“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” says an ancient Chinese wisdom. The following guidelines are surefire ways for you to reach your goals of becoming best in the sport of distant running:
1.) Evaluate your abilities – There is a wide gap between your true limits and what you visualize your limits. It is important to be realistic with your abilities as it will guide you to failure and injury.
2.) Incorporate other life’s goals to distance running – Combining other goals to distance running can bring a sense of excitement and joy to you and other people involved in the activity.
3.) Share your goal – You can share your goal of becoming your best in distant running with your family to have a constant source of encouragement and inspiration. Aside from family you can get someone of equal ability that you can enjoyably compete with.
4.) Be patient and persistent – Your goals will be realized by being patient and persistent. Soon you will allow yourself emerge in challenges. Get up each time you fail. Sometimes breakthrough happens when you add another degree of persistence to your goals. Improvement through goal setting is a process of trial and error, it requires time and great amount of patience and persistence but two steps forward and one back will likely lead you to your destination. Do not be impatient as it will drag your energy down and prevent you from performing optimally.
5.) Embrace your setbacks – Setbacks are part of life, they are a natural consequence of taking a risk and trying to improve. However, they don’t last and in fact, opportunities to learn and reevaluate your situation.
6.) Visualize your goals – Vividly see yourself reaching your goals and experience in your mind how that would feel. The easier you picture your achievement, the nearer you are to your goals. As you do that mental exercise, you will eventually drawn to follow the visualized images as if they were real. The following excerpt is from the Running Within book by Jerry Lynch and Warren A. Scott, this may be a good inspirational passage:
“Set a running goal that will create a joyful process. Feel the joy, excitement, and fun that accompany this journey. Imagine you growing and improving as an athlete. Feel exhilarated as you live the lifestyle of a well-trained runner. Remind yourself that the goal is the beacon, guiding you to fulfillment. Imagine the goal being accomplished, and search for another that will help you continue the journey.”
7.) Affirm your goals – Create a short affirmation about achieving success in distant running that you can repeat over and over. The statements should reflect your beliefs about yourself. Choose ideas only possible for you. Some runners are torn between keeping affirmations within themselves and sharing it with others. You choose whatever is comfortable with you. If you feel sharing affirmation with someone else will help you feel reinforced all the time, then go for it.
Goal pronouncement can actually strengthen you commitment and motivation, and gives those people close to you a chance to rally around and support your efforts. However, if you feel keeping your affirmations to yourself enables you to have a sense of control – away from pressure and scrutiny from others, it is best to keep it so.