of succeeding. I can easily run five miles four times between now and next Wednesday to hit my goal. Tomorrow, I may knock out ten and really increase my chances of succeeding.
How can you take this and apply it to your life? What goals do you have for this month or year that seem to have gotten away from you? Maybe it’s saving money. Maybe it’s losing weight. Maybe it’s knocking out x books. Don’t think about the fact that you won’t get them done. Figure out how you will accomplish them. Do the math, then do more than the minimum. Keep chipping away and, before you know it, you will have reached the goal.
Make finishing a priority.
Ever have that friend who shows up right on time to hang out but you really weren’t expecting them to be there when they were supposed to be?
This year, that friend is August. I’m sitting here looking at my calendar and August is HERE. Here here. As in here right this moment. I’m looking at all I’ve accomplished and, while I am pretty proud with some of my forward steps, I’m behind the 8-ball on a couple things.
So, now that we’ve realized our awesome buddy Auggie is here to crash on my couch for the next 31 days (only to be followed by his sweet sister September), I’ve got some tips for both myself and you all that will help us fast-track our way to reaching our 2018 goals before the ball drops.
- Maximize your time. We all need rest (not just sleep but truly restful periods) to be healthy, happy, and productive people. That being said, some of us have been resting a lot during these first seven months. Shoot, I just took a whole two months away from the United States (but I was working on some major projects while I was gone, so don’t get it twisted). Use your lunch breaks to knock out some smaller tasks or to get a larger task done over the course of a few lunches. If you need to, pick a day out of the weekend to truly wind down but, if you’ve got goals and you’re far behind, you have to make up for time wasted by grinding on that other day.
- Pick an accountability partner. Yesterday, I had lunch with two of my closest friends. We had a running challenge while I was out of the country. I lost badly. They picked on me. The challenge required that the losers buy the winner lunch and the winner certainly didn’t let us off the hook. If you have a goal but you’re having a hard time reaching it, get someone who is going to be honest with you and set some consequences for yourself if you don’t reach it.
- Cut out the unnecessaries. Do you need that burger? How about that beer? You say you want to save money but you’re going out again this Friday? Netflix is cheap (or free for some of us whose families are generous). You set a financial goal at the beginning of the year. What will you need to sacrifice to get there before the end? If you need some help, click this link and check out what George Acheampong can do to help you get on the right track.
- Nike said it best: Just Do It! Apply for that job. Start reading some books. Fill out those incorporation papers. Enter an art competition. You have time and you said that, at the end of 2018, you won’t be in the same place you were at the beginning, but, many times, what stops us from reaching our goals is that we over plan. It would be nice if the stars all aligned and everything was perfect but, to be realistic, that will not be the case very often. Sometimes, you just have to look at the plan you have, say “Shoot, this’ll get me 75% of the way,” and figure the other 25% while you’re on the journey.
We have five more months. That’s almost half a year. You can do this. Put in 2.2x the work and you’ll hit the mark. I know we can do this.
Make achieving your goals a priority.
On Tuesday night, I was having a talk with one of my good friends while I was driving back from Greensboro. We talked about developing good habits and changing destructive ones. It made me think back to the beginning of the year when I committed to living a healthier lifestyle during 2018. And I did for the first quarter. I was eating better, drinking less, and exercising at least five times a week. I even started off the second quarter like that. But, throughout this quarter, I’ve seen my resolve wane, and, this past week and a half, it has come to a complete standstill.
Because life happens. Over the past few weeks, work has been hectic, family has been demanding, and side hustles have been taking up my weekends. I just feel like I don’t have the time. But really, I haven’t had the drive to get it done. There are twenty-four hours in every single day and, where I started the year off using the first two waking hours of those twenty-four to focus on my spiritual, mental, and physical health, lately I’ve felt too drained to do that at all. But we’ll always have some excuse to say we’re drained, be it work or family or funds. But that’s no excuse. Realizing that, I have to work twice as hard to make up for the two weeks of quality work I haven’t put in at the gym or in the kitchen.
Don’t let your 180° change turn to a 360°. Good intentions will have you change for a short period of time. It takes true discipline to ingrain that change into your life. That’s not to say that you won’t hit slumps where you fall off the wagon but staying off is a choice. Choose to get back up and back on today.
Make developing a stronger resolve a priority.
I don’t know what age people become “too old” to change so I’ll say this: You are young enough to change for the better. As I prepare for the next step in my career, I’ve gotten some great advice from a few seasoned professionals who each said, “Whatever the next step is, life is too short to do something you’re good at but that makes you unhappy.” It’s the truth. I’m not saying that I am unhappy but there are days where I ask myself “How can I make the most out of my talents?”
Don’t just jump without thinking about it but don’t not think about it. What really gets your wheels turning? What do you go to bed thinking about and then wake up with on your mind? Answer those questions and figure out how you can make a career out of it. It could be in working for yourself or you could work for an already established entity. While the point isn’t necessarily ownership, it is certainly happiness and it’s not being a slave to any place or person.
No matter what stage you’re at in life, you owe it to yourself to start your days with a smile. Figure out how you can do that and do it. Yesterday is a memory, tomorrow is a fantasty. All we have is now.
By the way, taking that dope photo above? That made me happy.
Make following your dreams a priority.
As I write this on a dreary spring forward Sunday morning, I write with one thing in mind: Even on a rainy morning, a bird gives its all to sing. That bird doesn’t know if today is its final day to sing. It doesn’t know which note will be its last. It just knows that a part of its purpose is to sing its song from the tree in the morning and, therefore, it does just that.
How often do we shirk our responsibilities or our purposes because it’s raining? Whether we decide not to dress decently, at the very least, because of literal rain or we choose not to give our all because of a storm we are currently going through, we are disrespecting the Creator and all those who invested time, money, or energy into their belief that we could be something great.
You are important and the world needs your gifts, so don’t sell yourself short. Take that risk. Apply for that job. Let go of that comfortable thing that is only hindering you. Get up every day and sing your song. Live your purpose. The bird has a lot less to sing about than we do and, yet, he’s out here on this overcast Sunday. I’m willing to bet he’ll be out there with that same intensity on the next sunny Monday too.
Make being great every day a priority.
This year, I started my book. It’s going to be amazing. I’ve been wanting to write one for a while. I’ve started a few times. But I finally found the motivation that’s going to take me the distance.
Get up. Do something every day. If your fitness goal is to get stronger and you do five pushups, that’s better than zero. If you said you’re going to run a 5K, do a 1K power walk on lunch break. If you want to move forward in entrepreneurship or leadership or business, find a journal or credible blog to read. $13 per day will have $5,000 in your savings account after a year. Network. Listen. Learn. Plan but don’t just plan: Do.
Find your reason to hit your goals. No one is going to do it for you. This is your year.
Make getting there a priority.