Goals and How to Achieve Them

3 May

So as I may have mentioned before, there are a lot of things that I want to do and experience and accomplish with my time here on Earth. And as many motivational boards on Pinterest will tell us, these will not just magically happen because I want them to; I must go after them, pursuing them with all of my will, determination and effort. And lately, that’s exactly what I have been doing!

As many of you are aware, it took me a really, really, really long time to finish my undergraduate degree. Eight and a half years worth of three course semesters. Apparently, recovering from car accidents and having babies are not conducive to being able to complete a four year degree in four years… But I did it! In December 2012 I handed in my last papers and wrote my final exams. Bachelor of Arts in English Literature with an extended minor in Visual Arts, complete. (Insert jokes regarding the usefulness of such disciplines here. Ouch, that still stings). But I did it. It was not easy and I fought hard to earned that piece of paper which I will receive when I cross the stage in June.

I anticipated the end of my time as a student with visions of free time and reading for fun and spending more time with the girls. And those were wonderful visions that got me through the last stretch. However, I knew that my time outside of higher education would look much different. I began to feel an absurd amount of anxiety regarding what I was actually going to do with my free time. Oh, did you think I was actually going to pursue a career or something after all of that? Ha ha, that’s cute. While I still awake in a cold sweat some nights with the dread of even trying to research Graduate school, that dream is far off on the horizon for me. I needed things to accomplish that were a little less daunting and a lot more financially viable. So I began to make lists of things I would begin to pursue once January rolled around.

1. Return to Piano Lessons

2. Make time to blog more

3. Lose 30 lbs by my 30th birthday

4. Try Hot Yoga

5. Watch less television

6. Read more

7. Walk a marathon

8. Go on more dates (with J-Sauce of course!)

9. Use my Crock Pot more to….

10. Free up extra time for me to spend with the girls.

A crazy list, I know. And that’s not even all of it. But I’ve actually been more successful at attempting these tasks than I ever would have thought myself capable.

I decided to make a concentrated effort to actually make some of these things happen. Because I had been so focused on school for so long, my health and activity level had taken a back seat. I still dance once a week but that is about all the exercise I was doing for a very long time. I was unhappy with my body because I was not making the time to take care of it. My eating habits are not horrible but we all can always do better. More vegetables, less sugar. More water, less wine….. Well sometimes that’s easier said than done. So now that school is out of the way, I really wanted to focus on make myself into a healthier, more active version of an already pretty awesome me.

Found two different Groupons for Hot Yoga. Done! (I kind of love it and hate it all at the same time.)

Started eating better. Dropped 12lbs in the first months!

Joined a walking group at the suggestion of one of the beautiful and accomplished ladies I dance with. Walked a marathon.

Yes. You read that correctly. I walked a marathon. A freaking marathon. All 26.2 miles of it. That is 42 km for those of us following the metric system.

Finished!! 7:29:27

Finished!! 7:29:27

Starting in January I trained with a group of wonderful people with the goal of participating in the Wenatchee Marathon in Washington State. Every week, regardless of weather, we met to walk. (We only got soaked to the bone once, but it was horrible. I do not wish to repeat that experience.) It was wonderful and difficult and challenging and so rewarding each and every week. We walked around some of the most beautiful parts of the Lower Mainland and Greater Vancouver area. We started with 5 km on January 1st and gradually increased our distance each week until we ended with a full marathon on April 20th. The feeling of working so hard towards a goal and then to see it through to completion is unlike anything else. However, there were several factors that help me along the way and ultimately led to my success.

1. Doing the training 

When I first decided to join the group I thought, “Sure, I love to walk. I’ll join a group and walk a marathon. See some nice neighbourhoods. Get a little fresh air. Piece of cake!” Man was I quickly set straight. This was oh so far from a stroll in the park. This was literally training to do a marathon. Towards the end, we were walking our first 10 km in less than 90 minutes. For those mathematicians out there, you know that means a kilometer every 9 minutes. NINE MINUTES!! That is ridiculously fast. Had I not participated in the full training season there is no way I would have completed my first marathon in 7:29:27, way ahead of my goal of 8 hours. I have awesome callouses on my feet and brutal tendinitis in my ankle, but it is all totally worth it. I put the effort in and was amazed by my results.

2. Talking about my Goal 

People thought I was nuts.

“So what did you do this weekend?”

“Watched some hockey, did some laundry, walked 29 km, went to church. You?”

