The Goal-den Rule

Google images source:
Google images source:

An issue I have been pondering for quite some time is the idea that we make goals, or lists, and try to check them off as we do them.  Or, as in my type-A life, it’s color-coded with a check box on a special piece of paper with neat writing and I just so happen to have a Sharpie pen specifically used to mark my achievements, however slight.  Wa-LAH.  Done.

Image from:
Image from:

Not so fast though.  What happens when we don’t meet those goals?  Are we disappointed? Make a new goal in place of the old one?  Move on?

I’ve been thinking about this and YES …I have goals.  Several in fact.  But, I’ve come to the conclusion that goals, like rules, are sometimes meant to be broken.  Yes, I know, … for those of you that know me … YOU know that I am a rule follower, law abider, type A, organizational fool.  I’m learning though.  I am a work in progress … thus, this post.

This notion can also be applied to your hopes and dreams.  Cutting yourself some slack where you turn up short, or simply taking a right, when maybe you intended to go left all along is maybe not such a bad thing.  The outcome, along with the journey, is a learning process.  It’s how we act, re-act, and ultimately defend our reasons for choosing this race or that, taking time off, that can define us.  If I’ve learned one thing through the last several years of competing in triathlons – goals change, people change, and rules are often broken.

Who has control over your Goal-den Rules?  YOU DO.

Here are some of my GOAL-den Rules:

1.  Do yourself and others a favor.  Love yourself.  Not in a conceited, thinking you’re better than everyone way, but in a way the exudes confidence without self-deprecation.  When you love the person you are, there is no need to put others down.

2.  Listen to others.  Really listen.

3.  Work your ass off to achieve your goals, but realize that sometimes the best laid plan is not always possible. Evaluate, Monitor, and prepare to make changes where necessary.  Sometimes it’s okay to say … F* it!

4.  Don’t be the ethics police for other people.  See #1.  I’ve read some forums where other athletes want to complain about athletes not doing this or doing that, when really they should just mind their own.  If it comes down to hurting someone else or taking the podium away from some rightful victor, then just leave it alone.

5.  Smile.  It always helps, even when you feel lousy.  There is always someone who feels a lot worse than you.  Case in point — when I’m running tempo and can barely breathe and I smile and say hi to you as you ride on by, give me at least a nod.  It’s not hard people!

6.  Write your goals down, see them, make changes where necessary, and don’t feel bad when you change them or come up short. See #3.

7.  Try new things.  Don’t get stuck in a rut doing the same thing over and over.  Do something new.  Try a new food, a new sport, visit a new place.  But, if you do visit a new place, you want to forget what I said earlier about taking a right when you were supposed to take a left.  Or, that could make for a new goal to a LONG DRIVE.

8.  Be kind to others.  Don’t be a tattle-tale, mind your p’s & q’s, …. (what the hell are p’s & q’s anyway?  I just wanted to throw that in there), … meaning, MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS.  See #4.  I am annoyed with others trying to police something they have no business policing.  Are you really going to turn in racer #4567 for drafting off of you for 3 minutes?  Come on now.

9.  Be inspiring:: you don’t have to be a stellar athlete to motivate someone.  See #1, #2, #5 and #8.

10.  It’s okay to break the rules every now and again, but be prepared to take ownership of your actions.

BUT — MY #1 GOAL-den RULE is::

doing what I can, when I can, and accepting responsibility for MY goals/dreams/attitude/decisions.

friends drafting


What are your thoughts?  Are some of these Goal-den Rules meant to be broken?  What are your Goal-den Rules?

8 thoughts on “The Goal-den Rule

  1. Great post! And, from the Urban Dictionary…
    From an old printer’s axiom. Back in the early days of printing presses, each line of text had to be set up one letter at a time. Since the letters in the press were reversed (so they’d print forward), the printmaker (or typographer) needed to be careful not to confuse one letter for the other.
    Reminding someone to “watch his p’s and q’s” means to pay attention to the details.

    Best of luck on your way to 140.6!

    Mary Ann @

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