How To Run Without Getting Exhausted By Setting Goals

This is about running, but it’s much more than that. Running is putting on a pair of jogging shoes and pounding the pavement. What it does once you get into the “flow,” is it slows down and encapsulates life, all in a single trot around the park.

As the new day unfolds while readying for the run, exposes a flashback of elation, the fear of injury, as I teeter back and forth, uncertain of my endurance.

Any given day can be such a day. This day began like any other, as I readied myself for another run around the Stanley Park seawall, in beautiful Vancouver, BC.

A breathtaking 9 kilometre run which offers cityscape views, every twist leading to bridges then mountaintops, all surrounded by the crashing waves.

It snakes it’s way around the carve of the cliffs, to its final destination Second beach.

Just A Jog Around

There are always mixed feelings about this run, apprehension when first warming up, as there are threats of pain in the shins, and the gasping for air in the lungs.

The agony of the pain in the joints fade, once the blood fuels the muscles as adrenaline takes over, and the jog becomes enjoyable.

The run becomes serene, as the splattering of rain this particular day, becomes a soothing sensation.

There is marginal overcrowding on this summer day, littered with other fellow runners and daredevil cyclists.

Navigating through the littered crowd, the tourists and the dogs, the goal like any other day, is to best my previous time of run, while pacing myself to avoid cramping.

Progress Related Effects

Okay, this really isn’t about running, it’s more of a condensed example of making and reaching goals. The point being, how our emotions can become affected, by we attempting to reach them.

Standing at the start line seconds before the run, there’s excitement and anxiety regarding the possibility of a great run.

There’s the potential of a new personal “best” time, or the muscles becoming dehydrated and causing too much pain.

The physical ritual of putting one leg in front of the other, hopefully feeling less pain than yesterday, is the objective.

Running For Nothing

This arduous run, which is the massive pounding of humanity per square inch, lands forcefully on the bottom of my heel.

What the bystanders and pedestrians don’t understand, what everyone wonders is why the heck is this guy running on this day.


I tell myself “I can do this,” as the steps turn into kilometres, while realizing, thinking there’s better use of my time, such as eating, napping or taking a bath.

This rather than putting on my running shoes and facing public ridicule, while wearing out my bodily organs.

The Point Of Setting Goals

What setting goals and the emotions it activates, acts as a signal. A guideline and a marker that tells us whether or not we’re making any progress in our life, in this world.

What this leads to is a relatively intuitive prediction, which turns into feeling positive emotions such as elation and relief once any progress is made, or once the goal is achieved.

More specifically, we feel joy if there’s an improvement in our progress and it’s sufficient enough, that we realize noticeable gain.

We feel bad such as anxiousness when we don’t make progress. We feel physical pain such as our knees beginning to hurt, which is the blunt result of failure.

Mood And Goal Setting

What research has focused on, are the effects of what general mood has on we striving towards our goals, rather than progress related emotions.

What’s found, is that the consequences of making progress, depends partially on whether or not the goal was expected to be reached or not.

Conversely, those who are less sure they’ll complete their goal, and are feeling bad about the progress becomes demotivated, because it confirms the goal can’t be reached.

The key becomes knowing how progress related affect, can influence the various goals we are striving towards, such as eating more healthier, consuming less alcohol, doing more exercise, etc.

Applying Progress Related Emotions

So if you’re wanting to use progress related emotions for yourself, there are several steps you can take.

One method that appears to work, is focusing and tracking on the progress you’ve already made, instead of the progress you still need to reach.

For instance, make a list of the things you’ve done recently, in the attempts to achieving your goals.

These should be motivating, especially if you’ve just started trying to achieve this certain goal.

Making Goals And Reaching Them

The goal of running is to run pain free and fast, the goal is to run faster than yesterday, the goal is to finish the run.

Just thinking about reaching any of these goals, what I’ll think about is all of the training I’ve done so far, such as running 10k, running in adverse weather, or cycling to stay in shape.

In contrast, once you’ve nearly completed your goal, make a list of all the things you’ll still need to do, as this appears to be the best strategy.

For instance, I might be thinking that I still have more training to do, even though I’ve already done plenty of training thus far.

Tracking Your Progress

Being aware of how you feel when it comes to your progress, may prove to be crucial.

Feeling negative regardless of what it appears to be, making poor progress when first starting out to achieve a goal, can prove to be detrimental.

What being completely aware of how your emotions can derail your goals, can enable you to overcome them, which will hopefully help you achieve the goal itself.

Why People Run

The next time you’re at the park or walking down the street, and you happen to see a jogger who appears to be labouring as they run past you. Never snicker, mock, or shout “keep it up” like a coach would.

Realize there’s a complete host of reasons why people run. It appears to be painful, human sacrifice, as why would they publicly hurt and embarrass themselves that way.

Know they have a completely different agenda than you. They appear to be punishing themselves, but it’s more a personal statement on getting better.

Their goal, what they’re attempting on a daily basis, is they’re wanting to get better than they were yesterday.

6 thoughts on “How To Run Without Getting Exhausted By Setting Goals

  1. Hello,
    Nice article and to the point, you made some valuable points, on how many people do things. You have put a positive to the negative, and a negative to a positive. I know I will definitely look at things differently. We strive every day to make our goals. Thank you for the insight.

    1. Hello Sandra
      Thank you very much for the reply.
      Goals and one day reaching them remains the key to getting better

  2. You have made some good points! You’re right to say that people should set goals and track their progress. Not just with running but with anything you set goals for. That’s now starting to click with me. Set goals, track your process, and work on being better than yesterday! Great post!

    1. Hello Buffy
      Glad you enjoyed it.
      The key to longevity, looking to the future is creating it yourself by making goals.

      Thank you for reading

  3. What a nice post you wrote! I really enjoyed reading it, I totally agree with your points, setting a goal, track your progress, and run farther than yesterday.
    Thanks for sharing the informative post and I’m looking forward to reading your new post.

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