Tuesday, August 25, 2015

On giving up vs letting go of goals

I have mentioned (a thousand times) that my goal for a half marathon is sub 2 hours. But today, I am finally letting go of that goal. I'm channeling my inner Elsa.


Yep, I went there. I know last month I was all gung ho about it, but letting go of this goal does not mean I am giving up.

Right now, I am nowhere near my sub 2 hour dream. Maybe one day I will be, but it is certainly not this day. I am trying. I am running... But I am not running anywhere near what I need to be to do 13.1 miles in less than 2 hours.

I have been 'training' for this since 2012. I declared it at the start of the year, and my half marathon is in October. I have had more than enough time to get better, but I have only gotten worse. Every half marathon I do seems to be further away from my goal, and every time I berate myself for not training properly. What is stopping me from reaching my goal? Why do I keep doing this? I hate feeling ashamed and angry at myself. I'm so over it. I used to love running. I still do, but every time I lace up those shoes, I compare my pace to what it needs to be, and it's just not up to snuff, which makes me think that I am not up to snuff.


I am not complaining. I know it's all on me, I know I have to want it enough to do it, just do it. I know all of this, and I try, I do. But every time I run, I see the goal and it's so far away that it just... deflates me. I compare to myself, to others, to what I want to be. I have to let go of all this and just run. Just be happy.

I am pretty good at letting go of goals that no longer fit what I want out of life. I've changed my 30 before 30 list a thousand times because I've evolved away from a certain goal. But for some reason, this goal has stuck in my head because I was so close to it once upon a time. I have to let go of that.


I still like goals, though. Of course. I love to cross things off and feel accomplished. But like I said, I am not going to achieve my sub 2 while I am running an 11 minute mile. This is still a goal, I would still like to do a sub 2 hour half marathon one day but it will not change my life - for good or bad - either way.

Linking up with Alyssa and Tracy.

alyssagoesbang

I am not giving up, I am just adjusting. Resetting. Starting smaller. Right now, my goal is to run my next half marathon and feel strong, happy and just plain good. Regardless of the time.

Do you ever give up or let go of goals?

53 comments:

  1. Totally agree! I've never liked the term "giving up;" I simply prefer to call it "recalibrating." As we age, as we evolve, as we journey through this thing we call life, we change - so why shouldn't our goals change as well? I have a bucket list item that I've long ago let go of because the 40-something me no longer wants to do the activity that my 20-something did. It's totally OK to let things go because those things just may not, for whatever reason, fit into your life at this time. When you run your half marathon, enjoy the run and the moment!

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  2. i rarely set goals which is probably why when i do, i go balls to the wall and make sure i achieve it. also, my goals are usually very simple and small; my last goal was "drop 2% body fat" which is just one goal for me to work on (much easier to wrap my head around and focus on) instead of something like "drop 2% body fat, do 15 pull-ups, do 5 muscle-ups" or some crazy shit like that. if i set that kind of goal, i'd be on the fuck-it train on the 2nd day.

    so i think this is a smart way of doing things. instead of trying to set something big, just set small, simple goals that you know are attainable. or, just fall in love with running again instead of associating running with the goal that you nearly had....just run. run with no timer or pace goal or HRM....just run. i know a blogger who loves running did this; she was feeling like you and then started hating running because it reminded her of what she didn't accomplish so she just did away with all the gadgets and tracking and just ran for the sake of running and fell in love with running again.

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  3. I'm in the same boat as you right now. I really want to break 2 hours, but I'm not going to do that on my next half and thats ok. I'll do it someday. Keep up the training and when you cross the finish line in October focus on feeling strong and well trained and don't worry about the time. Good luck!

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  4. The race that I learned to not really care about my time ... & it wasn't a great time... it was still my favorite race just because I enjoyed it. I get some people need the challenge, but I think some times, just enjoying the hard work you've put into training is a missed opportunity. You're still rocking it lady - you're still kicking my butt - & many others... keep having goals, but don't loose sleep over them :)

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  5. I just think it's amazing that you can run 13.1 miles in one race! I trained for a 10k a couple of years and and my knees were very upset with me. So a half is still a goal, but I'm not sure if it'll ever happen.

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  6. You have such an awesome attitude gurlie - you've got this, and I love that you are letting go, but not giving up! And now I will officially be singing that song in my head all day ;-)

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  7. Yes! I've been trying so hard to get up to the half marathon level and I keep hurting things. I have one more that I'm signed up for, but after that I'm done signing up for long races and following training plans. I'm just going to run when I want and let my body decide how long the run should be. I think goals are good when they're motivating, but if you've gotten to the point where the goal is making you unhappy or taking all the fun out of your runs, let it go!!! (Let it goooooo!)

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  8. I think it's great that you are re-evaluating your life and your running and letting go of this goal! (And yes, I do let go of goals when needed). I think goals should elevate us and lift us and give us a sense of accomplishment. Not just when they're finally complete but also as we progress along the way. If your marathon goal isn't doing that...good for you for taking the Elsa approach!

