Don’t Give Up On Your Goals

Don't Give Up on your goals

Six years ago, I was googling ‘how to become a dietitian’, looking up online courses to study nutrition and debating making a big change in my careers. I had loved my job at Good Housekeeping, but when the team I worked on both went on maternity leave, the job changed and I found that I didn’t enjoy it anymore. In fact, my anxiety was worse than ever and I was dreading work everyday.

I spoke with a friend’s wife, who was already studying to be a Dietitian, and she gave me some amazing advice on how to become a Registered Dietitian and it started with Biology and Chemistry pre-requisites. Meaning that from the point I applied, it would be at least 5 years until I qualified. 1 year of going to university in the evenings, while working 6 days a week, and blogging. Then 4 years of full time studying, including 7 months working in hospitals, countless exams, essays and lectures…

Don’t give up on a goal because of the time it will take to achieve it. Time will pass anyway. 

The advice my Mum gave me when I feared starting. And now, 4 years into the journey and the end is in sight. I am SO glad I started and even more proud of myself for not giving up.

Don't Give Up on your goals

Recently, my friend Jess posted about struggling with marathon training for a sub 4 in September, and wondering about dropping down to the half marathon. We spent some time texting, about why it was she was debating letting go of her sub 4 goal, and what it boiled down to was TIME and FEAR.

She was scared that she wasn’t going to be able to achieve her goal in Sept. And that it was hard finding the time to train, to put the workouts in. Which I do not doubt, given that she has a young baby, works as a doctor, moved house and her sister is getting married…full on. However, I have full faith that she is strong enough to run a sub 4, and she keeps saying that she’s loving the training.

I truly believe that if you want something bad enough, you’ll find the time. 

And it’s about making the training plan work for you, rather than trying to bend your life to fit around it. Or perhaps a little of both. If you don’t have time for a 6 day a week training plan, then don’t try to adhere to one. Similarly, if you can’t get out of bed in the pre-dawn, then don’t try to schedule all of your runs for first thing in the morning. Make it work for you and your family/work/life.

Here’s a roundup of the different marathon training plans that I like.

Don't Give Up on your goals

Without throwing in another cliched motivational quote, I think we regret the things we DON’T do, more than the things we DO. If you give up or never even start, you’ll never know what you could have achieved.

And if you fail or don’t quite hit the mark. Well, you can try again or accept that you gave your best. At least you tried.

Setting BIG goals, breaking them down into manageable chunks, and taking the first step on the road to the goal is exciting. It’s scary, and overwhelming, and sometimes feels a little crazy. Not everyone understands it, but I promise, getting closer to the end, and eventually achieving that big goal is incredible. It makes you feel invincible.

I remember the first time I broke 4 hours during the Berlin Marathon. I smashed my goal by 10 minutes and cried with happiness after crossing the finish line. The early runs, the missed social events, the gym workouts were all worth it for that feeling. The confidence that it gave me pushed me forward in all areas of my life, way beyond just running. It teaches you that with the right preparation and settings, anything is achievable.

When we were in our mid twenties, my friends and I wrote a list of things we wanted to achieve before we were 30. Well, 30 has hit and I’m pleased to have ticked off 7 out of the 10 of the list below;

1. Run a marathon √
2. Take a photography course √
3. Eat at Noma and The Fat Duck √
4. Go to Ibiza
5. Do a full moon party in Thailand
6. Go to Glastonbury √
7. Learn to drive √
8. Climb Kilimanjaro √
9. Go skydiving √
10. Live abroad

I’ve yet to live abroad, go to Ibiza or party in Thailand (who knows whether those will happen), but the goals that I could work towards, like climbing Kilimanjaro, running a marathon and learning to drive, I have achieved. Also, it’s interesting to me how much my hit list revolved around partying and eating back then, now I think it would be very different!

Every time I would achieve something on the list, I would add something. Like run a Boston Qualifying time…and complete and Ironman.
Which leads me on to my BIG GOAL…
I am going to complete Ironman Florida in November 2019.
After spending some time in Panama City Beach in June, I am excited to go back to the beautiful area (active travel guide to PCB coming later this week). Its a race that a couple of my IG friends have taken part in, albeit the 70.3 race in May. It’s a sea swim, which is a little scary, but for me the hardest section is the bike. And Ironman Florida has one of the flattest bike courses around, similarly the run is flat and goes along the water. Did I mention it’s beautiful in Panama City Beach?
It’s going to be really hard. Probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But that’s part of the reason I want to try. I have zero time goals or expectations from myself, but I’m hoping that I can finish within the cut off time and finish with a smile on my face.
And I’ve got Tom’s sign off that he’s happy to support my goal to become an Ironman, because lets face it, it’s going to be an uphill battle to get me cycling 112 miles!
I’d love to hear what your BIG GOAL is… even if there isn’t a date, or time or race or goal. If you knew you couldn’t fail, what would you do? 

8 Comments

  1. Kathy
    July 14, 2018 / 6:54 pm

    Love the motivation in this.. what I really need right now! Just before my baby was born I signed up to the big half as motivation to get back running again after he was born. Now he’s a month old I was starting to regret it as I don’t know how i’ll find the time to train (I also have a 2.5 year old so toddler + baby = no time or energy!) but you’re right, if I want to do it I’ll find the time! And if serena can make the Wimbledon final post baby I can run a half!

  2. July 15, 2018 / 1:02 am

    Good luck! Competing in an Ironman is definitely NOT on my bucket list but I look forward to reading about your journey to get there.

  3. w. Purves
    July 15, 2018 / 12:32 pm

    Ironman! Wow. Whatever next? G.

  4. Amy Williams
    July 16, 2018 / 10:31 am

    Oh wow! I’m SO excited to follow your Ironman journey 🙂

  5. July 16, 2018 / 12:44 pm

    That is a HUGE goal! But as you say, when you want something you’ll put the time in, and you’re someone who knows what they want! I’m so excited to see your journey over the next year!

    A lot of this resonated with me, I’m right on the cusp of a change that’s taken me four years to reach, four years where I’ve slogged away at a job I don’t especially enjoy, sacrificed things I love and worked my ass off at uni in the evenings. It’s exciting I’m so close to the finish, but daunting too and life is taking all my patience and bravery right now x

  6. July 16, 2018 / 4:08 pm

    I love the idea of exploring how your goals can change with life. And you’ve really ticked off the harder ones-way to go on that. An Ibiza holiday would be much easier than some of those. Glastonbury may happen this summer and can’t wait

  7. Mark Bush
    July 19, 2018 / 1:41 pm

    Good luck with the ironman!
    Thank you for this. Choked up slightly as I’m currently dealing with a bit of anxiety about what I want to achieve in my professional life, and whether the path I’m currently on is for me anymore

  8. July 31, 2018 / 7:15 am

    Wow..Ironman thats cool. Keep it up Charlie.. We will wait for you Ironman post soon.

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