I’m a big believer in goal setting, in saying out loud what you want to strive for and achieve. Just articulating a goal makes it a lot more likely that you’ll achieve it. Writing down a goal, and sharing it with others, increases your chances of actually following through and achieving that goal. I don’t want to get all name it and claim it on you, because I’m also certain we can’t manipulate God. But something happens to us, to our determination, our focus, when we dare to name our goals, when we get brave enough to speak up about our dreams.

Sometimes, setting small goals can be just the jump-start we need to reach bigger goals. Sometimes, doing things that are hard enables us to do things that we think we simply cannot do. Sometimes, just thinking clearly about what it is we really want can help us take the next step toward that very thing. Sharing that goal with a friend, mentor, encourager–that can also be a huge factor in our success.

This is true with career, family, and of course fitness. I also believe that fitness goals can unlock our ability to meet other goals. For example, sometimes taking small steps toward better fitness can be the start of something bigger. Not just with fitness, but with other areas of life. When you see results from working toward one goal, it often inspires you to set and achieve other goals. So achieving a running goal can lead to achieving goals that have seemingly nothing to do with physical fitness.

more running

As I’ve shared on this blog before, running has become a really important part of my life. It’s enabled me to grow, reach goals. It has spiritual parallels for me. In fact, it is a spiritual experience for me. And part of what has kept me running are my running buddies. Friends who encourage me to set and achieve goals. Friends who run beside me.

trail run october

Trail run with my running buddy Maryam.

So, you may be rolling your eyes at this point. Fine. But—wouldn’t it be cool if you, or maybe someone else you know, could set a small goal and see it happen? Who knows what kind of breakthrough this could lead to? If you say, set a goal to run a 5K, and did it, who else knows what you could do?

I’m putting together a team for the Fellowship Housing 5 K run this year.  I’ve written about Fellowship before. This amazing charity helps single moms who are on the verge of homelessness get their lives back on track. Through teaching them financial management, budgeting and a lot more, moms in the program are able to pay off debt, save, and often buy a home of their own. Fellowship is a program I love and support. The women (and kids) in it are brave, hard-working, disciplined, amazing. Learn more about it here. Here’s a link to our race registration page, our team is called Moms on the Run.

With Dawn, one of my running buddies, at last year's FH 5K

With Dawn, one of my running buddies, at last year’s FH 5K

Today could be your day. The day you set a goal and joined a team that can help you achieve that goal. If you are a runner, come join us. Or if you are not a runner, but think you might want to give it a try, come join us.

The race is a 5K. Register and you’ll get a cool shirt, and finishers get a medal. Even if you have to crawl across the finish line, you get a medal. And there are always good snacks at the end. But more than that, you’re helping single moms move from homeless to hope. You’re doing something worthwhile.

Five kilometers is just a little over 3 miles. Not that far. But if you currently only run when being chased by a bear, three miles can seem like a long way.

So this team is for everyone. We’ll be using the “couch to 5K” app, that takes you slowly through a program where the first time you run, you jog for 1 minute, then walk for two minutes. It’s 20 to 30 minutes of activity, three times a week. You build from there. I’m not kidding, if you work the program, you can run a 5 K even if you’ve never run anywhere except to catch a bus or chase your toddler at the park. (If you really are sedentary, please check with your doctor before starting to exercise.)

Here’s the catch, though: the Fellowship Housing 5K is just two months away, on May 14. So you’ve got to start now. Today.

If you’re local (Chicago suburbs), and you want a running buddy/coach, we’ve got several possible runners who can help you. We’re also going to start a running group that will do the couch to 5K style training on Thursday evenings. We can also get you in touch with several area running clubs that meet at various times throughout the week, or pair you up with someone who can meet you for a run. Believe me, having a running group or club, or even just a running buddy, makes it a lot easier to stick with your running goals.

So if you’re interested, please let me know by leaving a comment. Join our team, and we’ll help you achieve the goal of completing the Fellowship Housing 5K. Click here to register for our team and the race. If you can’t run with us, sponsor our team by clicking here.

If you need to connect with other runners, leave a comment below and we’ll try to help you out.