Ditch Your Goals

It’s the middle of April. How are you doing on the goals you set in January?

Yikes. I really just went there.

I am a firm believer in making goals. I’m also a big proponent of following through & reaching those goals.

But sometimes you need to ditch your goals. 

Wisdom is not only in setting goals that are both attainable & scary-stretching, but especially in knowing when to ditch {or modify} those goals. Let me explain.

Towards the beginning of 2013, I made a list of goals for myself. Really, I made 2 lists of goals. One list was more specific – something I could look at and clearly “check off” at the end of the year. The other was not so specific.

2013 goals overarching

One of the specific goals I listed was this:

Run a 1/2 marathon in under 2 hours.

I signed up for a 1/2 marathon on December 31 and began training January 1. I mapped out my training schedule {using this free one via Hal Higdon} and set to work. Life happened and difficult things came into play during January, but I was able to get back to my training schedule through it all. I found out I was pregnant early February and continued running. I’ve run throughout Anna Grace’s & Nate’s pregnancies, so I’m rather familiar with the challenges of running while pregnant. But in March, I discovered a slight complication in my pregnancy. My doctor didn’t tell me not to run, but she suggested I might do a brisk walk instead.

After thinking, praying, and talking with Jonathan, we decided the best thing for me to do was to stop running.

So, how do you know if you should ditch your goal(s)?

You should consider ditching {or modifying} your goals if:

  • you experience an unexpected physical condition

such as I did. pregnancy + complication. both were unexpected things.

  • a tragedy occurs in your family

  tragedy, unplanned event – call it what you will. there are some times when God steps in and       gives us different goals to work on which make it impossible to achieve our original plans.

  • the significant people in your life encourage you to ditch/modify

in my case, this was my doctor & husband. my doctor didn’t strictly tell me not to, but my husband really felt better with me resting. so rest I did.


At this point, you who follow me on facebook might be a bit confused. Because I posted this pic on Saturday with the caption “13 miles at 13 weeks.”




And it’s true. I did end up running the half marathon I signed up for on December 31. That’s because at my next appointment my DR gave me the complete “go-ahead with no reservation”s to run the race. Of course, she told me to stay hydrated and not to fall, but she & my husband were totally behind me running the race as planned.

Well, almost as planned.

Since I had taken time off running to make sure baby was okay, I didn’t feel safe to both increase my speed & mileage during the last 2 weeks of my training. So I went with just increasing my mileage and ditched my original goal of running a 1/2 marathon in under 2 hours.

Am I disappointed I wasn’t able to cross that off my list? Yep. Yeah, I’ve gotta be honest. {I finished in 2:12.}

But that’s part of wisdom – knowing when to ditch your goals. And in this case, I know I made the right choice.


What about you? Have you ever had to ditch {or modify} your goals? Did you experience disappointment like I did?



  1. Sarah Arnold says:

    Yay yay yay! Excellent post. So proud of you, both for revising your goals and not giving up. I struggle with that sometimes, being unrealistic about completing in the same way even when unexpected, unavoidable things come my way. But you still did it! Wahoodyhoo! 🙂 And excellent time! Way to go!!!

  2. brownsugartoast says:

    Thanks, Sarah! I definitely struggle with it too – which is why this post came to mind. It definitely helps to have a hubby who gives wise advice and at the same time encourages me to achieve my goals! Thankful for him!

  3. Christina says:

    glad that you were able to run! and that it was safe for little Threlfall!

    doing some goal ditching myself 🙁 and not at all of my choice. Not ditching them but putting them off for now. Thinking I am going to have about 4 months to do 12 months worth of goals by the end of this year so will see how much I can get done.

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