In just three weeks, I will be joining thousands of brave souls as I run through all five boroughs and complete the New York City Marathon. Yes, all 26.2 miles!!!
I remember the exact moment I committed to running the marathon. I was in a very packed Laguardia airport on my way back to Chicago after a weekend trip home. It was my 26th birthday and somehow phone calls from two of my college roommates, turned into a solid promise to run the NYC marathon the year we all turned 30.
Besides running with two of my favorite people, what makes this marathon extra special is that we are running on behalf of an amazing charity called Harlem United. Harlem United is an organization dedicated to supporting marginalized communities by improving their health and well-being through compassionate client centered care. Harlem United is also celebrating 30 years, so this partnership feels just right.
As the marathon quickly approaches, I have been deep in thought about the many things I have experienced and learned while training. One word that repeatedly comes to mind is discipline. Training for the marathon has required a level of discipline that has honestly been hard to maintain at times. When I got serious about training, I started working with an amazing trainer who immediately put me on an intense training schedule. Each week I was required to complete three cross training workouts, three short runs, and one long run. In an effort to be fully transparent, I will also add that my trainer made me an intense meal plan that unfortunately I was never able to commit to (that is another blog, for another time).
Powering through months of training taught me that discipline is truly about remaining committed to a goal long after the hype that surrounded your initial commitment fades. I have also learned that discipline very often requires sacrifice. The ability to put your goals above the many things that very often get in the way when you are working hard towards your goals.
As Legends, we all have goals that will require more than just our expertise, ability, and desire to accomplish something great. We all have goals and desires in our personal and professional lives that require extreme levels of discipline. Here are three things to remember as you reflect on the areas of your life that currently require discipline.
It’s all about the plan! Start with a detailed plan. I know that am most disciplined when I sit down and seriously think about how I am going to reach my goals. At the start of my training, my trainer and I talked in detail about what the plan would be. That initial plan has been essential to my success, because when things have become a little rocky I have been able go to back to the original plan, adjust, and move forward accordingly. Can you commit to sitting down and making a plan that will help you reach a goal before the end of the year?
Find someone to hold you accountable. An Accountability Partner is someone who motivates you, checks in on you, and encourages you, ultimately helping you carry out your goals. Although many people have held me accountable, my trainer has been my biggest accountability partner during this process. The marathon has reminded me that finding an accountability partner who is an expert can be very beneficial. Can you identify a professional who can serve as your accountability partner in one area of your life?
It’s all about how you bounce back! Yes, there have been times during this process where I have missed a run or two. I have learned that even though it very often takes all the energy and strength I can muster, getting back on track is essential to success. Part of bouncing back is remembering that a slip up in the plan is not the end of the world. Very often, when we slip up we have the tendency to beat ourselves up. If you ask any successful person about their journey, I am sure they will be able to identify several points along the way during which they have to make the conscious effort to silence the negative thoughts that come along with a slip up and move on. What helps you get back on track?
I would love to hear how you remain disciplined. Feel free to Comment below, or email me at email@example.com and let’s chat. Also, don’t forget to share with your friends.