You’ve always admired runners. You’d watch them as you drove to work; wondering what gave them the confidence to jog about in front of everyone.
Personally, you’ve never been the most athletic.
And when you did play sports, you always felt self-conscious about your form. Your arms move too much. Your feet land funny. It’s awkward and you feel silly. So you just don’t run. But the admiration for those runners is still there.
And one day, you decide that you’ve had enough of your negative self-talk.
You say to yourself – So you’re not a great runner. Fine. Who cares? No one! I’m going to go out and prove myself wrong. I’m going to run.
You start researching running techniques. You buy the gear, the shiny new clothes, and then you set your goal.
I am going to run a marathon in six months.
You’re excited, but also completely unsure of yourself. In fact, even though you’ve found a training program online, it all feels like it’s happening so fast. Like you’ve gone from dating to marriage in the course of a week.
You think to yourself – So… do I just like… start? I haven’t run since college and now I’m going to go run a marathon? This is way outside of my comfort zone…
Several years ago I got into meditating. You don’t really care about the why or the when so I’m going to skip that part. What you’ll find interesting though is the how.
I knew that I eventually wanted to get up to meditating for 20 minutes, twice a day.
But there was no way I was comfortable starting at that level. So instead, I eased myself into it. Slowly. Gradually. I took my time because there was no rush. I could have tried doing 20 minutes twice daily from the start, but that would have led to me quickly quitting from boredom and frustration.
Meditation is very dull when first trying it out.
A gradual buildup
What I did, then, is ease myself into the practice.
On week one, I meditated for just one minute in the morning and one minute in the afternoon. That’s it. Literally just one minute, twice a day. I set an alarm on my phone, closed my eyes, and meditated for one minute.
And then the timer would go off and I’d continue with my day.
At the start of week two, I would meditate for two minutes, twice a day, following the same routine. On week three, I would do three minutes. On week four, four minutes. And so on and so forth until I reached week 20 and (easily) began doing 20 minutes, twice a day.
I eventually got to where I wanted to go – meditating 20 minutes, twice a day.
I didn’t start at that point though. Meditating was outside of my comfort zone so instead of going all-out at the beginning, I took a long-term, sustainable approach and leveled myself up each week.
Something you can do for your ambitious goals as well.
In the case of running
If running a marathon is far outside your comfort zone, why not ease yourself into it?
Try running 1/5 of a mile a day, four days a week. Then on week two, run 2/5s of a mile a day, four days a week. Then on week three, 3/5s. On week four, 4/5s. On week five, run one full mile, four days a week.
And then keep going.
- Week six, two miles.
- Week seven, three miles.
- And week eight, four miles.
Keep leveling up gradually until you feel confident in your abilities. Until you’ve steadily gotten out of your comfort zone and are ready to do more; are ready to start training for the marathon.
Ease your way out of your comfort zone
You have more time than you’d think, and more than likely, you are in control of the goals you pursue. In other words, there is no boss demanding that you run a marathon.
So do it on your terms.
Ease your way into it. Build your confidence with time. And when you’re ready, start tackling larger and larger aims. Ambitious goals can feel daunting, but when you work on them gradually, they become part of your identity.
You won’t just be someone that ran a marathon, you will be a runner. Someone confident in their abilities. Someone who achieves their goals.
Put your shoes on and get running.
*Want more help achieving your goals? Enroll in my goal success course here.