Hope is not a plan.
If you want something, write it down. Research shows that if you actually write down what you want or your goals, even if that’s all you do, you are far more likely to get there than if you don’t write it down. Making something real, has a way of bringing it into your reality.
Full disclosure. I’m a structured person. I don’t particularly enjoy surprises. I’m not that spontaneous. I can’t do Fartlek because what even is it? Pick some object in the distance and run fast to it. How far? And how fast? It’s impossibly confusing. I’ll let you in on a secret. There’s a reason I’m so structured. And it’s because I’m lazy. I have a lazy personality. Path of least resistance. Take the easy option. Take the way of doing the least work possible. At odds with this in my personality is the fact that I am a highly ambitious person. To get from point A to point B there are always certain non-negotiable things that need to be done. Even my lazy self recognises this. At a certain point these two aspects can come to an agreement of sorts. Ambitious person will identify the most efficient manner possible of achieving goal and Lazy person will agree to do those things because there’s simply no other way to get to point B.
The beauty of the plan
The fantastic part about a plan is that it will separate out what you want to achieve into chunks of things that are actually doable. And because it does this you have inbuilt markers for how you are tracking towards your goal. You’ve written it down which isn’t just an act of having something so you can remember it, it’s an act of intention and commitment. That act of commitment will help you get through the days when lazy person shows up and wants to sleep in because it’s a stupid freaking goal anyway and doona. The plan will get you out of bed when you are tired and whiny and have nothing resembling motivation. The plan will show you how far you have come. And the plan will stop that voice in your head that whispers seductively ‘ you could just run 5 today’, BECAUSE PLAN.
You can always change a plan, but only if you have one
It’s not to say it’s completely inflexible, it’s not. Having recently completely stripped my body of all it’s iron stores, I can’t do my normal long runs right now. I’m not going to insist that I stick to the plan there. But I change it. I sandwich medium runs on the weekend instead. And some days it isn’t the lazy person saying stay in bed, it’s your body saying I need a break and you need to listen to that too.
Reach the goal, anyway you can
No matter how you get to your goal, it takes hard work.
“If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it would not seem so wonderful at all.” – Michelangelo
I know myself well enough to know that without a plan I would not be capable of that hard work. I wouldn’t have a goal, I’d just have some vague wish off in the distance. With a plan my ambitious self and my lazy self can get along just well enough to agree that there are certain steps along the way that are necessary and that they will take together. Sometimes, I might need to change the plan but I will never change the goal.
You will never know your limits, until you push past them
The cool thing about writing a plan is that you can take something that looks achievable and then increase it to a level you wouldn’t think possible. Not by an insurmountable amount, just enough to test yourself. The brilliant thing is? When you get towards the end of the plan – it is within your reach. And as much as it rewards you to see it done, the ambitious person in your mind only has one word: NEXT.