Sunday I completed my 6th marathon — my 3rd in the last six months. I felt good, finished strong, and shaved 16 minutes off my previous personal record. Sunshine, cool temperatures: perfect conditions.
A lot of people who aren’t runners seem impressed when I tell them I run marathons. Or they think I’m crazy. It seems a little crazy when I say it out loud, but the process hasn’t felt crazy. I don’t run every day. In fact, most weeks I don’t even run more than 3 times. I don’t cross train; I don’t weight train; I don’t follow any specific guide or method. I don’t even stretch! Maybe my lack of attention to additional training approaches is what my running friends would call crazy.
I’ve found that the only way to accomplish something difficult, like running marathons, is to apply focused, consistent effort.
Accomplishing any big goal takes both focus and consistency. Focus without consistency is mindless obsession. I could talk about marathons all day, planning and scheming. Without consistent training, I’d never create the endurance needed to reach my goal.
Focus is important because it requires you to decide on a singular goal and give it your attention. Though there’s a lot you can do, you’re eliminating some possibilities to hone in on one at a time.
Consistency is important because accomplishing a difficult goal is never once and done. It’s repeated effort. Again and again. Persistence. There’s no magic, just showing up.
If I want to create more fulfilling relationships, I have to invest time and energy in people in a consistent way, over time.
If I want to grow my business, I need to have consistent marketing approaches to build relationships and add value to potential clients. I need to be consistent in sales outreach and follow-up.
If I want to become a more effective speaker/presenter, I need to practice, accepting opportunities when they come my way and preparing well so I can communicate clearly.
If I want to improve my writing, I need to write.
There’s no magic, just showing up.
What do you most want in your life? If it’s to conquer a big goal like a marathon, take the first step by incoporating regular runs into your weekly schedule. If it’s to build a business, think about the repeatable practices you’ll need to do in order to build your business. If it’s to be a better blogger, commit to a sustainable schedule and schedule time to write. If it’s to have more fulfilling relationships, set aside time to invest in your relationships.
Focus and consistency are key to making progress toward any goals you’re aiming for — even the ones that seem difficult or crazy.
You have confirmed and proven 6 times that the magic comes after you’ve done the work, not once, not half heartedly, not just when you felt moved to do it. No, you bring your goals into focus, then you work on them consistently, with self discipline. You do more than show up. You don’t quit.
Becky Robinson, well said. I love the analogy with running, because sports have a lot to teach us about self discipling!