Big Goals & Self-Doubt

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.

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Hello, friends! 😎

Thursday is flying by, isn’t it? I sort of wish it wasn’t because I have a lot of stuff to do, specifically tackling my inbox. I came home to over 500 emails! I love vacation, but I dislike coming back to the crazy mess of work waiting for me!

Breakfast

My morning started with a bowl of Greek yogurt mixed with almonds and cereal and a glass of iced coffee with soy milk.

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Snack

Mid-morning, I had a bunch of errands to run around town, so I grabbed a smoothie to go. (FYI: Bag is from Target. Sunglasses are from the streets of NYC.)

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In the mix: frozen blueberries, vanilla protein powder, chia seeds, almond milk, and a secret ingredient.

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The other day, I stumbled upon this article in Harper’s Bazaar: Rita Wilson: Losing It. It’s your typical celebrity weight loss story: Rita Wilson gains weight, wants to lose it, and hires a top trainer– in this case, Jillian Michaels– to help her shed those unwanted pounds. I didn’t expect much from the article, so I skimmed through through it until I read Rita’s comment about her fitness motivations:

“We all have a story we tell ourselves: ‘I’m weak.’ ‘I’ve never been able to lose weight.’ ‘I’m big boned.’ ‘I’m menopausal and my metabolism has changed.’ ‘I can’t take time for myself.’ I read somewhere once that if your fantasies are your own, why not make them great ones? Why not ‘I will look like Gisele in a thong?'”

I love what she says about creating great “fantasies” for yourself, which I took to mean goals. I mean, why not aim high? It’s like that famous quotation: Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.

The biggest goal that I ever set for myself was running a marathon, which, as you can imagine, it wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies. It was an overwhelming goal and it created a lot of self-doubt. I’ve never told anyone this, but when I committed to running a marathon with Team In Training, I didn’t think I could do it. Of course, I wanted to complete a marathon, but I honestly didn’t think I was physically or mentally capable of running 26.2 miles. But, I aimed high and hoped for the best.

At that point, the longest distance I’d run was a half marathon and it was an ugly 13.1 miles. It was that race that sidelined my running for about a year, so, obviously, I was really worried about getting injured again. Plus, I wasn’t sure if I had the physical (and mental) stamina to run for 4+ hours. During my training, every time I went out to accomplish a longer run, I was super nervous about tackling the unchartered territory. Those longer distances were extreamly intimidating! But, breaking my big goal into smaller chunks and trucking along week-by-week made it much more managable, and I got through each of those long runs: 10 miles, 12 miles, 16 miles, 18, miles, and 20 miles.

Physically, it was essential to get my body used to running those distances, but mentally, it was even more important. The day that I ran 18 miles, for instance, I KNEW that I could run a marathon. I finally proved it to myself when I finished my 20-miler. It sealed the deal. Those two long runs were the confidence-boosters that I needed to achieve my goal.

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In a nutshell, here’s how I overcame my big goal self-doubt:

Sticking to the plan: Simply sticking to my training schedule and completing my runs provided me with the positive feedback that I needed. It proved to me that I could stick to a plan and my body could run farther and farther distances.

Breaking the big goal into smaller goals: I trained for 5 months, but each week brought me closer to my goal. My first long run was 3 miles, but I slowly worked my way up to a 20-miler run. Increasing my distance a little bit each week made the big goal seem like daunting. Achieving the smaller goals also gave me confidence to push my limits.

Doing confidence-building workouts: After taking a Body Pump class, I always feel strong, powerful, and confident. Boosting my self-confidence with this type of workout helped give me faith in my running.

Getting prepared: The night before my 18-miler, I obsessively prepared my gear for the next morning. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen the next day, but having control over this part of my run gave me the confidence I needed to tackle that long run.

Using mantras: Training for a marathon is a lot of hard work. There were tons of times that I wanted to quit, but mantras got me through the tough times and helped me to dig deep.

Do big goals overwhelm you? How do you deal?

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63 Comments

  1. Yes, I’m definitely not a planner/achiever/big-goal-er! hahaha 🙂 I dream very big and have great visions, but I always seem to fall back on doing everything one step at a time. And sometimes…just do things as they come to me! YIKES–hence, not a planner. Stay strong Tina <3

  2. I’ve never been great at running. To read this and see the first big run you wanted to tackle was three miles is pretty inspiring, especially since you completed your first marathon not that long ago. it makes me feel that my own goal of three miles is more obtainable than i thought 🙂 thank you for a much needed boost!

  3. I love your post today! I really like your bag from Target. I would love to get one for my sister. I checked online but was unable to find it. Did you get it recently?

  4. This post is so helpful. I’m currently training for my first run, a 10K. I’m NOT a runner, but I knew that this would push me and challenge me, so I wanted to do it. Last Sunday I ran 4 miles without stopping, and I felt SO accomplished and proud of myself! Now I’m looking to do a half-marathon and maybe even a full marathon. I know it will be hard, but I want to keep pushing myself to do better and better. I might not be able to do it, but the important thing is that I’m pushing myself.

  5. The thought of training for my second marathon definitely overwhelms me right now. I have a lot of doubt about being able to do it again, and finish it injury free this time. But like you said, it’s all about following the training and just doing what you can to get to that big goal!

  6. Funny you should blog about “big goals!” Last week I stumble across NoMeatAthlete for the first time (I know, I’m late to the party!) and I was hugely inspired by something on the “get motivated” page. Basically he said to forget the S.M.A.R.T. acronym because goals should NOT be attainable. If something’s attainable, you already know you can do it. But to inspire change, you need a goal that seems impossible. After reading that, I signed up for my first marathon (this coming November)! It seems impossible… I need to change my life to achieve it. And I couldn’t be more excited 🙂

    I love all your tips. The one that really helped me with training for my first race was to “trust the plan.” Don’t think about the race distance, just think about how long your plan says to run today and trust that it will get you there!

  7. wow. how do you tackle 500 emails!
    Also, I love this post. Im running a 1/2 marathon soon and towards the end of the training program, I just wish for it to be over. But thank you for your advice!

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