Our Pages

Monday, October 18, 2010

Goal: Achieved! What's next?

People who know me know that I'm a very goal-oriented person. I love to make lists and check them off, whether it's a big goal like reading 30 books in a year, or a small goal like making the bed or doing the dishes. I simply love a sense of accomplishment.

Recently, I issued myself (and my husband) one of my most challenging goals to date: running a 5k. Another local mom mentioned she was going to be running the Run for Wishes 5K in Liberty State Park, and so I decided we should all run it. I spear-headed our team, Happy Hour Moms, and then we all embarked on 2.5 months of training.

Thankfully, I'm a slow enough runner that I could actually snap a pic of our view!

I had never run before, other than 30-60 second bursts here and there on the treadmill, or when I was forced to in middle or high school. But really, I'm not a runner - I despise the activity - I even figured out the trick to bees so that I don't have to run when they come around me. But what I do love is a good challenge, and this one was pretty lofty.

We started out with 35-minute walk/runs at the beginning of our training, which got us about 2/3 of the way to the full 5K. Our goal was to be able to do the whole thing in 30 minutes, so we continued to train to that end....and then we got sick. Then our daughter got sick. Then we got sick again...You get the drift, I'm sure.

So training slowed a bit and some weeks our 3-4 days of running turned to 1-2. But by late September, we were ready to run the full 5K. My first time was about 46 minutes, and every subsequent day I ran it, I shaved off a minute or two. I knew I wouldn't be able to do the run in 30 minutes at this point, but the goal was simply to run the entire time without stopping to walk.

Reunited with the baby after crossing the finish line!

How did we do? Not only did we run the entire time without stopping, but we both beat our best time by 3 minutes, clocking in at 37 minutes and 11 seconds, despite crazy winds coming at us off the Hudson Bay. And yes, we crossed the finish line together, along with one of our other Happy Hour Moms (the 4th pulled ahead and beat us by 10 seconds!)

The big question, though, once one accomplishes a goal is always: what's next? Many times we experience let downs once we've achieved our goals. Sometimes we feel lost without this thing guiding us. Or, if you're like me, you've already decided on the next goal.

I'm floundering a bit these days on my writing goals and it irks me greatly, but having so many illnesses in this house for the last month and a half has kind of zapped my creative energy. So I'm focusing on what comes easy: health and fitness. I'm done running, but I have a weight-loss and flexibility goal, which I hope to accomplish through lots of yoga.

The Happy Hour Moms (and Dad) and the babies :)

But enough about me, I want to know about you. Are you goal-oriented? Is there a goal you achieved that you never thought you could? What is your current goal?


  1. I recently wrote a blog about the one thing I did that I NEVER thought I would do: competing in a triathlon. It was an awesome experience, and I hope to to one again next year. Right now my goals are mainly writing related.
    Congrats on the 5K, I'm so proud of you and your hubby!

  2. Thanks, Erin! I loved your blog about the triathalon. Such an incredible accomplishment. And I was actually thinking about you as I approached the finish line yesterday, wondering how on earth anyone could still bike and swim after running 3.2 miles. So amazing!

  3. LOL - the trick was, you do the swimming, then the biking, then the run. Talk about saving the worst for last!!

  4. Jerrica,

    Good for you. I did the same thing, trained for a 5K. I had entered more races but then I slacked off. I still run. Five miles at least 3 times a week. Had a recent setback with the never ending cold. Hadn't run in over two weeks. Now building back up. I do a mental list especially when I run. I also get some great creative thoughts. I make a list when I can. It makes me feel accomplished when I can check each one off.


  5. I am in awe. What a great accomplishment. And I think it's the kind of thing that requires goals, because it can be too easy to talk yourself out of it otherwise. (Not YOU you, ME you. LOL)

    I'm not a runner. I've tried it several times, but my brain spends way more energy trying to get me to stop running. So I try to walk instead. My brain gets creative then.

