I was browsing through my Facebook page and saw a post a friend of mine wrote. He and I met while running. We had each done three races in 5 days in three states. I thought I was something special on my end but I was only doing half marathons. He was doing FULL marathons. These three races were just a few races towards his goal to complete 100 marathons. Watching him on Facebook, I know he has been moving full steam ahead and knocking them off like a true champ.
He is part of a group called the Marathon Maniacs and I am part of the Half Fanatics. These groups bring runners together who enjoy running and putting together crazy combinations of races. What we like most about these groups is that there are levels, which we find challenges us to keep going. In the Marathon Maniacs the mark their levels by stars, the Fanatics mark the levels by moons. As we move through these levels, the community of fellow Maniacs and Fanatics cheer us on and a supportive family.
So in his post, my friend noted that it would be cool if there were Maniac shirts with different number of stars on them. He mentioned that as he is knocking off his 100 marathons and moving up in levels, he thought getting a new shirt with the corresponding stars would be a nice reward. I read it and thought the same. However, others who read it had some differing opinions. Sadly, an innocent comment about a shirt turned ugly. We had two camps going to war.
The first camp was supportive (this was the vast majority). They saw why the shirt with different amounts of stars would be cool. Some thought they would buy it and others not but the idea was interesting to them. Why? They felt that celebrating your accomplishments was important. They also thought that seeing other people’s shirts would inspire them to keep moving ahead. So their view was inspiration and encouragement.
The second camp was not so supportive. They wondered why anyone would need to boast about their accomplishments. They even went so far as to bring finishing time into the debate. They felt that it you could not have a sub 4 hour marathon that the stars are not really worthwhile.
What started out as “wouldn’t a new shirt be nice” turned into “if you can’t finish a marathon under 4 hours you should be embarrassed”. The problem is we all run for different reasons. Our goals are different. This friction is not new and most likely will not be resolved any time soon.
This brings me to goal setting. We set goals to help us define a target, what are we working towards. I am working towards completing a half marathon in all 50 states and DC by the time I 50 years old (March 2015). My goal is specific, measurable, and timely. So every morning when I get up I know I have work to do. If I am going to accomplish this goal I have specific things I must do. I have to train, eat right, have a good attitude, plan ahead, etc. When this goal is over I will move on the next big goal. Goals are so personal that one person’s goal may not motivate or inspire you but that doesn’t matter because it is their goal not yours.
Set goals. Make them specific, measurable, and timely. When you accomplish them, be sure to celebrate. Celebrating your accomplishments is not being selfish or bragging. You deserve it. It is in this cycle of setting, achieving, and celebrating that we become better human beings!
I am proud of my friend and know he will accomplish great things. What are your goals? What are you working towards? Are you going to accomplish great things like my friend?
Tell me about them I would love to hear about what you are doing.