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  9. When you start to beat yourself up over it, it's definitely time to go all Frozen on that goal and let it go! I thought I'd run a half last fall (like, 5 months after giving birth) to help lose baby weight... After trying to get back into running for two months, I just let that go too because I was NOT enjoying myself. I hated running and hated feeling like I had to do another thing and pretty much hated life. So cheers to being able to let go!

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  10. I think it's great that you're rethinking your goals. You're definitely not giving up and I think it's a good thing to keep things realistic. As long as you're happy and healthy, that's all that matters!

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  11. I like your plan - you're doing what's right for you at this moment and who knows it might let so much pressure that you've put on yourself go that you'll hit the original goal! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  12. I like this goal reevaluation that you're doing! Adjusting a goal is in no way, shape, or form giving up on it. It's being realistic about what you're physically capable of doing. Good for you!

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  13. I hate the term giving up. Sometimes you just have to reevaluate or change your goals but I don't think that's giving up on them. Sometimes you set goals that are unattainable but you modify them to make them attainable! I think it's great you're rethinking them and making changes!
    <3, Pamela
    Sequins & Sea Breezes

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  14. i love the way you ended this--you're not quitting, just readjusting. LOVE that.

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  15. I think it's good that you're letting go of a goal that has been stressing you out. You can always come back to it at a later time and meanwhile focus on all of the other goals that you have :)

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  16. It's very important to be fluid with your goals - what seemed right once might not be right now. And that's okay!

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  17. I have definitely made goals, broke them, failed miserably, or didn't do anything about them at all. I get down on myself about it, too. I try to remind myself that as I change, my goals have been changing as well. And it sounds like this has been making running not fun... I feel like it would be better just to run for fun than to push yourself to the point where you feel worse afterwards!

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  18. Goals are tough - they can keep you accountable, but they can also create a lot of guilt. I think it's great that you're readjusting - sometimes you have to to keep your sanity.

    xo, Carly - soak and simmer

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  19. Good for you, girl! I think it sometimes takes more courage to reassess your goals than pushing through something that your heart isn't in.

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  20. Running a half marathon at any pace is not "giving up." I would love to run my half anywhere near your pace :)

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  21. Reading this post reminded me of the lyric from that song by deadmau5 & Kaskade, "I Remember" that says "You don't have to give up to let go." Acknowledging that a goal no longer fits who you are is really sensible and wise. Go you for knowing yourself so well :)

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  22. Totally agree :) Sometimes its best to recognize that something isn't going to happen and then set a different goal ... for now :)

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  23. It's totally fine to reshape your goals. We change, priorities change, time commitments change. Goals don't live in a vacuum and we need to adjust them accordingly. And if you wanted to quit on a certain goal because it doesn't align with what your priorities are right now, that's fine, too.

    And it's good to know yourself well enough to know that it's time to rethink things instead of forcing yourself to work through something that isn't working and beat yourself up about it.

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  24. I like this. I like this A LOT. I don't really believe there is such a thing as giving up on a goal. Priorities shift, life changes, all kinds of things happen - and that's all okay! I'm the same way with my 30 Before 30, I changed it so many times that I finally scrapped it because crossing something off a list just because I said I was going to is stupid. And like you said, I've evolved. That's a good thing. I have a faraway goal that I've been thinking about a lot lately and wondering whether or not I should let it go. I don't have to decide right now or anything but I can say I'm a lot more comfortable with the idea of letting go of goals than I used to be.

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  25. You're totally right, you're not giving up on your goal, not in the least! You're merely setting up a different pace to reach that goal. Times change, life changes, and we have to adjust. Like that silly book "Who moved my cheese?" says, we can either keep asking "who moved my cheese?" or find new cheese.

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  26. This is why I try not to make super specific goals. I start to get frustrated and berate myself when I cant achieve something specific. All it does it make me give up and feel sorry for myself instead of being honest and modifying the end results. You are amazing, you are running and working out towards your goals and sure you might now be where you want to be, but you are still going strong. You are much further along than most people and where you would be if you weren't doing anything.

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  27. Yes. Sometimes you just have to realize that some goals are just not your focus right now and something else might be more suitable. Glad you are letting go to make it less stressful.

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  28. Readjusting goals is what life is alllllllll about, lady. Sometimes things get in the way of our goal so we have to reevaluate. That's okay, I'm glad that you are still running the race and a happy race is a good one.

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  29. It's definitely not giving up. Goals are meant to evolve and change!

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  30. I have definitely done my share of both, giving up and letting go of. I don't tend to make specific goals, sometimes, but not often. I say do whatever you need to do to cause less stress, and that's the best option :)

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  31. Love this post SO much. Goals absolutely change as WE change- and that is okay!!! :) Lord knows mine change about once a week- but that's besides the point ;)

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  32. its awesome you're able to listen to your body and not beat yourself mentally of physically over something that might not happen this go round. I swam all through high school and college and did a lot of beating myself up which I think ultimately slowed me down!

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  33. I went through this when I quit graduate school. I was worried that everyone would think I was "giving up" or "couldn't make it" but in reality, it just didn't fit the direction I wanted to go with life anymore. It was 6 years ago and I haven't regretted it once. I'm so glad I made that decision. I think it's healthy to readjust your goals to be sure that they are in alignment with what you want to do with life. :)

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  34. Feeling "strong, happy, and just plain good" is an excellent goal. When I've let go of goals it's been for that reason too. One of my favorite things from Gretchen Rubin's the Happiness Project is "don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." You don't have to run the perfect 13.1 miles, but if you feel good about it, that's all that matters.

