Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Goals - revisited.........

Ok, remember my goal for 50 miles this week where I said forget it yesterday, I can say that post reflected a negative mood, so after a decent nights sleep and a more positive thought pattern that got energized after listening to a good recent song from the Eagles called "Get over it" on my way to work (For those that don't know the Eagles, they were a band from the 70's - yes I am old and yes I saw them a few times back then).

So, I decided to make another run at it by doing 7 today, if I sneak in 3 before work I am back on track or even 3 on Friday. It's a good reminder to only abandon a goal when it isn't a achievable, things like breaking 4 hours in a marathon and your time is at 3:50 and you still have 3 miles to go. Now that would be hard.

I had to remind myself that if my 50 miles in a week is important then I should step back, take a breath and remember there is always a third option. I picked that phrase up from one of my favorite books; Stephen Covey's - Seven habits of highly effective people (link to the wikpedia summary). It was about 13 years back that the company I worked for had us read the book and then go through 7 habits training. Now I had been through other work sponsored training events and suffice it to say that the "free lunch" was hardly free but this book struck a cord. Simple concepts that can be applied to work and to life and so of course they apply to running, things like "begin with the end in mind". Who has started training for any event without imagining the finish.

The Seven habits are:
  1. Be Proactive
  2. Begin with the End in Mind
  3. Put First Things First
  4. Think Win/Win
  5. Seek first to Understand, then to be Undersood
  6. Synergize
  7. Sharpen the Saw
If you read the book it is amazing how any running program or a goal could be helped by them. Here is the way to apply them to running.
  1. Be Proactive - Plan your events, ask questions, plan your training, take personal responsibility for your training
  2. Begin with the End in Mind - I always visualize my races, right now I am thinking about the 2nd loop around Afton.
  3. Put First Things First - get your runs in, take care of your family, do your job
  4. Think Win/Win - if I run in the morning then I can do something else with.......
  5. Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood - listening always helps
  6. Synergize - work with others to achieve your goals (ok I am bad at this one)
  7. Sharpen the Saw - keep things in balance - cross-train
So if you are looking for a good non running read, stop by your nearest library and check out 7 habits, it's a great book for the long term.

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