Look What Becky Did Profiles in Goal Achievement

"I know, let's run a marathon together--oh my gosh, that would be so cool!" When you're a teenager, you think you can do anything, and that was certainly the case for Becky and Roxanne. Young, healthy, and co-captains of the field hockey team, Becky and Roxanne had run small races together, and they dreamed of someday doing the same with a marathon. But life often doesn't turn out the way we plan, and their lives ended up taking completely different paths. "When you pile on the stresses of a new marriage and starting your own business," says Becky Gillaspy, "something has to go." For her, that meant health and physical fitness. In her early twenties, Becky gained a significant amount of weight, stopped exercising, and by her own definition became "a couch potato.

" And when in their late twenties Becky got a call from Roxanne saying that she was training to complete their childhood dream, says Becky, "It was like a kick in the gut." As Becky moved into her early thirties, she lost a large portion of the weight, began exercising sporadically, and thought, "Hey, maybe I could do this." And when she was 32, she vowed she would run a marathon before she was 40. But again, it's amazing how life can get in the way. It wasn't until January of 2007, the beginning of her fortieth year, that she decided to get serious.

"This is it, I thought, I either do it, or I back out like I've always done." So she selected her race (the "Flying Pig Marathon" in Cincinnati--as in "I will run a marathon 'when pigs fly'"), found a training plan, and started pounding the pavement. But Becky didn't just train her body, she knew she needed to train her mind, too. "Something in me always knew I could do it," says Becky, "but the longer you do something, the more you identify with it.

After so many years, I had begun to identify with being an overweight, couch potato. Could I really muster up the courage to run a marathon?" She needed to convince her mind that she really could. The first step was to tell everyone she knew.

"I stood up in one of my business women's groups and declared that this was my goal and that I would be achieving it. After that, I would have been too embarrassed to drop out!" Second, she visualized herself running across the finish line. "Every Saturday I would head out for my 'long run,' and as the run finished--regardless of how I felt--I would run the last 100 feet like they were the final steps of my 26.2 mile journey. I would get such a visual picture in my mind of that awesome moment that my arms would often fly up in the air and tears would come to my eyes. I crossed that finish line 17 times in my mind before the race even began.

" Finally, she used a powerful affirmation. "Weeks before the race I started repeating this phrase to myself: 'I am absolutely certain in my ability to run the Flying Pig Marathon in 4:44.' I repeated this phrase to myself 3 times a day, every day.

I looked at myself in the mirror when I said it and never let myself doubt it--even on the days it didn't seem plausible because I was feeling tired and worn out." That affirmation made all the difference when, just 3 weeks before the race, Becky badly injured her knee during a long run. "I couldn't even run 5 or 6 miles and literally had to limp home. I thought, 'This isn't part of the plan. What do I do now?'" When she got home, she sulked for about 10 minutes, then she hobbled over to the mirror and did her affirmation--pushing all of the doubt out.

Then she started doing some Internet research and found an expert in injury-free running. Three weeks later, she was among "a sea of 10,000 runners of all ages and body types." But the story doesn't end there. The race was a uphill battle, literally and figuratively, and at one point Becky even considered dropping out. But she pushed forward, taking on one mile at a time. "I told myself, run this next mile well enough to let yourself have a chance at the finish.

Then at the next mile I would make the same deal with myself." Finally, the end was in sight. Says Becky, "I ran those last few moments on shaky legs, but I felt as light as a feather.

As I stepped across the line, my arms flew up in the air and my eyes welled with tears as I glanced at my watch and read that magic number 4:44"--the exact time that she had visualized all those months before. Today, Becky is a Certified Wellness Coach, helping people achieve their wellness goals. What's her advice for achieving yours? 1. Have a strong desire.

"Your desire must be stronger than 'it's a good thing to do.' There must be a good reason why you are doing it." 2. Believe that you have what it takes.

"Never let yourself doubt your goal," she says. 3. Commit to it. "Most people commit 'as long as nothing comes up,'" says Becky. "Commitment and convenience are opposite things. Do it anyway.

" 4. Maintain a high degree of self worth. "You cannot accomplish any goal if there is negative self-talk ('I'm so lazy,' etc.). There is just no place for it." 5.

Be flexible. "Life happens--just don't let it derail you from your goal. You're not going to be 100% perfect, but if you're flexible, you will still reach your goal." You really can have what you want. But like Becky, you must consider your mind an equal partner in whatever you are trying to do, and you must train it just as hard as you do your body. You must train your mind to believe you really can do it.

Because the fact is, you really can.

Margie Remmers is an author, business owner, and mom--with an expertise in helping people enjoy life and make money (in that order). To find out how she can help you, visit her online at:


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