  6. Tanya, that's so great that you still run and that you can be creative while you do. I find that I have to focus too much on running, so I don't get very much done mentally. When I spin - that's when my best ideas come to me!

    Donna, thank you! It wasn't easy, but I'm so glad I did it and can say I did it! But yes, I think I'll go back to walking now. LOL!

  7. I have to agree what a great accomplishment. I've never been a runner myself and I'm not sure I could even run a mile, much less five. But I do love yoga and excercise, although I haven't been regular about it since the birth of my two-year-old. Maybe I should make that my goal: to exercise on a regular schedule.

    I've been pretty stead with my writing goals. In the last year and half I've completed 2 and half ms, rewritten another one completely and have started to query two of them. So very happy with my progress so far.

    I'm somewhat goal oriented when I remember to write things down lol. That's the key, I'm always on the go and I forget to make my list lol. I guess there another goal I should concentrate on lol.

    Great blog, Jerrica!

  8. Thank you, Melissa! You've done a great job on your goals - you should be very proud of yourself! And I'm with you - I have to make it a goal just to make a list! LOL!

  9. Thanks for the inspirational blog. My goals for the rest of this year are to move back to Texas (without going insane, LOL), enter the Golden Heart, and deepen the grant proposal for my documentary project. It's a full slate, but I am taking it one day at a time.

  10. I try to be goal oriented, but I always get distracted However, I did have the goal of publishing, which I did accomplish. Right now, my goal is to lose weight and work out. We will see how that goes.

  11. Jerrica,

    My newest goal is to finish my research in the next week and start on my next book. My other goal has been to drop five pounds, but that goal has proven impossible to reach so far!!

  12. Jerrica,

    Congratulations on your accomplishment. Like you, I set regular goals for myself. Sometime I have to adjust them, or I abandon them. LOL.

    This year I set a goal for selling six short stories to True Love Magazine. I've sold five and I might have one more in me, but I don't know if I'll go for it due to a few different reason.

    I also made it a goal to build my craft and actively seek publication, and I'm happy to say I received an offer from Sourcebooks this year. That's more a dream come true. :)

  13. @Sarah - Oh, my goodness! Moving is one of my least favorite things, so I'm not sure why I've done it a hundred times. LOL! Best of luck with that and with the GH and your grant proposal! It surely is a full plate, but I'm sure you can do it!

    @Amy - We can lose weight together, though I'm sure I have way more to lose than you do! LOL!

    @Julie - Good luck with your research - to me that's one of the most difficult parts of being a historical author, although it can be so exciting when you find something super cool! LOL!

    @Samantha - Congrats on the 5 stories to TL!!! That's great! And of course on your deal with Sourcebooks! Next stop: NY Times Best Seller list!!! :)

  14. Congrats, Jerrica, on the awesome accomplishment! That's wonderful.

    My current goal - finish NEVER BEEN BIT before the due date of November 1st. 17K to go. Until then, I can't think about any more goals. :)

  15. I recently achieved a really longterm goal. 35 years ago I wrote my first full length novel, a Regency Romance. After a few early disappointments I gave up on getting an agent and/or publisher and moved onto myriad other types of writing, plus children, plus getting an education and then securing a stable job to pay for the education and the children.

    Finally after 35 years I found the time and inspiration to really return to writing and after another couple of disappointments with trying to secure an agent, I chose to put my fifteen plus years of Internet/editing experience to work...and self published over on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

    Even if I never sell a single copy to anyone who already doesn't know me and love me, I'm content...at least for the moment. Of course, I have several other novels, plus a screenplay to transform into a novel, and a large number of short stories to finish editing and prepping for self-publication before I'm finished; but at least I finally took that first step.

    And the moral of that story is...it's never too late :)

    Smiles and Good Fortune,

  16. Thanks, Lydia! And good luck with NBB!! You can do it!!! :)

    Teresa, what a wonderful story! Thank you so much for sharing that. I hope you sell many, many copies!! :)