Only a few more weeks left for 2012 and looking back it has been an amazing and crazy year for me. This year I finally stopped the ‘..One of these days’ ‘,…Next year I might’, ‘….Before I am 40 I want to’ … etc cycle. By this I mean I finally stopped dreaming and proposing future plans, instead I took control of my future and defined my path and goals. For the first time in my life I have a solid path and I am transforming my life everyday.
I have always been a dreamer, a big picture thinker but never a doer. For years I have come up with big ideas and plans for some date in the future, but I never stuck with those plans or saw them through. My operating pattern often was to come up with a big idea, put a little bit of thought into the idea and then work towards it for a month before things would unravel and I would be back to where I was before, except now I would be saying everyday, next week or tomorrow I will get back on track. Of course it never happened, tomorrow became next week which became never. Thus the pattern of my life has thus been to dream big and never finish or even come close to finishing.
I have done this with my past workout routines. I would set a goal to lose weight and then I would get into the gym, lift some weights and maybe do a little cardio. I would also eat right and the weight would start to come off. Then a month later something would happen and I would be derailed. That something might be as small as just wanting some more T.V. time, often it was something stupid and meaningless. I cannot count the number of times I have been on this cycle in my life. Of course it always started with the big dream, the amazing goal that phrase…’ I think I might try ….’ or any derivation of such. But never did it last.
This year, things have been different. In April I started the couch 2 5k program and I stuck to the schedule til I was injured (messed up my knee). But I continued my walking in the pool and by May I progressed to dreams of swim, bike and run as well as one day doing a 5k. At this point, this could have easily fallen into my bucket of empty dreams and promises not kept to myself. But something crazy happened, for the first time in my life everything clicked and my life has not been the same since.
One thing I realize looking back now, is that all my plans and dreams hinged on a fear and in some ways holding on to that fear often provided a basis for impending failure. Starting the couch25k program I was afraid of running and the pain. I had no athletic base as I had not really ran since I was a child. I had the fear of failure and the lack of trust in myself that I could succeed, all I had to do was try. It sounds so coy and pat to say fear was holding me back, but I truly recognize it was the source of all my failures and unfinished dreams. The fear of hurting, the fear of failure, the fear of doing something different and making a change. That same fear would have held me back from trying to swim freestyle for a mile in the ocean. That fear is so crippling and I never realized how much it controlled my life. One of the largest changes in my life has been the control, containment and managment of that fear as well as embracing things that appear hard and daunting, like swimming in the ocean or training for a triathlon.
Another big change exists in the fact I pushed beyond dreaming. Previous to this year, I would think or say ‘Next year I am going to do this________’ (insert objective). I lived my life by phrases such as that. But it may seem like a goal it really is just a desire. If you would have asked me what my week, month, 6 month or year goals were I could not have told you. My point here is that its just a dream till it is converted into a plan of action built on the foundation of solid and realistic goals. If you read this blog, I often on Mondays post the weekly goals with review at the end of the week. Every four weeks I post new goals and reflect on the last four week period. My goals extend into next year and all training is specifically aimed at my planned race schedule for next year. I know where I am headed and every week and month I have a plan to get myself to the next major goal marker and beyond. I have a clear and concise and flexible road map that I use to get myself to those places I want to be.
This is why this year is so special. I have now completed nine months of goal specific workouts and I have transformed my life, body and mind in the process. Previous to this year, this blog would have been about big goals and ideas and full of ‘maybes’ and ‘one days’ and empty promises to myself. Instead I have found a path to transformation and happiness in ways I never dreamed possible. If I would have told myself last year that I would run in 5ks, swim a mile in the ocean or run a 5k then bike 20 miles for fun… I would have scoffed, as I would have thought those sounded cool but were not possible for me to be able to do, maybe some one else. But instead I am doing those things and more. I live by my goals and I reflect and revel in my continued success. I am not fearless, but fewer things make me fearful and I am willing to take more risks. If you ask me where I see myself in a month, a week or even a year, I can tell you immediately my goals and achievements. I no longer live in my dreams of one day, but I live for now and what I will achieve.
Til next time.