Everything I Needed To Know About Accomplishing My Goals I Discovered On My Morning Run
The best lessons I learn sometimes happen while I am out on a run.
The process of making your dreams a reality is a lot like running steep hills.
We are either on the uphill or the downhill while working towards a goal. No matter where we are, we will find ourself in the opposite spot at some point in our pursuit of our dreams.
We want going after a huge dream to look like a road to success that is straight, flat, and without any road blocks or potholes. We want it to be easy and to always go as planned.
If we are being completely honest, we would like to not have to fight for what we want or push through anything uncomfortable. Smooth sailing all the way.
But the road to success actually looks like steep hills with low valleys. Running up the hill is painful but grows our resistance and stamina. When we run down the hill we feel free, almost like we are flying. But there is always another hill coming up.
We can't enjoy the benefits of the downhill without the uphill.
On my run this morning, I realized that going after a goal is a lot like running hills.
#1 GETTING STARTED IS HARD
You want the results but the hill you are about to run up is steep and full of potholes.
You know it will be painful, your legs will ache and your chest will burn. You will feel like giving up several times before you get to the top. The knowledge of this almost keeps you in bed, keeps you from getting started.
Writing down our goals and making a plan is one thing. Getting started and taking action is another.
Identify that the hill to success might be steep but will be worth it. Get moving even though you have doubts and uncertainties. The first road block to not accomplishing your goal is never getting started in the first place.
#2 YOU COMPARE YOURSELF RUNNING UPHILL TO OTHERS THAT ARE ON THEIR WAY DOWN
You are running up the hill. Your legs are in fact aching and your chest is on fire. And then you look to your left, to your right, and see other people running down the hill. They are breathing easy, running faster than you and are smiling. They are happy and content!
You are caught by the comparison trap. You are jealous of where they are in the process and start to doubt if you will even make it to the top. You consider stopping, turning around, and walking down the hill.
You are about to quit because you compared your uphill journey to someone else's downhill journey. They are completely different situations, with completely different outcomes. But you still compare yourself to them as if you are running the exact same race.
How many times have you gave up on a goal because you looked at the success someone else was having? You compared your uphill section of the task to their downhill.
Comparison is the easiest way to sabotage yourself. Don't let it get you!
#3 YOU ARE TIRED WHEN YOU REACH THE TOP
The journey to the top of the hill was rough. Like I said before, your legs ached, your chest was on fire, and you were jealous of those that were already running downhill.
But you kept going. You reached the top. You are proud of this and think you deserve a break. So you consider walking down the hill.
If you do you will miss out on the best part of the run. The downhill momentum. Remember the runners you were comparing yourself to earlier? They were enjoying the momentum of the downhill slope. But they earned that because they conquered the uphill and they knew to get the most out of the downhill slope they must keep running.
After you conquer the uphill part of your goal, the hardest section, the part you never thought you would overcome, don't stop and rest. Build on this momentum and keep pushing hard to your goal. You are almost there and you are about to reap the rewards.
#4 THERE ARE ALWAYS UPHILLS AND DOWNHILLS
Sometimes we think that we aren't getting the most out of the run because it isn't as painful on the way down the hill as it was on the way up the hill. Our body doesn't hurt as much, we can breathe easier.
We start to question if we are doing something wrong? Are we really getting the most out of our run if it doesn't hurt?
When things start to come together and start working for us, we start to question if we are missing something. We even start to sabotage our success. Be mindful of this. Remember that you earned this momentum.
You might not be a runner and you may think I am slightly crazy for running hills to get in my exercise.
But I bet we agree that going after a goal is a lot like running hills. Resistance is where growth happens. There will always be ups and downs when we are chasing something worthwhile. Otherwise it won't be truly worthwhile.
The next time you find yourself running uphill towards a goal remember to keep going. You are about to reach the top and there is a downhill with lots of momentum on the horizon.