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Refrain from Doing These 3 Things as You Begin Your Running Journey

Refrain from Doing These 3 Things as You Begin Your Running Journey

    The decision to become a runner can be very much like a New Year’s resolution. It is always made with the best of intentions but then withers away gradually as life’s many distractions get in the way. However, there are some distractions that one can consciously avoid which will prevent the withering of both your money, as well as your reasons for wanting to run.

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    1. Frivolous Spending on Running Apparels/Gadgets

    Some people make the commendable decision to start running. Instead of doing just that, they then channel their energy on what is the latest technology footwear or the foremost-advanced calorie-counting watch to buy. Such extravagant outlays not only put in doubt the true motivation for running (with obvious implications for its longer term sustainability), but are downright wasteful.

    Irrespective of the multi-billion dollar industry catering to his perceived needs, all a runner really needs is a pair of joggers which is not in tatters, an old T-shirt that you were planning to donate to charity and a genuine desire to also donate something worthwhile towards your own sense of well-being.

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    2. Subscribing to Running/Fitness Magazines

    For those who truly believe that being a runner requires so much more than just going out and putting one foot in front of the other, feel free to seek advice from appropriate sources. However, I urge you to think twice about paying good money subscribing to any of the running or fitness magazines out in the market. While most, if not all, of them do indeed provide sound tips, these are readily available on the Internet without costing you a cent.

    Furthermore, refraining from these publications allows you to distance yourself from the temptations of frivolous spending mentioned above—after all, who could resist those glossy advertisements featuring the latest Garmin GPS watch which can not only measure your pace in 16 different ways, but has enough computing firepower to launch you into space!

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    Most importantly, avoiding these well-intentioned magazines minimizes contact with influences which distract you from what running is at its core—a simple and natural act performed by man (and woman) since the dawn of time.

    3. Committing to Long Term Gym Membership Contracts

    Being a gym member is great for both general fitness and even social reasons. However, committing to an expensive long term membership contract so that you can begin running is akin to uprooting to Brazil so that you can begin learning Portuguese—admirable but not even close to being necessary.

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    There may be countless reasons to commence your journey as a runner in the gym e.g. treadmills are better for the knees, safer than being on the road, opportunity to cross-train, a motivating surrounding, etc. In reality, though, they are mere snippets of canned wisdom from those glossy magazines that I have already advised against subscribing to above. If you want to start running, just start running. Don’t complicate what is essentially a very primitive form of exercise by throwing your hard-earned dollars at it.

    Final Thoughts

    I’m not advocating a monk-like abstinence to the above-mentioned temptations when starting your runner’s journey. By all means, leaf through an occasional running magazine, browse the odd Nike catalogue and entertain some casual visits to the gym.

    However, keep this mind: running for joy usually begins with an innocent single step, motivated by an emotional yearning (health, solitude, mental clarity), and quietly builds from there. It rarely starts with a materialistic splurge, driven by superficial desires because, rather than building from there, it invariably descends into an “all form, no substance” chore. And as every passionate advocate knows, when it comes to running, substance trumps over form any day of the week, and twice on Sunday.

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    Last Updated on January 21, 2020

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

    your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

      Why You Need a Vision

      Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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      How to Create Your Life Vision

      Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

      What Do You Want?

      The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

      It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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      Some tips to guide you:

      • Remember to ask why you want certain things
      • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
      • Give yourself permission to dream.
      • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
      • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

      Some questions to start your exploration:

      • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
      • What would you like to have more of in your life?
      • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
      • What are your secret passions and dreams?
      • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
      • What do you want your relationships to be like?
      • What qualities would you like to develop?
      • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
      • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
      • What would you most like to accomplish?
      • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

      It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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      What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

      Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

      A few prompts to get you started:

      • What will you have accomplished already?
      • How will you feel about yourself?
      • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
      • What does your ideal day look like?
      • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
      • What would you be doing?
      • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
      • How are you dressed?
      • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
      • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
      • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

      It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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      Plan Backwards

      It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

      • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
      • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
      • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
      • What important actions would you have had to take?
      • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
      • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
      • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
      • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
      • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

      Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

      It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

      Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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