M is for Marathon – Mental Marathon

As we find ourselves in the midst of June, it’s hard to believe that we have reached the year’s halfway mark! This passage of time can be both exhilarating and overwhelming, especially if we haven’t achieved the goals we set for ourselves at the beginning of the year. You might be trying to achieve a goal but are miles away from where you want to be, which can be stressful and isolating. For instance, those of you taking your exams might be feeling overwhelmed and running out of steam. Life can feel like a marathon sometimes; it can be challenging, extremely tiring and hard to motivate yourself. But fear not! Just like a determined runner, you have the power to challenge yourself and make a difference. It’s time to look within and get through your mental marathon. Changing your mindset will help you dig in, reach the finish line, and celebrate achieving your goal! So, let’s explore how you can tackle the second half of the year with renewed enthusiasm and turn it into a personal triumph of reaching the finish line. 

Reflect on Your Journey

In any marathon, runners occasionally take a moment to reflect on how far they’ve come. Similarly, take this opportunity to review your accomplishments so far. Celebrate the milestones, big or small, and acknowledge your progress. Remember that reaching the halfway point is an achievement in itself. Use this reflection as a source of motivation and inspiration to continue the journey towards your goals.

Reassess and Adjust

Just like a marathoner evaluates their pace and adjusts their strategy, take the time to reassess your goals. Are they still aligned with your current aspirations and values? Are they realistic given the circumstances you find yourself in now? Be open to modifying your goals if needed, ensuring they remain challenging yet attainable. Adaptability is key in both marathons and life’s pursuits.

Break it Down

A marathon can feel overwhelming if you focus solely on the final distance. Similarly, large goals can seem daunting if you don’t break them down into manageable steps. Divide your objectives into smaller, actionable tasks that can be accomplished within shorter timeframes. Doing so will create a clearer path forward, allowing you to measure progress more effectively and stay motivated along the way.

Pace Yourself

In a marathon, pacing is crucial to prevent exhaustion or burnout. Similarly, finding the right balance in life is vital for long-term success. Avoid the temptation to rush and overwhelm yourself with excessive commitments. Prioritise self-care and ensure you have time for rest and rejuvenation. By pacing yourself, you’ll maintain the energy and stamina required to make steady progress toward your goals.

Seek Support

Marathoners often rely on the cheering and encouragement of spectators to propel them forward. Similarly, don’t hesitate to seek support from friends, family, or mentors in your pursuit of goals. Share your aspirations, struggles, and triumphs with others who can provide guidance and motivation. Surround yourself with a positive and uplifting network that believes in your potential and pushes you to excel.

Embrace the Journey

While the finish line may be the ultimate goal, marathons are about more than just reaching the endpoint. The same applies to life. Embrace the journey itself and find joy in the process. Recognize that setbacks and challenges are part of the experience, offering valuable lessons and opportunities for growth. By savouring each step of your personal marathon, you’ll develop resilience and a deep appreciation for the power of perseverance.

Read ‘Half Man, Half Marathon’

After surviving a severe brain injury, Mark Kennedy embarked on a journey of running 100 half marathons. Half Man, Half Marathon is Mark’s story that evokes so many emotions by the simple act of those repeated steps getting closer to a destination. Running is more than simply putting one foot in front of the other. It’s a vehicle to offer fitness and adventure into one’s life. It’s also an escape from the pressure and anxieties that life throws at us. Read how he learnt that running could release the trauma and challenges that his hidden disability presented and how this sport has given positive mental health to so many. This book includes anecdotes and advice from fellow runners that can be applied to everyday life.

It’s natural to feel a tinge of stress if we haven’t achieved all our intended goals or find aspects of our lives a bit overwhelming. However, life is not a sprint but a marathon. Challenge yourself, believe in your potential, and keep running towards the fulfilling life you desire. Remember, it’s never too late to make a positive change and create a remarkable second half of the year. You’ve got this and remember to embrace the journey! 

To find out more on this topic…

Listen to our ‘M for Marathon’ podcast episode

The Z to A of Life Podcast

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