When I say ‘too easy’, I don’t mean it’s too easy to actually do a marathon! No, I mean is too easy to use a marathon to relate goal achievement theory? Maybe it’s so obvious that it seems boring or corny? In this article I’m going to explain why I think not…

I’ve done a marathon, 2 in fact, and have also used goal achievement theory in my own life for over 25 years, so I know full well how the 2 subjects go together.

I watched the London Marathon on Sunday 17th April, the 30th anniversary, and was reminded of my own entry in 2008. It does have a bearing on the point of this article, so let me tell you about it…

I hit 40 in 2006, so wanted to do something to mark the occasion, and running a marathon makes a regular appearance on peoples’ ‘things to do’ lists. I found out how to enter the 2007 London race, and researched a training programme for myself.

When the entry ballot results came through, I had not got a place. However, by then I had already done a lot of training, so decided that on the same day as the race I would do 9 laps of my 3 mile training lap.

That’s what I did, all on my own, and got my own sense of achievement.
As it happened, I *did* get a place in the 2008 London race, so got to take part and enjoy the full atmosphere, completing my 2nd marathon.

I’m not much of a runner, so I really did have to push myself, discipline myself to do the training required. It was up to me whether I did it or not, whether I was prepared to push myself through the regular training schedule.

No-one else was forcing me, no-one else cared if I did it or not, it was 100% a personal thing.

So, sitting watching the 2011 race, polishing my 2008 finisher medal with a cup of tea and a fair amount of chocolate, I found myself inevitably thinking of the goal achievement lessons to be learnt.

The reasons people think a marathon is too easy to use as a goal achievement lesson is simply because it appears to easy for the pieces to fall into place.

You set your goal by deciding to do it, and then visualising the result with a marathon is not hard. You believe you can do it because you see thousands of others do it. You find out about getting trained, and then take the first step, which could be to buy proper running shoes.

Then you take action by starting to train and entering the race. You keep going and push yourself through the hard times, and let me tell you, the hard times do come, both through training and the race itself.

Then at the end you achieve your goal, and it’s marked with a medal.

It’s a classic example of goal achievement formula put into action, but people often believe that it wont apply to their own personal goal, their own personal circumstance.

This could not be further from the truth. As I know, using this formula works with virtually limitless potential. Watching others use it in a marathon does not lessen it’s potency, and in fact I found that using it myself to do a marathon merely drove home how powerful it can be.

So, don’t dismiss the marathon as a simple example of goal achievement. On the contrary, you can hold it as a shining light to follow. You may not want to complete a marathon, but you can use the exact same formula to achieve some amazing results of your own.

I’ve used this goal achievement formula for well over 25 years, to go on some great adventures. You can grab my free 8 Step Goal Achievement formula right now!


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  1. Jasmine @ GoalsOnTrack says:

    great post! I’ve been recently using a goal setting app called GoalsOnTrack and it has worked very well. It saves me a lot of time in keeping track of my goals and most importantly it helps me better organize my daily todos towards achieving my goals. You may want to check it out.


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