Two days ago I opened this website. This was the culmination of almost 3 years of work. Over that time, I woke up each and every day with a clear plan. I tried to do whatever was needed to keep the project moving to the point of opening.
Yesterday was opening day + one. It should have been a great day. My business is open, and I could finally start getting to work with the business of teaching people how to run. Unfortunately that was not how it went down. To be honest, the day kind of stunk. Try as I might, I was not able to be as productive as I normally am. I was definitely working, but I did not seem to make any headway. I was also feeling down, and a bit lost. They were odd feelings, and ones that I am not used to.
Laying in bed that night, I realized what was going on. I had used up my “plan”. I had reached my goal, and did not know what I should be focusing on next. For the first time in years, what I needed to do was not clearly laid out before me. I had passed my first goal, and was trying to proceed without knowing my next one. This explained why I was feeling so uncomfortable and unproductive.
Today I am remedying this situation. My one and only task for today is to figure out my next goals, and planning how to best reach them. I am not going to worry about the present, or the past. I will exclusively focus on what I need to do to be successful over the next month. Only once I have taken the time to figure this out, will I again begin to try moving this project forward. I already feel better, and more productive now that I have made this decision. Problem solved.
Why am I sharing this story with you? I guess I am doing so because I know that this is not the first time this has happened to be. I also know that in the past, it has taken me much longer to realize what the issue was. Maybe you are in a similar situation at the moment. If you are, it is my hope that this post will give you a little nudge in the right direction, and remind you that planning always has to come before intelligent motion, and progress. It is easy to forget this.
So, off I go, with my map and my compass. I am excited to figure out where the next month will lead me.
That is how long it took me to get from the point when I dreamed up the idea for my programs, all the way to having this site up and running. There were times that I thought this was not going to come together. There were setbacks, both minor and major. I had to deal with challenges I never expected. Every time it seemed to get easier, I ran into a new area of the business that I needed to learn about. It was endless.
I stuck with it. I put one foot in front of the other, day after day. I did my best to ignore my failures, and kept working. If I was stuck, I temporarily moved on to another part of the project. I tried to base my feelings about the project on how well I was doing at sticking with it, not on my short term results. Some days (and weeks, and months) I felt like it was going nowhere. No matter what I did, I just couldn’t progress. Other times it seemed like every step I took was a backwards step. For every good day, there were 3 hard ones. I stuck with it.
Then something wonderful happened. My 1000 days of effort suddenly came together. The work got done, and I ended up with the site you are now visiting. In hindsight, it does not seem so hard, but I know that is not how it really happened. It was 1000 days of challenging efforts. Most of the time, I was so far from completion, that I could barely conceive of this project ever actually being finished. Of all the things that made this project challenging, being that far from the finish was the biggest one of all.
Distant finish lines are killers. We live in such a fast world. Instant gratification is a way of life nowadays. Being successful with large tasks often comes down to learning how to forget about the finish line, and focusing on the efforts needed to cover the ground you will encounter on the way to your goal.
The same holds true when you are learning how to run. The surest path to success is to ignore your goal, and concentrate on your present workout. This will allow you to put aside how much longer this will take to complete, and get down to focusing on the things that will help you to reach your goals.
Why not join me, and give this a try? It may be hard. It may present challenges. That being said, I expect that it will also be one of the most rewarding things you will ever do. I could not imagine my life without running, and I hope to have the chance to help you discover the same feelings.
Just remember, you won’t learn how to run overnight. This will take time (about 100 days), and effort. Only by allowing for these facts, can you give yourself the best chance to successfully become a runner.