This weekend I'm running the New York City Half Marathon. It's my first half and I'm a little nervous about it (should I really have invited all my friends and family to meet me at the finish line?). But thanks to lots of summer running and plenty of yoga, my body is feeling stronger than ever. Yet it's my mind that's really been doing most of the training. It's amazing how your perception of what's realistic for yourself can limit (or free) you. In a March post, I wrote that I would make a 10k (6.1 miles) my goal for September (I ran it in June). Now I find myself facing a half marathon (13.1 mile) just midway through August. How did this happen?
I changed my mind. With the encouragement of my sister and a close friend, I reset my goal to a stealthier, more challenging feat, and all of a sudden, my mind opened just a little wider and my potential grew. After breaking double digits in mileage and running for two hours, I realized my goal was achievable. But if you asked me in March, I would have laughed at the thought.
How can we apply this to the rest of our lives?
Are you in a job or career that is less fulfilling than you thought it would be? Are you unhappy with your weight, your relationship status or your do you just feel generally stuck and stagnant? Set a lofty goal for yourself, one that you may think is impossible now, write it down and imagine it happening. Then, subconsciously, everything you do will be on the path to achieving that goal.
Of course, it's important to set small goals along the way. For me, it was an additional mile of running every week. This helped me to stay focused and confident. It could be a class (stand-up comedy? photography?) or a appointment you've been putting off (an informational session at a school? a nutritional counseling consultation?), or maybe it's reading a motivating book or befriending an intriguing person. By changing your mind, you can change your life. And soon enough, we'll both be standing at the finish line.
Read more about how changing your mind about exercise can motivate you.
Have you changed your mind and changed your life? Share your experience below.