Setting and Achieving Your Fitness Goals

Setting and Achieving Your Fitness Goals4000 Miles & Counting: Achieving a Milestone

Today I achieved what I once thought would be impossible for me to accomplish – a new two year mileage goal set in 2011 that today became a reality – running 4000 miles in a two year span. I began my run today not even remembering that this would be an important milestone run for me.

You see I have records of all my years of running from 1978 to the present. At the start of 2011 I was aware that in 1998 and 1999 I had run a total of 3675 miles and that record had stood as my best 2 year mark since then. I decided to break that record (prior to the start of 2011) and in 2011 I ran 1955 miles making it seem possible to me that I might achieve a goal of 4000 miles by the end of 2012.

I set my goal to run 2100 miles at the beginning of this year and today it happened – I ran past the 4000 mile barrier for 2011 and 2012 – shattering my previous effort and setting a new standard for myself. I am now on pace to finish 2012 with over 2100 miles and establish a new two year record of approximately 4150 miles! What a sense of joy and accomplishment I felt today that in my mid 60’s I did something I never even dreamed possible when I was younger!

So today I felt it was important for me to share my thoughts on the power of goal setting with you and let you know whatever you dream to accomplish – YOU CAN! If you BELIEVE you can achieve something important to you – you will!


The Power of Setting Goals

In setting goals we begin the journey of not only the mind but the body as well. I never really understood the power of creating goals that were meaningful to me – that captured my imagination and my innate power to achieve.

I had set goals in the past but never really attached my entire consciousness to achieving them. It always felt good to set goals but they never really entered my subconscious mind at any depth to help me “feel” a sense of achieving something special to me – until 2011.

Focusing my attention on achieving DAILY goals in support of my “big goal” allowed me to recognize “mini milestones” each week and month – and keep me engaged.

When I started running 7 miles for each session in early 2011, I began to see the “big picture” more clearly and I felt more alive with each passing day. You see it is NOT the 2000 miles I focused on but just the 7 mile run. With each passing day the mileage added up – week to week – month to month – until finally today I reached 4000 miles for both 2011 and 2012 – with 18 days to go in the year!

It never occurred to me to stop because I continued to make progress not only in reaching my mileage goals monthly but in my speed as well. A major breakthrough came on June 3 of this year. I broke 40 minutes for the 7 mile run and since then have gone under 40 minutes 25 times setting a record of 38:26 on November 3 after setting the record the previous day of 38:32! This speed work for me was an unbelievable achievement because now I believe I CAN run a 5:30 mile outside in 2013!

This all came about because of the power of goal setting and you TOO can achieve what you want by doing the same thing I did these past two years. Believing you can achieve takes time – as it did for me – but eventually you WILL believe. This is the power of goal setting!

Charting Your Course in Fitness

I am evaluating my new goals for 2013. They include working on my balance and flexibility (maybe yoga classes) – and continuing to develop my strength through my weight training program. I am thinking that now that I have accomplished something special in these last two years that it is time to look for new horizons and unexplored territory in my life. The last few weeks have been challenging. It has been a grind at times to have to face the miles but because I have set “mini goals” for speed and endurance along the way, I have managed to achieve greater results than I ever dreamed possible for me as a runner.

The idea of setting new goals for ourselves is to inspire new thoughts, feelings, and unleash our “hidden power” to move beyond our “perceived” limitations and into a new “lands of achievement”. What we do with our bodies we do THROUGH our minds. “What the mind can CONCEIVE and BELIEVE it can ACHIEVE” is something I used to say to my audiences back in the 80’s and 90’s when I was teaching the principles of client centered marketing to professional organizations and associations.

I never really made the connection to my physical being until this year when I started running 7 miles in under 5:30 per mile! Now I KNOW I was the one setting the limits and they were WAY below what I could really achieve. I can begin anew in 2013 KNOWING I am capable of so much more than I used to believe about myself – and YOU CAN TOO!

Set your goals for 2013 with achievement in mind. Make them REAL in your mind first and then ACT on them – ONE DAY AT A TIME and see what starts happening. This principle applies to ALL aspects of our lives and you and I KNOW that “the mind of man is unlimited in its potential and responds to the demands placed upon it”. This is another principle I used to share with those same audiences and now it is a part of me FOR REAL!

I focus my attention DAILY on what it is I want to achieve TODAY and make it my business to accomplish something toward its completion. Remember ONE DAY AT A TIME anything is possible. Rev. Robert Schuller of the Crystal Cathedral and the Hour of Power used to say to his congregations when they became afraid or frustrated: “Inch by inch – anything is a cinch!”


Today was special for me. I will never have to second guess myself when it comes to my running – ever again. I believe in myself more completely today than I ever have before. It just took me longer than most to “get there!”

Let’s have faith (today) that our years will be filled with the joy of achievement and that our journey is like the one I am having now – filled with the joy of accomplishment and the surprise of things yet to come.

Set your goals with the intention of exploring your potential and breaking through barriers that were once only in your mind. What you can conceive and believe – you can achieve! NEVER stop believing that and you will become more than you ever dreamed possible – just like me today!

Author Profile: Nick Prukop

Website:      Email: [email protected] Nick is an author, teacher, and speaker and has been a certified personal trainer and lifestyle and weight management consultant since 1992. He is currently recognized as a master trainer by the IDEA International Health and Fitness Association. He has been a runner since 1964 and has accumulated over 60,000 miles in that time.

Disclaimer: The views of the author are his or her own, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Ask The Trainer.
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