What happens to goal setting as the end of the 365 Mile Challenge year starts winding down? At the beginning of the year, I would imagine many goals may be in the let’s-see-what-happens category. 365 miles sounds like a lot, and can be intimidating, and that’s how I approached it. When I first joined the challenge a few years ago, I started in March, when registration opened up again, so I had already lost two months worth of opportunities to count toward the total. I barely made 365 miles, but much to my surprise, I did it, which set the stage for my next year.
As I got more involved in the 365 Mile Challenge community, I got better at getting out and walking, which was my primary method of exercise. My end of the year numbers kept increasing, but deliberate goal setting was still something I didn’t do. I still managed to hit big targets, like a double, and then a triple, but it seemed to be a numbers game as the year wound down.
2021 was the year I began to branch out from just walking and riding. I made a decision to ride my spinning bike when I didn’t go out, and to pull out the conversion chart and use it when I did other exercises. My stated goal was to do something every single day; I tracked it via a wall calendar, 365 Mile Challenge tracking sheets (color-coded by month), and a journal. The journal has proven to be my biggest motivator, mostly because I track my actual miles. My long-term goal was to accomplish a quad – 1,460 miles. Sometime in September I made a mistake, and accidentally added 200 miles to my total, which put me well within reach of a quad – until I total up my September miles!
My solution was to first, go back and find the mistake and correct it, and second, to add my ultimate goal of 1,460 miles on the bottom of each week’s page of my journal. I have figured out that in order to meet my goal, I need to average four miles a day. I now have a firm target. Goal setting – my method may not be the usual method, but it’s working for me.