I’ve never been great at spelling. I like to think that it’s my way of expressing my creativity, or possibly rebelliousness, instead of sticking to some arcane set of rules of how many ‘m’s and ‘t’s go into words like committee or commitment I just like to get enough down on paper so that people understand what I mean. Spellcheckers are a blessing for me!
Sometimes though, a very subtle difference can have a great impact on what you think you said! One example is in the difference between the words ‘goal’ and ‘gaol’. At this time of year many people want to set goals for the next year but we have to be wary that we don’t instead set ourself a ‘gaol’ instead. Gaol is the old English way of spelling ‘jail’. A goal that is too difficult to achieve, or that can only be achieved By sacrificing more important things, or that is one that we have not set for ourselves or doesn’t sit with our wishes and values can instead become a gaol, a trap that imprisons your time and energy and takes away your freedom and joy. That isn’t to say that setting a lofty goal is always a bad thing, sometimes we need to set the bar high to unlock all the potential we have. But goal setting, if you are serious about achieving your goals should not be glib.
I had an insight about goal setting when I was at the supermarket last week. The supermarket is opposite Clitheroe castle. It was a bright and blustery winter afternoon and I thought what fun it would be to run up to the castle. Then the lightbulb went on and I felt a little bubble of joy swell up in my chest. I couldn’t run from my house to the castle today, but with training I’m sure that I could do it by mid year! Prof google tells me it’s only 4.5 miles away so that’s perfectly do-able as a one way now with potential for a there and back in summer. It occurred to me that this is how goal setting should be. The idea should fill you with fun, it shouldn’t be too easy but should be something that you know you can achieve.
My other destination run goal is to run to the big end of Pendle hill from my house, 7 miles one way but about 1500 ft of ascent. I’m sure that I could get some co operation from the hubs to pick me up for a one way attempt and again I don’t think that a ‘there and back’ would be out of the question for the summer.
Other goals are more prosaic. I’d like to run 14 miles per week for the months of January, February and March. Still using the MAF method. At the end of that time I will decide whether to embark on a training programme for a race – or races- later in the year. I’m not committing to a marathon. If I find that by March I’m doing really well with the weekly mileage and I have room to increase it, I might consider it then, but not until I know that I have a strong base.
One of the other benefits of running has been some changes in my body over the last year. I have lost 8lb in weight, 5% body fat (from 30 to 25) and gained about 4lb of muscle mass. I’m still a bit overweight, so My goal for 2017 is to keep off the fat I have lost and if I could lose another 8lb next year I would be pleased. I’m glad that I have seen the light about improving my physical fitness before old age sets in!
My other non running goal would be to work out some of the techno stuff about using WordPress better. I need to find out how to insert web pages and links and to improve my page layout. I have some other, non running, goals so I confess this is not a top priority (the thought of reading about it and trying to understand all the new words makes my heart sink!).
I’d like to end by wishing you all good luck with your goal setting, I hope that you too have some ideas about what you’d like to do next year that make you bubble with joy!