A few weeks ago in my blog post The Perks of New Adventures, I wrote about running the endurance Ragnar Relay and what I got out of it — mind, body, and soul.
But there’s a very important perk I forgot to mention in that post — namely, the powerful role having that race as a goal to work towards played in my life. For the three months leading up to the race, my Ragnar goal kept me focused and clear when it came to self-care and wellness. And that alone as a benefit was so worth the entry fee.
And so now, with Ragnar behind me, I’m in the market for a new running goal.
To fill the gap, I just signed up for the Lake Union 10K this weekend, a 6-miler around the same Seattle lake where Tom Hank’s character in Sleepless in Seattle lived in a houseboat on the water.
But after that, then what?
I’ll be looking for a new race — preferably one that’s run in an interesting locale or terrain (maybe a trail run in the Cascades?) or is a distance that will push me to consciously train (is it time to do another half-marathon again?) or has a unique feature like the Polar Bear Run that ends with a plunge in frigid Lake Washington. Whatever it is, I’ll find it and put it on the calendar.
Because having that next race, that next big goal, is one way I motivate myself to keep up with my running and fitness regime.
The thing is, declaring and committing to a clear end-goal, be it a race, or a finished manuscript, or a website launch, is a way of putting a stake in the ground.
It works because it:
* Creates a sense of urgency and inevitability
* Builds in accountability, especially if the declared goal is made public
* Leads to a path of action by eliminating the waffling that often happens pre-goal
* Is rewarding and therefore encourages more successful goal setting
Me? I’m looking for my next big race.
So, what is your stake in the ground?