I’m just as guilty of this as the next person, I know. I’ll see something I want to change and say, “That’s it, I’m never doing that again. Ever.” Until the next day, of course, when I’ve forgotten or I’m feeling lazy. Or I’ll say something like, “I want to be a really great at this. I’m not going to mess around with the small stuff, I’m just going to go straight to the top.” Then, strangely, I go nowhere.

I’ve heard tell recently of someone who, knowing he’s let himself go a little bit, has decided that he better just enter an ultra-marathon and get it all taken care of at once. I’m not saying he won’t do it, but I do wonder if, before he commits to a 50-mile trail run, he might be better served to commit to a 5K. Or even just to running 15 minutes at a time. It’s a lot less daunting that way. And more immediate. Saying you’re going to run a 50-mile race 7 months from now is a much different, distant, forgettable — not to mention intimidating goal — than saying you’re going to run two days this week, or 25 miles before Christmas, or a 5K by your birthday.

Once that’s done and you’ve built up some energy and excitement from having accomplished something, take another encouraging step. Set another goal, work toward it, build some more momentum, and then, if all goes well and if your goals are still the same and if you still feel like you’re moving in the right direction, then maybe you should sign up for that 50-mile trail run.

But until then, take it a step at a time. Set mini goals.

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