4 Things You're Missing That Will Make You Reach Your GoalsJan 31, 2023
I finally got to watch Brittany Runs a Marathon a few weeks ago. If you haven’t seen it, it is a story about a heavy-set woman in her late 20s who gets a wake-up call during a doctor’s appointment.
After her doc tells her to watch what she eats and to start exercising more, she begins examining her daily routine and decides to start running in an effort to lose weight. As she gets more comfortable with the sport, she signs up for races and eventually sets her sights on running the full New York Marathon. The plot follows all the ups and downs she endures as she trains, gets injured, and gains and loses friends. While it wasn’t the most original movie I’ve ever seen, I found myself identifying with Brittany again and again throughout her growth as a runner and as a human. In the end, it reminded me of some things to remember when working toward our goals.
Lesson 1: Every big goal has to be broken down into smaller steps. Starting is the most important one.
Brittany almost let the anxiety she felt about running stop her from stepping out the door the first time. Fortunately, a new friend stepped in at the right time and reminded her to take it one step at a time. So she ran to the end of the block. And when she saw she could do that, she started running longer. Eventually, she ran a 5k.
People tend to go all-in on their resolutions and end up overwhelmed or burned out when they forget to take it slowly. By setting small goals, you will feel successful and want to keep going.
Lesson 2: Big goals often require the help of other people. Don’t be afraid to ask for it.
When Brittany started running, she didn’t know much about it. She was invited to a running group and reluctantly attended. It was during her first group run that she met a friend who was new to the running world as well. Making that connection was huge since having someone to run with made it easier for her to show up, even when she didn’t feel like it.
Personally, I’ve made a lot of New Year’s resolutions in my life, and for the last several years, I’ve declared “This is the year I will do a pull-up.” And I said it again this year. But this time, I thought about what that would take. In the past, I did a little research and would include some band-assisted pull-ups in my workout routine, but never really had a plan. My actions weren’t focused, so I would end each year not being able to say I did it.
This year I found a strength coach who knows so much more about programming workouts than me, so every time I hit the gym I’m working toward my goal. I can feel myself growing stronger and trust that his expertise plus my commitment will make this the year it actually happens!
Whether it’s joining a group that supports you and your goals or hiring a coach or trainer, surround yourself with people who can offer guidance and motivate and inspire you to keep going when you feel like you can’t.
Lesson 3: The path to your goal will be bumpy. You’ll feel like giving up.
Brittany showed us that the path to the New York Marathon was not an easy one. In changing her habits and training for a race of that distance, she had to say goodbye to people who lured her back to her old lifestyle and didn’t support or even understand her training goals. In other words, she lost friends. Sometimes in life that has to happen for people to grow.
One of the saddest parts of the movie for me was when she was just five weeks out from the marathon and ended up with a stress fracture. Her doctor told her she would need to rest her leg for 6-8 weeks. She was devastated, and that news sent her in a downward emotional spiral.
When you set big goals, it’s important to remember that change takes time and things don’t typically go as smoothly as you’d like. Whenever perfectionism is the goal, failure is the outcome. Remember, making progress toward your goal is better than aiming for perfection.
Lesson 4: Say no to old habits and always have your WHY in the back of your mind.
Old habits often hold people back from reaching their goals, and Brittany struggled at times. She couldn’t always say no to her friends requests for late-night outings, and at one point she was trying to live in both her old and new worlds by spending a night out partying and waking up the next morning to run with her group. She eventually learned that if she really wanted to run a marathon and live a happy, healthy life, she would have to stand up for herself and lose the people and habits that would hold her back.
When you set any goal, it’s important to know why you want it so badly. Write it down so you can see it every day. Even better, make it public and enlist the help of others to keep you accountable!
So - if you haven’t seen BRaM and want an uplifting story about motivation, determination and have a few tears to shed, it is free on Amazon Prime. Check it out and keep striving to hit your goals this year!