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  35. i dont blame you girl! it's totally ok to adjust your goals -- they should be something to look forward to working on not something that stresses you out. xo jillian - cornflake dreams

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  36. I think it's amazing that you can even run 13.1 miles -- that's absolutely awesome in itself. But sometimes you just have to re-evaluate the goals, and it's great that you saw that before you actually started to hate it.

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  37. The only thing that matters is that your not giving up so don't feel bad abotu pulling an Else. lol Wishing you luck with training the next few months!

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  38. Some goals have to be readjusted. I think running to feel strong and happy is an awesome plan :)

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  39. I totally agree! I've set goals or restrictions on myself but sometimes they just consume my thoughts and I'm not in a good place. If I realize the goal isn't realistic or it's having a negative impact on me, I have to just drop it!

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  40. I have a hard time letting go of certain goals (especially if, deep down, I feel like I should be able to achieve them). I've learned that it's better to recognize when a goal isn't going to work for you, though, than to allow yourself to feel guilty and defeated and shitty when you don't achieve it.

    There have been times when I realized I didn't even care about a particular goal anymore, and then I wonder, "Why am I even doing this?" Other times I just don't have the motivation or the time to devote to achieving a specific goal. It took a while, but now I'm okay with saying, "I still want to achieve this, but right now it's not my top priority. Maybe I'll revisit it in [insert some amount of time here]."

    You know I also love setting and achieving goals, but I think that, for the most part, goals should be fun and/or bettering your life in some way. If they're stressing you out instead, it makes sense to move on (even if just for a little while).

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  41. I always struggle with knowing what's realistic and still encouraging and what's so far out there that I'll kind of know I can't do it so I give up before I even start kind of a thing... does that makes sense?? lol I think that's what you're saying too, BUT more importantly, I still think it's so amazing just running a half marathon regardless of how long it takes to finish. I say that as I don't want to sign up for a 5k until I know I can run it under a certain time-- so stupid. But anyway proud of you for realizing this and adjusting your goal-- not letting it just ruin it all together.

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  42. I was JUST thinking about this! I have a few goals that are just making me feel like sh*t, and that's no good.
    Good for you for letting go!

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  43. This is probably not a normal reaction, but I am so happy to read this. Not because I don't think you can do it, but because I know having it hang over you is more of a stressor than a motivator, and you don't need that in your life. One day you will have all the ducks in a row that will lead you to accomplishing this goal, but until then, YOU ARE DOING ENOUGH! And you are doing great, and you should never let yourself forget that even if you aren't your fastest right now, you are doing amazing things every time you follow through on your commitment to health and wellness and happiness. I am so proud of you, and I so believe in letting go of goals that no longer serve you or help you reach your life's peak. Let it go, and focus on the good ones. <3

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  44. I definitely think chasing our dreams is good, but it's also definitely healthy to let go of other ones as well! And you might surprise yourself and do better than you thought because you're letting go of this!x

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  45. Omg girl... does this hit home. I am currently training for a 1/2 in October too. Last night's run was so discouraging for me. It was just not my day and had me thinking there is no way I can go 13.1! But I think there will always be bad days and in the end I was just happy to get in a few miles. You will do great... just finish and don't think about your time. Remember that finishing a 1/2 marathon is fabulous all by itself! :)

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  46. TOTALLY know how you feel. Training for my first marathon has been tough, and I've had to scale back my pace since I've opted for finishing really strong at a more comfortable pace rather than going balls out at max pace and risk having to strap ice packs to my knees and waddle my way through the finish line. Resetting is such a great idea so you actually enjoy the rest of your training and the race! :)

    xo
    Em
    gymandtonic-em.com

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  47. I think it's really common to get so caught up in achieving goals, that sometimes we stop thinking about the why behind the goal. Or at least for me! I spent so much of my 20's chasing a life I didn't even want. It's very brave to let go of a goal. Great post, thanks for sharing. xx Jen (A yank in Aussie-land!)

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  48. Love this! I think letting go of goals is just as important as setting them in the first place. Fulfilling a goal simply for the sake of checking it off is a waste of valuable time and effort. Good for you! Lessen the pressure on yourself and just run - I like it.

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  49. Yes! All the time. I have a hard time of setting achievable goals. So I often need to adjust them or let them go. Or extend the deadline!

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  50. I've been trying to go sub-4 in the marathon for 5 years. I know exactly how you feel. My PR is 4:01:05. That HURT. I know that I won't go sub-4 in Chicago this fall...2 1/2 years of injury is making it slow getting back, but one day...one day...I'll get there, and so will you. Hang in there. I've heard great things about Hanson's Marathon Method and am looking into it for spring training. I also realized this weekend that if I really want to get faster, I need to start strengthening my legs...not just with running but with lifting.

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  51. There's nothing wrong with that! I change my mind about things I want to do all the time. It's your life, you make the rules!

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