Before I set my goals for the year, I like to come up with 5 words that will be my Core Values for the year. For me, goals are things I want to achieve and values are who I want to be on a deeper level so…
Goals = Achieve, Values = Be
I’ve found that when who I want to be (values) lines up with what I want to do (goals), I am MUCH more motivated to continue to chase after my goals through hardships and setbacks. I am also at peace chasing after my goals because they are in line with who I want to be as a person. I like keeping my values and goals separate because my goals are not who I am so they do not own me. They are things I desire and things I am committed to work towards but by separating them I know I am not a failure if I don’t achieve them. I can still hold true to my values and be the person I want to be even if I don’t achieve all my goals and that gives me A LOT of peace.
I thought and prayed about what my five words for this year will be and these are the words I have come up with: Encouraging, Inspiring, Empowering, Balanced, and Consistent. Here’s why I chose these 5 words:
Encouraging: I love encouraging others. It’s one of my love languages and something I’ve always enjoyed doing. I want to be someone who is always pouring out encouragement on others and showing them they are valuable and worth something (because you are!). I also realize that as much as I encourage others, I need to encourage myself. It’s very easy for me to be hard on myself and put myself down. My sport’s psychology professor shared this quote with me: “Be nice to yourself, you’re listening.” It’s so true! I need to be my own #1 fan and encourager. To be my best, I need to talk to myself like I am valuable, competent, and able to achieve what I set out to do. I need to believe in and encourage myself as much as I encourage others.
Inspiring: Running professionally can feel selfish sometimes. My work is self focused and I have to think about me a lot of the time in order to run workouts to get faster and to recover well. One way I can live outside of myself even with a seemingly selfish job is by inspiring others. I remember looking up to older and faster runners myself when I was younger and I hope to be that for younger runners today. I love inspiring people to follow their dreams because following my dreams is a blast and I’ve had great adventures so far. Plus, it’s fun and inspiring for me to watch other people achieve what they’ve set out to do! So it’s kinda like a domino effect.
Empowering: I don’t just want to say encouraging things or look like an inspiring person, I want to be someone who gives other people the tools and guidance they need to succeed; I want to empower people! In the same way I want to empower others, I want to empower myself. Empower = give power; I want to create opportunities and create an environment that gives me the power to succeed. That means I need to think about what I need to achieve my goals, plan ahead, and make sure I create good habits that are in line with my goals.
Balanced: I fully believe that a fast runner is a content runner who arises from a content person with a balanced soul. Broken down that means that I think balance in one’s life is important because if life is balanced, one will be happy, and if someone is happy, it will be easier for them to achieve their goals. The reason I think it is easier to achieve goals when life is balanced is because running (or whatever area of life my goal is in) is not everything to me in life. I also have family, friends, a desire to learn, a spiritual part of my life etc. and these are all important things. Focusing too hard on one goal will take away from other important things in life and will make me sad to be missing out on other parts. When I can balance and let each area of my life flow into every other area, my family and friends give me laughter, rest from running, and encouragement, learning new things gives life excitement, discovering God gives me joy and peace, etc. My life becomes more meaningful and I will enjoy chasing my goals in all areas of life even more.
Consistent: One of my teammates brought up this quote to me the other day: “You are what you repeatedly do.” Short, simple, and true! The more you do something, the better you become at it. My coach also has a great quote for consistency, he doesn’t say practice makes perfect. Instead, he says, “Perfect practice makes perfect.” It doesn’t take any more time to do something correctly but it does take extra effort and thought and that is the difference between blind consistency and perfect consistency. This year I want to focus on perfect consistency, doing things over and over again correctly in an effort to make those my new habits and my automatic response. I want to create habits early on so when races get bigger and I have more on my mind than just practice, things I do are already in line and I can be calm in a storm.
Those are my 5 Values for the year that I hope to live by. This is the first step of my goal setting; it’s the base that my goals are built on and the building blocks for who I want to be this year. Now as I make my goals and plans to achieve them, I’ll keep my values in mind so who I want to be and what I want to do are in line. Thanks for reading! I hope you can spend some time coming up with values to build your goals on. Stay tuned the rest of the week for more tips on goal setting!