The first day AFTER I hit my weight goal, I went out to run my 5 miles again. I run laps around a man-made lake that’s exactly one mile around. I didn’t have a new goal to drive me yet, and my mind started playing tricks on me. After mile 3, I started rationalizing “do I really need to do 5 miles tonight? I had a long day at work. I’ll just stop at 4. That’s good enough, right?”
I finished 3 and started into mile 4. I have this little habit of sticking out the number of fingers corresponding to the mile I’m starting on (helps with old age memory lapses.) I looked down at my 4 fingers and told myself, “I’ll just go ahead and sprint this last one and call it a night.” I rounded the bend into the home stretch. As I approached the 4-mile finish line, I couldn’t shake the feeling I was cheating myself.
For some odd reason, I recalled a 1986 movie entitled “Gung Ho” with Michael Keaton. The new Japanese management challenged the American auto plant workers to make exactly 15,000 cars in one month to keep their jobs. They rationalized to Michael Keaton that if they made 80% of the goal, they should get something, right? Long story short – they had to make all the cars to get anything. All or nothing baby.
I looked down at my 5 outstretched fingers and slowly curled them into a fist. “I’m doing 5 baby.” The last mile was extremely hard, but the feeling at the end was worth it. I went home and mapped out new goals for the next 6 months. Have you ever let the celebration of one achieved goal overshadow the need to set a new one?