The single biggest reason I have seen that people fail to reach their running goals (and maybe just goals in general) is that they fail to align their life with their goals. Most people, especially runners, are good at defining a set goal of some type, but then many of them drop the ball by not aligning their life in such a way as to make that reaching that goal possible, or by not choosing a goal that fits within the hard constraints they have in their life.
If your life and goals are not aligned, then you repeatedly set yourself up for disappointment and frustration. But if you do align your life with achieving your goals, then it may only be a matter of time, persistence and determination until your goals are achieved.
Because of this, I recommend that when you set a goal, you thoroughly understand and examine what is required in order reach that goal, and make sure that you are willing and able to align your life in such a way as to be able to do the things necessary to achieve that goal. This is where an experienced and knowledgeable coach can come in. They can tell you the things that will be necessary in order to achieve your goals and then help you establish your plan and help you do them.
I am in no way judging anyone’s goals, desires, life restrictions or willingness or ability to do certain things. Those are all very personal things. I am simply encouraging people to know and understand their hard constraints in terms of what they have time and desire to do, and make sure that their goals fit within these constraints.
While aligning your life with your goals does not assure that you will achieve them, it does give you a fighting chance. It will likely take time, and healthy dosages of persistence and determination, but then that is what makes achieving them so special.
Coach Mark Hadley