Increasing Productivity and Reaching Goals in Marathon Training and Life

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As we enter the New Year many of us have ideas about what we’d like to do and accomplish in 2014.

I think it’s healthy to have goals and dreams and work toward these things. However, I’ve read that only 8% of people’s resolutions actually get carried out.

I know I’ve been guilty of letting many good intentions go by the wayside. One common roadblock to accomplishing goals is the fact that we’re already so busy. Sometimes it seems overwhelming to add even another good thing to our schedule.

Here are my three tips for getting things done . . . (and loving it)

Three Tips for Increasing Productivity in 2014

  1. Dream Big- Think about your ideal life. What do you want to accomplish in the next year, 10 years, or lifetime? What do you want to see and experience? Have a clear vision of what you want and where you want to go. Your goals and dreams are going to be unique to you.

    One excellent book that really helped direct the course of my life a few years ago was “First Things First” by Steven Covey. Too often we get caught up in the urgent but unimportant things of life and miss out on the truly important and valuable moments.

    Begin to define that inner “why” or personal payoff factors. Define why running is important to you. Figure out your motivation for running that half or full marathon and it will make those tough moments in training so much more meaningful. You shouldn’t decide to run a marathon to please another person or because all the “cool” people are doing it.

    Spell out your goals and make definite steps toward accomplishing them. The more defined the goal the better. Instead of saying, “I want to run a marathon in 2014” say “I’m going to sign up for the Wineglass Marathon in Oct. 2014 and get personal coaching to help me with my training.”

    “Don’t give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish. The time will pass anyway.”

  2. Learn to say “no.” In order to say “yes” to your priorities you have to say no to some things. Once you have a vision of what you want your life to be like you need to eliminate the things that aren’t moving you in that direction. I think it’s also important to realize that you can’t have it all, all the time.

    It’s also important to admit your fears. We all have fears and that small voice of self-doubt in the back of our head. But part of achieving goals involves acknowledging that voice of fear and saying, “I know you’re scared that X will happen, but I’m stronger than this fear.” I think the most successful people have found ways to deal with fear and move past it.

    There will be “seasons” in life where priorities, desires and ability changes. For example, there may be a season in life where your running goals change due to family or work obligations or injury. Realize that it’s okay and that you’ll get back to where you want to be. Just continue working toward your goals even if all it seems like you’re taking is baby steps and you’ll be able to accomplish what you want.

  3. Organize your day to make your priorities happen. The simple truth is that if you don’t have a plan you won’t accomplish as much. Take action every day. Good things rarely just fall in our laps, they require effort and commitment and that makes the victory that much sweeter. Don’t just go with the flow. Things rarely flow toward productivity.

    I get great satisfaction checking things off of my list. I’ve learned that I have a more productive day and more mental clarity on the days I exercise first thing in the morning. It must be something about getting the blood flowing and feeling a sense of accomplishment in getting something challenging done. Have a plan with your daily schedule, with your training and with goals you’re working toward.

    Identify your time wasters. We all have them. Maybe it’s checking Facebook several times per day. Maybe it’s getting sucked into TV in the evening so that you get to bed really late. There is a place for all these things if you’re intentional about them. Schedule in the shows you really love to watch, and let all the other ones go.

    Celebrate your successes and don’t be afraid to take risks. Remember where you came from and take time to acknowledge and celebrate your hard work. Yes there’s probably still a long way to go, but take the time to enjoy the small victories and appreciate how far you’ve come.

Also Mentioned in This Episode

  • The book Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh, CEO of
  • The book First Things First by Stephen Covey
  • Ted talk Surprising Lessons From 100 Days of Rejection by Jia Jiang

Also note that if you need to improve the physical condition of your body, you can also hire a crossfit coach.

5 Responses to Increasing Productivity and Reaching Goals in Marathon Training and Life

  1. Trevor Spencer January 2, 2014 at 11:46 pm #

    Driving from Pennsylvania to Missouri in a blinding snow storm and getting this podcast edited and uploaded is my first major accomplishment of 2014.

    It’s going to be a good year!

  2. Benjamin Charbonneau January 4, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

    Those are great tips Angie! If I may, I would definitely add this one “CONSISTENCY is KEY” there are going to be days that you’re just NOT feeling it!!! Those are the days that start the horrible downward spiral effect! DONT “NOT DO IT” As soon as you get that urge or thought of …”ummm….I’ll just do it later tonight” GET UP, GET UP right away! Put your stuff on, grab your shoes, hop in the car, whatever it is that you’re doing! Just go do it! If you approach every activity this way you won’t regret it! I promise! Also, think of it this way, just tell yourself you’ll do only 15 minutes! This is a bit easier on the moral when you think of getting out there, but I guarantee once you’re done your 15 you’re going to want to keep going!
    If you want to read more about motivational articles or time management for that matter, check out our website tailored to runners!

    • Angie Spencer January 18, 2014 at 4:29 pm #

      Hi Benjamin. Thank you for your very insightful comment. Consistency is definitely key to accomplishing goals. Have a happy and productive 2014!

  3. Chris Monasmith January 14, 2014 at 10:55 am #

    This was great and awesome to listen too. I must admit, lately with the cold I have found it hard to motivate myself to run. I had usually go to crossfit in the morning and run in the afternoons, but, lately I have had no motivation to run in the evenings. So I started waking up a 3:30 am, driving to crossfit, running, then doing crossfit at 5:30 and its been magnificent. I am getting everything out of the way in the morning and don’t feel the burden in the evening. Thanks for the great podcast!

    • Angie Spencer January 18, 2014 at 4:31 pm #

      Hi Chris. I’m glad you found this podcast helpful. It’s true that during different seasons your motivation level may be lower. Getting out in the dark and cold takes a lot of will power! Recognizing that an afternoon run isn’t going to happen helps you reorganize the day to do it first thing. Keep up the great work!

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