Goals can be self limiting. Purpose is unlimited potential. Therein lies the difference.
I made a decision to run 12 Marathons in 12 Months for Gorta Self Help Africa in 2015. The decision meant a change in sleeping patterns, food and drink intake, training and work schedules.
I needed to up my training and have naturally progressed this year from a starting point of 30 miles/week to 45 miles/week. Naturally as in I didn't plan this as my goal. It was simply finding the love for running in every single training run. Easing into only doing what I love. Dropping weights training and speed sessions and just run because that is what I love doing.
I am not advocating you drop weights and speed sessions as a runner. I am advocating that over time you do more and more of what you love doing most and drop doing things you don't like doing. That leads to being at one with yourself. At one with your natural instincts. And for me that has lead to now running 45-50 miles a week with ease. I know that my decision to slowly (naturally) progress to Ultra distances from next year will come as a result of that approach.
None of these are goals, but the result of daily implementation of decisions based on my core values and what I love doing most. Being in the Flow.
This will work for anything in your life; work, relationships, lifestyle, spirituality etc... Implementing decisions based on what you enjoy doing most and is good for you.
So when I got to my 12 Marathons in 12 Months in less than 9 months I wasn't finished as I would with a Goal. My love for running is stronger than ever, my life is better, mentally I am stronger. Why stop? Brussels became number 13.
And now over the next 7 weeks I am adding Dublin Marathon (next Monday), Eddie Murphy Memorial Marathon in Sixmilebridge and Clonakilty Marathon to the 2015 list. 3 more occasions to enjoy the company of fellow long distance runners doing what we love most. Getting lost in the moment together.
Here's a video of the Dublin Route for next Monday, bring it on!
You can contribute to the Challenge for Gorta Self Help Africa on http://www.mycharity.ie/event/patrick_mercies_12marathonsin12monthsin2015