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Keeping Pace, Issue #005 -- Success, Goal Setting and Something Sweet!
January 10, 2013

Setting Goals and Your Success!

We’ve all heard it before, and will continue to hear it as the year winds down and another begins: “Here’s to a successful new year”! Have you ever stopped to think about what success means to you? Is success something you achieve or is it a term that we use to define ourselves? So if you go for your goal and miss the mark, are you able to view yourself as successful for trying? After all, one of the fundamentals to great goal setting is determining and capturing EXACTLY what it is that you intend to accomplish in a tangible and measureable way.

These are interesting questions to think about as you start the year and set out what goals you’d like to accomplish as your view will shape your attitude and how you will handle your outcomes.

What then, is the definition of a ‘successful person’? According to the late motivational guru Earl Nightingale, a successful person is someone who is progressively working towards a worthy ideal. That is, you are already successful if your time is being consistently used working towards your goals rather than on trivial and habitual tasks.

You must never be satisfied with your current state of being but rather set personal goals that will challenge you to grow and become fitter, thinner, faster – or whatever it is you are looking to improve upon. It’s important to point out that in this context being happy and being satisfied are completely different! As Bob Proctor once said, we enjoy the light bulb because Thomas Edison was not satisfied with the light that candles were providing.

Success is not about what you have or not have achieved, it’s about the journey of continually growing and working towards your goals. What a great way to look at success and an even better reason to take the time now to really think about what it is that you plan on spending your time working towards this year.

Runners have a fantastic advantage when it comes to goal setting. There is no shortage of events in and around our communities all throughout the year to select for your future goals. Picking one or more race to run provide you with a beautiful structure for your future goals. They give you the time, the place, the distance and all that is left is the way in which you execute the race! So heading into a brand new year, let’s do a quick review of the basic steps involved in great goal setting:

  1. Take time to THINK. Take a brief time out for yourself from the rush and chaos of the holidays, and sit somewhere quiet to really think about what it is that you want to achieve for the coming year. Without getting hung up on how you are going to reach your goal(s), jot down anything that comes to mind that even remotely appeals to you or excites you. For running goals, this research time may involve surfing the net for upcoming races. Look at picking one or possibly two BIG running goals for the New Year, something you have not achieved before or maybe you’ve accomplished long ago and you are looking to get back to that fitness level. A good strategy is to plot one big race in the spring and another one in the fall. This strategy still allows you to focus on one destination or goal at a time.
  2. Pick goals that scare you. Whether your desire is to survive your first half or full marathon or you’ve been wanting for some time to qualify for Boston, pick goals that are a fresh challenge for you! If you’ve already run a marathon, consider moving up your distance or brining down your finishing time. Since you need to give your body time to adapt to training, it’s important with running goals whenever possible to consider a pb from a recent race time and look to improve on that. This is not to say that quantum leaps are not possible, but looking at your current fitness level will give you a great starting point to move forward from. Again, you don’t need to know how you are going to shave those seconds or minutes off just yet. You can use this prediction chart ( Setting SMART goals ) as a reference to set your personal goals for the coming year.
  3. Pick ‘filler’ races. Once you have your one or even two peak races for the year, look at filling in the week in between with smaller tune up races. Shorter races keep you going and give you short term goals to focus on through the long training weeks through the winter and summer training months and are a great way to stay sharp, connect with other runners and have some fun. Oh yes, and they are a great way to acquire some new dri-fit gear shirts for the year!
  4. Write Them Down. This step is one of the most important steps for successful goal setting. Goals should be written/printed out at least once and ideally multiple times and posted in an obvious place for you to see every day. A great strategy is charting goals out on regular calendars and putting them on the wall with the day of your event highlighted. Create a calendar for home and another for work. Other ideas include creating desktop wallpapers for your PC/phone with your big goal statement and a countdown to your event.
  5. Commit! You’ve made your statement of intention, now it’s time to sign up! Where possible, register for your event as soon as possible. This might be the step that actually makes you nervous, as you are actually taking action towards to your goals! Start with registering for your first and biggest goal such as your peak spring race if that is what you’ve charted out.

Once you’ve charted out your journey for the year or at least until spring, it’s time to start planning how you're going to get there. This will involve picking the right training program for your nearest big goal. You might consider some time for base building to give your body a chance to get used to the frequency, durations and intensity of runs that you’ll be putting your body through in your chosen training program.

Here’s to the very SUCCESSFUL you!

Ratch's Training Fuel

New ways of thinking can bring good habits and great change in the form of PRs! Starting this month and going forward, all of Ratch’s training recipes will be PALEO friendly! To kick things off, here’s a great sweet potato dish that would please even the fussiest eaters. This is a great dish to make a large volume of and keep in the fridge to have as a side with any meal not to mention an excellent way to ‘carbo load’ with quality nutrition that your body can really use for those big training runs and longer races.

Sweet Potato Hash


  • 1 large sweet potato – peeled and grated into a bowl
  • 1 Italian sausage – casing removed
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • Dollop of Coconut oil
  • Pepper to taste
  • Cinnamon to taste
Directions: In a non-stick sauce pan over medium heat, break up sausage and cook until no longer pink. Add coconut oil and shredded sweet potato and cook until potato is tenderized. Add salt, pepper and cinnamon to taste. Double or triple the recipe for a multi-day carbo-loading regimen.

MYRG Quote of the Month

"Most people fail in life not because they aim too high and miss, but because they aim too low and hit."

Les Brown

**Next month - more of the same plus some injury prevention reminders from Keeping Pace contributor Dr. Steven Tremblay - Dedicated Husband, Father, Triathlete and Goal Setter Extraordinaire.

Here's to keeping pace with your running goals!

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