Back in May, I wrote about chasing big hairy audacious goals. These are those goals that get you up early in the morning or grinding away late at night to try to achieve. But what happens when you do all the work and don’t accomplish what you set out to do?
For those who know me, you know I am chasing a very big BHAG goal of mine that has a December 5th deadline. Trying to hit the Olympic Trials qualifier in the marathon is not an easy feat. I have 2 opportunities this year to try to achieve this goal and I’m currently 0-1. So how do I (and anyone else) bounce back from not hitting the goal on the first go around?
- Be a goldfish. Let yourself be upset for 48 hours. You poured your heart and soul into working towards your goal and fell short, it’s natural to be upset. Mourn that your effort didn’t match your goal. But also, set a clear deadline for when you will move on and forget the heartache and focus on the present and future.
- Keep showing up. Sometimes after all the hard effort you put in and subsequent shortcoming, your motivation meter may feel drained. It’s just a matter of putting one foot in front of the other every day. Motivation is easy when things are going well. It can be hard to manifest when returning to a goal that you missed out on. But motivation is created from habit and discipline, so showing up for the run, workout, or whatever your goal is helps you to flex your motivation muscle and encourages it to grow. In time, the motivation will come back in full force, but sometimes you just have to lace up the shoes and get out the door day after day before you feel the flutter of excitement.
- Reflect on your race. While I said to be a goldfish and forget about the disappointment, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t reflect on your event. Being able to analyze how you felt leading into the race, your thoughts during, nutrition strategy, and mile pacing can help paint a picture for how you want to adjust things in the future. This will help you develop a better race plan for the next time you go out there to fight for your goal!
- Have fun and let go for a bit! Whether your big hard effort resulted in glowing success or left you feeling blue, you need to celebrate everything you poured into it and let go for a bit in the week or two after the event. This helps you reset for the training block so you can go into it feeling more refreshed and ready to go. You may still lack some motivation (especially if you didn’t meet your goal), but at least you let yourself have a little fun that you might have held off on in the weeks leading up to the big dance!
With all that said, even if at the end of the day you never accomplish your BHAG goal, you can be proud of yourself for giving your absolute best effort. You are not defined by the number on the clock or the goal itself. The growth in the journey to achieve the goal, the friendships you make along the way, and the lessons you learn are what make it all worthwhile!
About the author: Rosie is the Store Manager of AppRunCo – Camp Hill. When she’s not at the store, you can spot her running hundreds of miles around Central PA as she trains for marathons with a goal of hitting the Olympic trials qualifying standard (2:37.00 or 5:59/mile) for the 2024 trials, coaching multiple online clients to reach their best, and hiking with her husband and 2 pups!