Making and Achieving Personal Goals

Saturday I participated in my first triathlon. It’s known in Northern California as the “no-swim” triathlon because in Eppie’s Great Race, you run, bike, then kayak.

Before the race I told my wife, “If I do really good, I’ll come in at 2 hours and 13 minutes.”

My time?

2 hours and 13 minutes and 14 seconds.

I don’t think everyone needs to do a triathlon to prove themself; but I think most of us could probably use a little self discipline in various areas. Personally, I’ve let my eating, and consequently my weight, get out of hand more than a few times in my life. I was fooling myself thinking that it didn’t affect my health and my marriage. Yes, my marriage. Lori has been awesome to me, even when I was more than a little chubby. But the truth came out in a good way last week when I walked in the room in a new shirt and Lori said, “Wow, you really look good. I can’t believe how much weight you’ve lost.”

In hindsight, I feel guilty for all the times that she did not say, “Wow, you look really bad. Lose some weight you undisciplined pig!” This positive comment meant so much more! It was motivation for me to continue living a life of self-control.

This race was a fun way to work out with a purpose. The race was a 5.82 mile run, a 12.5 mile bike ride, then a 6.35 mile paddle. I didn’t have shot at winning—that wasn’t my goal. But I came in 50th out of 716 people doing the ironman (one person doing all three legs). I was 13th in my age division (40-49).

My goals were all time goals. As I trained, I was able to break 8-minute miles on the run, so my goal was to run 7:45 pace for the race. As it turned out, I ran about 7:30 pace. My bike goal was 20mph. I ended up averaging 19.5 (probably a little too tired from the run). My goal for the paddle was to beat 50 minutes. I did under 49 (not counting the run from the bike to the boat).

I only decided to do this crazy venture about a month ago when I began upping my workouts to lose weight. I have a friend who has been trying to talk me into paddling, and when I tried… I caught the bug!

Paddling is a little addicting. I live by Folsom lake and the American River. Lots of places to paddle around here. And when you’re out running, biking and paddling… you see plenty of wildlife for someone who lives in the middle of suburbia.

One of the most fun parts of the paddling experience has been paddling with Lori and the girls. They all like it and have paddled with me. We’ve looked at the ducks and the heron. I won’t pretend to know the names of all the birds we see… but it’s pretty cool.

I’m going to keep up the paddling and biking, but my next race will be a half marathon in October. Last time I ran it at an 8:30 pace. I want to do it at sub-8 this time! We’ll see if I can do that for 13.1 miles.

Sometimes we need to set spiritual goals as well. Last year our family made the goal to memorize Matthew chapter 6. The kids were skeptical at first, but all of them did it no problem. Next month we’re setting a reading goal with the book of Proverbs.

What about you?
What are some personal goals you’ve set for yourself, physically… spiritually?

What are some goals you’d like to achieve?

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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9 Responses to Making and Achieving Personal Goals

  1. Roger says:

    Congrats on finishing the Run, Bike, Kayak Tri. I’ve never done a Triathlon but it sounds like one I would enjoy. I too am scheduled to run a half marathon (September 22) but not nearly as fast as you hope to finish. This will be my second one and I hope to finish around 2:06 (my first attempt). Got to start training harder.

    • That’s awesome. Good job Roger. If you want, in your training, include some speed workout days. For example… instead of just running 6 miles one day, run some “mile repeats” where you run a mile at a really fast pace, then jog a mile slow. Then repeat again running at a fast pace. Get your body used to what a faster pace feels like. Those speed workout days help you pick up your pace on other days. Eventually, on your normal workout days shoot for 9 minute miles and see if you can keep it up for the whole run. If you can maintain a 9:06 pace for all 13.1 miles then you’ll break 2 hours!!! Fun stuff.

      • Roger says:

        Sounds like a plan, thanks for the help and advice. BTW: Love this blog. Always look for it each morning.

  2. dan manns says:

    awesome job Jonathan! it must have been a rewarding feeling after the race was over that all the hard work and training was worth it. it reminds me of something that happened in my life recently: my graduating class celebrated its 25th reunion last weekend. though i couldn’t make the party because i was officiating a wedding that day, somebody took lots of pics and posted them on facebook. after looking at the pics one big observation was that having a relationship with Jesus pays off in so many ways – including the area of self-disicipline. the majority of my classmates had, well let’s just say ‘let themselves go’ over the past 25 years. i’m no mr. universe and i certainly am not judging my classmates. i was just very thankful for the fact that serving Jesus has more than just eternal benefits. a godly lifestyle is a healthy lifestyle and His life in us helps us walk in step with that. keep up the good work Jon!

  3. Casey says:

    Congrats on your triathlon! Great job. That’s a really good time on the run and bike portions (I’ve never paddled, so I can only assume that’s good too). I run and bike and have done a couple of bucket list items, if you will, over the last couple of years. I did a 109 mile bike ride in Tucson called the El Tour de Tucson. It’s pretty hilly. I finished in 8 hours 32 minutes. I was happy with that for my first time. Two months ago I did my first marathon. It was the Whiskey Row which is one of the top 10-20 hardest marathons in the US. Again, I chose a doozy for my first one. lol I finished in 5 hours 3 minutes. Considering I had a slight hamstring pull at mile 18 and had been fighting a quad injury for three weeks leading up to it, I was pretty happy with that time as well. I’m going to run the rock and roll marathon in Phoenix this January and hope to beat my time by a significant amount. My family and I are also reading through the bible together for the first time. We’re using a yearly plan in the chronological bible and it has been a real blessing. We get behind at times because of things that come up, but we’re making it a point to always get caught up as quickly as possible. Goals are great. They help things become habit, which is a good thing.

    • Awesome goals Casey. It’s crazy how injured we all get training for marathons. My wife hurt her foot training for one, I hurt my knee… so frustrating. At least we won’t get injured with our Bible reading!!! 🙂

  4. Julie K says:

    Awesome! I’m so glad you shared this. I just started back into jogging and I’ve been having some of the same thoughts. Thanks for being disciplined and sharing your families goals…inspiring 🙂