Congratulations to everyone who completed the Belfast Marathon recently.
My good friend Carl Donnelly was running his first ever marathon and I’m sure he smashed it. But what’s next?
In the lead up to an event all your focus is on performing at your best on the day but you never even think about what is going to happen after.
The first thing you should do is celebrate your achievement. Even if you fell short on your goal but put in considerable effort don’t be so hard on yourself, go and let your hair down.
As soon as the celebrations are over and you are giving the body and mind time to recover consider your next step. You don’t have to have every detail planned out, just start the thought process and see where it takes you.
You may want to push on further in the area of your last goal be it a long distance, quicker time, extended or more intense training period. You could go down a different path altogether from a different type of event, sport or something un-related like learning the guitar or a new language.
The point is, it doesn’t matter what it, as long it’s going to be something that will challenge you and keep you moving forward.
Once you have thought about it, it’s time to take action. It might be a conversation with a friend or family member, looking up a website, dropping someone a text to say what you are considering, or – best of all – write it down.
It’s about taking a small step or action that keeps the momentum going. If you don’t consider this soon after you have achieved your last goal then a few days becomes a few weeks, months and even a year or two before you have to take action rather than you want to.
This happened to myself when I did a six-week transformation. I put all my effort into the training and diet. I loved all the highs and low of the process.
I was very happy with the end result and knew straight after that final picture it was junk food time. This was fine for the weekend after I reached my goal but it soon spilled into the week, next week and even month.
I wasn’t going to the gym as much and I started snacking more at night. Even my mood and other lifestyle habits changed for the worse. I was lucky that football season was starting up again and I had a new focus, but even then, the new bad habits I had acquired, stayed with me. There was a number of reasons I thought this had happened.
I still believe it was mainly down to the fact that I didn’t have anything else to move on to straight away.
I had learnt my lesson. Before I completed my last big goal of running the ultra marathon, I had set my next goal of building back up my strength and power.
During my training for the event I loved getting out to run but dropped off on my gym work, and to be honest I had lost a bit of motivation for it. I decided to text a local personal trainer Jonny McKeown who works out at RAW Performance to help me reach my new goal once I completed the ultra. I simply picked Johnny from the content he had online and he’s a good lad!
I knew I had the knowledge and the drive to get myself back at it, but why not get a little bit of help along the way and even learn something new. So that’s my goal for the next six weeks a least and it has already got me thinking about the next big challenge.
If you are nearing the completion of your goal, just finished or have taken a bit too much rest time, then start to get the ball rolling now. Think about what is the next goal, challenge or adventure you are aiming for.
If you want to increase your chance of reaching your goal, then remember to write it down. It is suggested you are 42 per-cent more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down.
So grab that pen and paper and start the ball rolling.