The Importance of Long and Short Term Goals

No matter whether you are a runner or not it is important to have long and short term goals for your future. Robert and I are planners by nature- sometimes too much, but in the last year and a half we have come to realize that there are many things you cannot plan for in life. However with all the uncertainties in life we have learned that having both long and short term goals helps us to stay on track and motivated no matter what life throws our way.

Obviously for us right now we have a lot on our schedule for the fall. However we know that we need to make sure we get certain things accomplished before the baby arrives so that we can try to prevent any chaos that we can once our little one arrives. I’m a huge fan of short term goals and to do lists. They help me stay on track while balancing the many hats I wear on my head each day. Currently what I consider to be my short term goals are: 1) get the nursery set up -yes I know this is a no brainer 2) get the dining room set up 3) figure out the bonus space / upstairs landing 4) get in at least one climb per week 5) run double digit mileage each week 6) climb at least once a week 7) get the holiday decor planned and cut out for my classroom door 8) finish reading Little Women before school officially starts back up again 9) maintain at least one post a week until the baby arrives (let’s be serious Robert will have to take over for a bit once the ganoosh gets here). Now obviously some of these goals are personal, some have to do with my job, and some have to do with working out. However goals are important in all aspects of life and that is why I shared my non-workout related goals with y’all as well.

Longterm wise I obviously know that our life is going to change after the baby gets here and I am so excited for that. However I also know that having longterm goals will help me transition back into a routine once the baby arrives, help me to lose that baby weight and help try to prevent postpartum. One of my overall life term goals is to run a half and a full marathon in as many states as possible. I would love to do all fifty, but if I could get at least a half or a full in each state I will be happy. My longterm goals for this year are to make it back from maternity leave and finish off the school year as strong as a I hope to start it. I also plann on running both the ZOOMA Texas 1/2 marathon in Austin on March 2nd followed by the Chattanooga 1/2 marathon on March 10th to cross two more states off my half marathon list and ensure that I am getting back into my running groove. I also want to ensure that our blog remains active once the baby comes because Robert and I really love hearing your responses to our posts and hope that we inspire and help you to achieve your own goals.

So why do we need goals? Google “the importance of goal setting” and there is no shortage of links that can answer this question for you. Here are my top reasons to set goals.

  1. They hold you accountable. Especially if you are FINANCIALLY INVESTED in that goal. Robert and I will both tell you that although we always try to keep up our fitness nothing inspires us more than having a race on our calendar and than actually paying to register for that race. Sometimes I register simply because I know it will get me going. If I know I have a major distance coming up I need to get out and train because otherwise there is no way I will get through it. Especially if it’s a trail race. We pay for our climbing gym membership every month and it drives me nuts when we do not have the time to go at least once a week because if nothing else I feel like we’re wasting our money.
  2. By setting small goals to get to your long term goals they turn into something you can actually accomplish. Yes, I want to run a marathon or half marathon in each of the fifty states, but I do not expect to do that all in one year. I try to knock off two to three states each year. I think this is actually doable when it comes to balancing my race schedule, Robert’s race schedule, traveling to different states, paying for that travel, and balancing all of the other things we have going on during the weekends. Yes I am only at three states in both my half and full marathon categories for a total of 4 different states and that means I still have A LOT to go. However I’m only 25 and I know that a few states each year will get me to my goal eventually.
  3. Goals clarify what really matters to you. I know that it seems like you always know what is important in your life, but set a goal that you really care about and see what other little things are no longer a priority to you anymore. Goals force you to make choices between doing what it takes to achieve that goal and all the other things life throws in your way. Sometimes those things are temptations, sometimes they are different opportunities, and sometimes they are simply distractions. For example when we are training for a big race our weekends become more dedicated to our long runs. This means we cut back on going out the night before because bar food and alcohol does not really fuel our systems. When we need to get up early to beat the heat we cannot stay out late the night before (those of you who know me are laughing since I am always such a night owl). We sometimes have to miss things. We sometimes cannot have that third glass of wine on a Friday night. We go on “run-cations” instead of regular vacations. We do not mind doing these things, but they do make us realize what we truly value as a couple.
  4. Goals help you truly live your life to the fullest. When you set a goal and work to accomplish it you’re achieving something. You are working towards something you have wanted to do for a long time and that brings you happiness. Not every part of getting to a goal is fun- but almost every part is fulfilling. I never regret a workout, sometimes they do not go as well as I want, sometimes I do not get in as long of one as I planned, but I always feel better once I get one done. Accomplishing my goals allows me to spend time with my husband and develop friendships with other people who share the same passions we do. Fulfilling my goals lets me explore our world and gets me outside which is one of my favorite things to do. This summer one of my goals was to run at least one new place a week. I have been able to accomplish this for the most part and it has just given me a new appreciation for the greatness of running and the opportunity to always be a tourist when I am running.  Goals make you use the time you are given wisely. Time is precious. Anything that we can do to use it more fully should be taken advantage of.

So I hope this inspires you to think about some of your own goals- both short and long term. Have you always wanted to do something, but never thought you had the time to make it happen? Set some small goals that can help you get to that big one. Good luck and know that setbacks happen. All that matters is that no matter how many times you get diverted from your final destination you still find a route that gets you there.

Happy Running!


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