“29 km?!?! Why? Are you crazy?” (Probably, yes).

I’ll admit, knowing that I was out doing something that most people would never attempt inspired me to keep going. But it became more than that. All of my friends and family were excited to here about my training and constantly asked me how it was going. They kept me accountable to my goal. They knew that I was working towards something and they hoped along with me that I would accomplish that goal. Which leads me to the last factor of my success….

3. Having an AMAZING support team 

First, props go out to J-Sauce for all of his encouragement and sacrifice that allowed me to pursue this goal. He was the one who stayed home with the girls while I was out walking every Saturday morning. He was the one rubbing my sore feet and fetching me tea when I was recovering after each walk. He was the one who drove with me to Wenatchee and slept in a separate hotel room and hung out with people he had never met all so I could do the marathon. (The hotel thing is a story for another day. I’m pretty sure he enjoyed having a king size bed to himself though.) I would not have been able to do this without him. Thanks again for all your help! I love you babe.

Second, I had an amazing team of woman who helped me through the process. Given that I was a complete marathon noob, and they are skilled veterans, they were able to motivate me. Beyond pushing me to get to the finish line each week (except for PoCo Trail, I am lame and quit with 7 km to go) they helped me with hydration, nutrition and gear advice. From poles and fuel belts, to GU and Sports Beans, they had me ready come event day. They also shared their stories with me. Hearing about their previous accomplishments enabled me to truly envision myself completing the marathon. If we could do it together, I could actually do this. And they became my friends. Getting to know such lovely and joyful people each week helped me roll out of bed (sometimes at 5 am!!) to get to the start line each week. A special mention goes out to Ms. Calla. She was the one who inspired me to join, encouraged me along the way and has become a dear friend. Without you this would not have happened. Thank you for all your help and I’m so proud of you for completing Marathon #3 and in record time!!

Yeah Us!

And lastly, the encouragement of all my friends and family. Although I didn’t see them until after the event, my phone and facebook were flooded with messages of encouragement and cheer. I was blown away by how many people were so proud of me for seeing this through. That was the icing on the cake (of which I totally earned!)

I was high on endorphins and a sense of accomplishments for days. My body hurt and my feet were a mess, but I was so proud of myself for accomplishing such a huge task.

J-Sauce insisted on taking this photo. I'm sure I'll be glad to have it years from now....

J-Sauce insisted on taking this photo. I’m sure I’ll be glad to have it years from now….

In light of what this blog has been focused on the last few months, completing the marathon has allowed me to view our adoption process in a new light. This has not been easy and much effort has been spent with the goal of bringing our new baby home. But we are not done yet. And mentally that is still tough. I don’t know if we are still only on mile 16 with 10 left to go or if we are nearing the homestretch with the finish line almost in sight. Regardless of this fact, I know that we can see this goal through to completion because of the same three factors that helped me finish my marathon. We have put in the training, we are sharing our story with everyone we meet and we have the worlds best support team. Because of these things, I know that our adoption goal can and will become a reality.

Now I’m hooked on this feeling of accomplishment. I love it!! So now I’m off to complete other goals. I have a piano theory exam next week that I really should study for and I should probably put in a little more practice before I see my teacher tomorrow. My Pinterest is full of delicious Crock Pot recipes and there are two little girls with some library books to read. Possibly research a Masters degree…. My palms sweat just typing that!

What have you accomplished lately? What road blocks are standing in your way, keeping you from achieving your goals? Have you added any new goals to your list recently? I would love to hear about all of it!! I would love to be a part of your support team and help you check stuff off your list.

Seriously, if I can do it, anyone can do it! And you are amazing. You can absolutely do it 😉

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4 Responses to “Goals and How to Achieve Them”

  1. Nicole Calla May 3, 2013 at 4:44 am #

    I am so proud of you! You were amazing, and did way better on your first marathon than I did on mine. I, too, am so happy to have you as a dear friend.

  2. Kristen May 6, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

    Sooooo awesome!!! Makes me want to get some of my life list scratched off!

    • thecupcakegarden May 6, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

      What are some of your goals?!?

      You already inspire me so much as a Mom and a creative spirit! I would love to watch you accomplish some of your God breathed dreams 🙂

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Jumping off a Cliff | - May 10, 2013

    […] may have been a little high on myself for all that goal setting and achieving greatness I was spouting last week (which I still totally stand by.) However, reality came knocking at my […]

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