Thursday, 18 March 2010

What do you want?

"The indispensable first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: decide what you want."
- Ben Stein
Actor, writer, commentator, lawyer, teacher, humorist

How often do we wait for things to happen, wait for someone else to do something, wait to see what’s happening around us before we make a decision?

How many opportunities have we lost because we haven’t thought about what we want out of life, like a ship that sets sail without a destination in mind – it will get somewhere but where is a whole different matter.

One of the fundamentals in NLP is knowing your outcome, knowing what you want – this can range from getting your weekly food shop to changing the direction of your life – and everything in between!

So you have decided what you want, what next….. make it real, really step into it, go into the future and see what’s happening around you, what are you doing, what are other people doing, what are you saying to yourself and others, how do you feel?

By being really clear about what we want means we can start to see all the opportunities around us to make it happen. I have a friend who people call 'lucky', he always seems to land on his feet, even when things around him seem to be going wrong, or not going in the direction he wants to go – by keeping in mind what he wants he can stay open to opportunities around him as they happen and take those that, at first glance, may not be a direct path, but will be a step in the right direction.

How do I use this, well, you can see me put this into practice very specifically in my first running blog.

So what do you want at work, at home, with friends and colleagues, for the short term, for the long term and what are you going to do to start making it happen?

As a final note, if you’ve made a decision as to what you want and as you get towards it you realise that perhaps it’s not what you thought it was or what you really want then stop, re-think it and then go for it – you want to follow a path that takes you where you want to go. Be careful of following a path through stubborness!!

Going back to basics

Over the last year because of injury my running stopped being fun and started to become a chore – not very motivating! Because of this I went down from training about 5 days a week to about 5 days a month (unfortunately I didn’t change my eating habits!)

I decided to step back and rethink my outcome – what did I want to get from running…..

I wanted to be outside and enjoying the different seasons, I wanted to get fit, I want to fulfil my potential as a runner (not that of an Olympic athlete, but to my full potential!) I started to imagine what that would be like and how I would know I’ve got there – so for me to achieve my outcome this year would be to run the Bedford half Marathon in December in a personal best for that course. I can see myself, running smoothly, relaxed and enjoying the feeling of achieving a good time for me and hearing the cheers of my running friends as I cross the line!

A plan for the year was required – spurned on by three runs without any pain I decided I was ready to put a plan of action together and split the year into three areas – building stamina, building speed, racing the distance.

Building stamina – March to June

This means that for the next few months I am concentrating on building up the number of runs and training sessions I do with my running club (Ampthill & Flitwick Flyers) and slowly build up my long run at the weekend. During this time I am concentrating on building up stamina and running for longer. I have put in for two races – the St Albans 10K in May and the Marston 5K in June which are going to give me some benchmarks for the summer training. At the club we also have a 5K time trail in April and so this will let me know where I am in reality, rather than where I think I am or where I would like to be! During this time I need to be aware of not doing too much too quickly and re-injuring myself.

Building speed – July to September

Now this is when I want to concentrate on building up my speed, coming from a base of stamina and because of the slow build up still being injury free! I am hoping for a lovely hot summer, which means I will need to get out early in the day as heat is not my best friend when running. During this time I will pick out some 10K and 5K races so I can see how I am doing – this is not just about times getting quicker, it is also about how I feel after, heart rate recovery and how quickly my body recovers ready for the next run.

Getting ready for the Half Marathon – October to December

Bringing all this training together for the longer Autumn runs – specifically the Swineshead 10 Mile in September – to give me a benchmark over a longer distance and I then know what I need to do to get my goal for my December half marathon.

So here I start – I now know my outcome for the year and the milestones I want to achieve along the way and some of the hazards that could trip me up!