Goals. What does that word mean to you? No doubt when you hear it you probably think of things you want to do. Or you think of goals that a work in progress. Sometimes it is easy to get discouraged when life doesn't go as planned. Take running for example. You might be training for a half marathon or maybe a full marathon. Your runs are going well. Getting up early in the morning seems to finally be sinking in. Even having a diet of GU's, sport beans, is Then a little thing called "life" happens. Could be a injury. Or more hours to your work schedule. Maybe you lost your job. Maybe you got sick. Maybe you just don't feel like it (trust me, I have been there). What happens to your goal of your race?

Let me offer some things that helped me.

#1) Acknowledge the present. Whatever you are going through is real. It is happening. You may feel alone. You may feel frustrated. But here is the key. How you choose to deal with your challenge, will be how you survive. When I am faced with tough times, I remind myself to remain focused on the goal, but live in the present.

#2) Keep the goal! If you are dealing with an injury, then still keep your goal and dream alive. It may not happen when you want to, but it will happen. Take this time to recover, heal and recharge.

#3) Don't give up running! Ok, if you have an injury, then this one is out for you, so sorry! However if life has given you a bunch of sour lemons AND limes, then running or working out is a critical part of your well being. Running is a great stress reliever.

#4) Get support! Call a friend or two. Go out and watch a movie. Connect with others. Maybe read a book. Use this time to refocus and get pumped for your goal race. Don't lose sight of it! It will happen, just a matter of when:)

#5) Help someone else. The best thing you can do is to use this time in your life to help another life. It may sound crazy, but it works. Reach out to someone else in need. Could be very simple like giving someone a smile. Or maybe inviting that person over for brunch. Once you start thinking about how you can help someone else, your issues will seem a little less urgent.

I have used these tips in my own life and I hope they help you. I remember once when I had a goal race (Boston qualifying marathon) and I had a really bad injury set me back for 5 months (a REALLY long time I might add). It was very hard to accept the fact that I had to sit the race out. But I am happy to tell you that after I healed I came back to my BQ dream and I did it. Keep your goal alive. Keep your dream alive. And never let anyone tell you that you can't do it:)

Photo by Randy Son of Robert