Three years ago, today, I completed my first 10k EVER! And it was at Disney World. I wrote about that experience and what I learned on a blog here. That 10k showed me that I could accomplish so much more than I ever thought I could, just by pushing myself to step outside my comfort zone. And finishing that race made me proud of myself, REALLY proud of myself.
Funny how that memory popped up in my Facebook newsfeed today. A day when I am looking back on the goal I set for myself January 1st, 2020. The goal to complete the Run the Year challenge and to complete all 2,020 miles in that year. It was a lofty goal for me, to say the least.
I set that goal with the same determination that got me through the 10k and with the knowledge learned from that race that I was capable of so much more than I gave myself credit for. I was pushing myself to step outside my comfort zone, once again. And this time I was encouraged and inspired by a wonderful group of ladies—friends I walk with and participate in 5k’s with. These ladies inspire me to keep moving, even when I don’t want to.
The thing about goals is that they need to be realistic. Was the goal of completing 2020 miles in one year realistic? For some yes. But for me? At the time I set the goal I believed it was. I believed it would be challenging. REALLY challenging. And I knew I would have to push myself a little harder, that I would have to make myself get out and walk those miles. But I also knew I was going to be doing a number of 5ks over the year and that would mean lots of long walks in training for those races. Yes, I BELIEVED it was reasonable. More importantly, I BELIEVED it was doable for me! I BELIEVED I could do it!
THAT, of course, was before the year 2020 showed its true colors.
I started off the challenge strong. The first week of January 2020, which was only 5 days, I managed to get 28.89 miles! Ahead of the 5 miles I knew I would need on average each day. I GOT this!
The second week of January was even stronger, 36.7 miles!! I was on my way to success.
And then I got sick the middle of the third week, and my miles slowed. I was able to still accomplish 22 miles for the week, thanks to not being sick the first few days.
The fourth and fifth weeks of January found me still sick, but I pushed a little each day (mainly just walking in my house) and finished the month with 105 miles. THAT was success for being so sick.
I was sick for a full 4 weeks. And that slowed me down. I missed my favorite 5k. I was falling behind on my goal. But it was only February and I had the rest of the year to finish. I still believed I would accomplish my goal.
Once I was feeling better I was able to finish February with 98 miles total! YES! I could and would do this! I had NOT stopped believing!
A serious back injury sidelined me. For a long time. I finished March with a total of 3.5 miles.
3.5 miles for an ENTIRE month!
I wanted to quit. I stopped wearing my fitbit. I would NEVER reach my goal and I stopped believing I would. Why bother?
But the thing about goals is that they CAN be adjusted.
I realized that 2,020 miles was too lofty of a goal, given my health issues. And then add in the pandemic and more health issues and that goal was no longer realistic or achievable. To continue to push toward the goal, to continue to tell myself that I HAD to reach that goal would be to set myself up for failure. And that was NOT acceptable.
Sometimes the road on our journey is filled with potholes and closed roads. Sometimes we take a detour.
But taking the detour does not mean we will not eventually reach our destination.
A detour can still get us to where we were going, it just may take a little longer and it may look a little different. And sometimes the detour sends us to a different destination, that ends up being the destination we were meant to arrive at, at that moment in our lives.
Detours are an opportunity to learn and to build on those lessons. It is an opportunity to make adjustments based on what is working and what is not.
2020 sent me on a detour far from my original goal of 2,020 miles. And I was frustrated, defeated and even began to feel like I failed. I wanted to quit!
But I was NOT failing. Life happens. And sometimes we need to make adjustments. We need to consider the circumstances in our lives, control what we can and not stress about what we cannot control. We then re-evaluate and set a new goal and we take that detour to success.
Changing an unrealistic goal to one that is more realistic is NOT giving up or a sign of failure. Instead, adjusting goals set us up for success. Adjusting goals gives us motivation. And THAT helps us to continue our journey.
The detour took me quite a bit off course, but I did not fail. I pushed on. I persevered despite my challenges.
I adjusted my goal and set a new one. One that was more realistic for me at that time in my life–500 miles.
And I achieved my goal of 500 miles. In fact, I surpassed my goal, achieving a total of 689 miles for the year.
I am very proud of myself for achieving my new goal and for not giving up on me!
I did not quit and THAT is what makes me a success!
Whatever your challenges, whatever the detour, as long as you do not give up on YOU, then YOU are a success!
Adjust those goals when you need to and keep going!