TGIF: Setting and Accomplishing Milestones

Hey y’all!

Back again on a late Friday night to start something new. Hopefully, I’ll be able to consistently do this and eventually incorporate videos into this. Every Friday, I’d like to pick a topic to talk about in relation to my journey. This week, it’s all about milestones.

This topic instantly came to mind as today I accomplished a big milestone. I ran a 6 minute, 14 second timed mile at my gym (shout-out to Orangetheory Fitness in Beavercreek). It was one of the best times recorded for the day and a personal record by far. I ran as hard as I possibly could for the entire run. Coaches and other fellow members were well aware of my goals. All eyes were on me. Would I falter? Am I strong enough mentally to endure the aggressive pace? Could I beat my goal?

Truth be told, I was going for a 6 minute mile. I knew I was in over my head after 4 minutes of feeling like someone stood behind me with a blowtorch setting me on fire. I had to slow it down a little bit if I wanted to get anywhere near it. However, I picked it back up towards the end and finished strong. Hearing the cheers from everyone really made me feel I accomplished something big. A lot of runners are easily judged for their one mile times. It felt great knowing that I put up a great time. The wonderful thing about accomplishing your first milestone (in whatever area you’re focused on) is that setting your next milestone becomes easier. You’ve now set a standard to try to follow and beat. In this case, with how close I was to reaching my goal, I can realistically reset my mile milestone to attempt it within 6 minutes, knowing that with the proper preparation, I can do it.

Perhaps for some of you, you’re having difficulty creating a milestone for yourself. Where do you start? What is realistic for you? How are you going to reach it? Here’s my advice for you if this sounds about right:

1. Where do you start? Find something that’s been a challenge for you. For example, as a beginning runner, I found it challenging to stay within a 10 minute pace. I would always start out lightning fast, but had no control over my breathing or heart rate. I’d go from running in the Olympics to running for the nearest nursing home. By noticing something that I consistently struggled with, I knew where I could start.

2. What is realistic for you? Your first step started with finding a challenge, which could be as easy as running the fastest marathon known to mankind. As challenging as that is, will it be something that you could realistically conquer? If your name is Eliud Kipchoge, the answer is yes. For the rest of us, perhaps not. Start small. Find something that’s challenging enough to make it worth accomplishing. Reaching a milestone isn’t worth it if you could go out and beat it today. Your goal should be obtainable. Make a journey out of it. Trust me, it’ll be worth it.

3. How are you going to reach it? To put it simply, preparation is key. Create a plan. Do some research utilizing whatever resources are available to you (Internet, Newspapers, Experts, Neighbor, Dog if you really need it). Come up with a timeline (how long would you like to take to accomplish it?). And last, but certainly not least, find your support system. Your support will not only be there for you to cheer you on and celebrate at the finish, they’ll also help hold you accountable and pick you up when things get tough. Having an awesome support system makes accomplishing anything ten times easier.

So what milestones are you setting for yourself this year? I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to comment below. I’d love to show support to anyone wanting to set and accomplish their own personal milestones. In the end, no matter if you reach them or not, you’re proving that you’re attempting to become a better version of yourself everyday. Thank you guys for taking the time to read this! I’ll be back again soon.

-Matt

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