Katie talks about a recent experience where setting some goals actually paid off for her.

Setting goals is something that every guidance counselor has been jamming into our skulls since we first started elementary school. Honestly, I don’t even want to think about how many bogus assemblies I sat through about the importance of developing and writing down personal goals.

                  I really hate to admit it, but maybe they were right.

                  Recently, I accomplished one of my long standing goals- I broke into the 21 minute range for a 5k. I knew that this goal was pretty tangible this season; I trained insanely hard all summer and ran a 22:19 at the first race of the season. But this past weekend, only our second race of the year, I ran a 21:36. And sobbed like a small child.

                  It was the typical cross country Saturday. And by that I mean it was pouring rain. The race was fast and the course was flat- a perfect day for a pr. I really just focused on the race and every step I took; I made sure to run my own race and not pay attention to the other runners. I had to just focus on my steps and not the beating feet of the girls next to me.

                  I finished the race and looked at the clock with teary eyes. It was a very overwhelming feeling seeing my goal of so many years finally behind me. The feeling was surreal.  I walked away to meet my mom at the finish line, had a few drinks of water, changed my shoes, and almost immediately set out for my cool down. 

                  Last Saturday was a great day. The crossed out goal time in the back of my running notebook proves that. The most exciting part of finally achieving my goal wasn’t crossing the finish line or even crossing out that goal- it was picking up my pen and writing down a new goal underneath the old one.

                  So maybe the guidance counselors weren’t completely crazy when they said to write down your goals. Writing things like that down can really keep you stay focused on what it is you’re trying to achieve. Most importantly, it can give you a strong sense of accomplishment when you do finally reach your goals. So go get that notebook that you have plastered with pictures Steve Prefontaine and magazine cutouts of the Nike swoosh and write down your goals in the back. It’ll be worth it. I promise.