Afternoon InquisitionSkepticism

AI: Self Worth

I accomplished something awesome recently. I ran 3.1 miles (5K). To those of you who already do that on a regular basis, it may sound petty. However, it’s a big deal to me. It was my goal to be running 5K by March 20, the date of the race I’ll be running in, but I beat my goal by a month. I’ve since done it twice more, which makes me feel like a superhero (lamest superhero ever).

I feel that I’ve increased my value a little bit. My self worth is ever climbing with each goal I meet. Next? 10K. But I should probably complete my first race before I advance.

What kind of goals do you set for yourself? How do you feel when you reach them? How do you feel when you don’t? Will someone work my double for me today?


Chelsea is the proud mama of an amazing toddler-aged girl. She works in the retail industry while vehemently disliking mankind and, every once in a while, her bottled-up emotions explode into WordPress as a lengthy, ranty, almost violent blog. These will be your favorite Chelsea moments. Follow Chelsea on Twitter: chelseaepp.

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  1. I’m trying to be more productive and procrastinate less. Similar, but separate goals.

    Congrats on meeting your goal so quickly.

  2. I try to pick up a new skill from time to time. Most recently it was tofu-making. Yum! This summer I really want to nail a five-club cascade, but I also said this last summer. I deal with failure by attempting enough things that the failures fade into the noise.

  3. 5K is good, I’ve been trying some running on-and-off as well (I’m not the runner type either) and it’s a good distance.

    In regard to my health (borderline obese), instead of particular goals I’ve decided to make small changes continuously to my diet and exercise routines. I find it’s the only way to make them permanent. Good health has to be a habit, or it won’t stick.

    A little less carbohydrates in my food (it’s ok to skip some potato/rice/whatever at the luncheon), only Candy on weekends (fri-sun), and then progressively less candy. Same for soft drinks/pop.

    Work-out partners for better motivation/regularity and making use of my adjustable desk at work to stand while programming for a couple of hours a day.

    It’s been three months and I’m seeing the results and I don’t feel exhausted or taxed by these changes. Rather I feel more refreshed and more motivated to continue.

    Hmm, somehow my reply turned into a diet/exercise sales pitch. I guess I could summarize it as, feel free to set goals, but ultimately they are not as important as looking at where you are now, and deciding upon your next baby-step.

  4. Congratulations. But you aren’t the lamest superhero ever. That would have to be Skateman.

    I love the 5k. It is my favorite distance. I’ve run a lot of them. They are my main source of T-shirts. I’ve even ran one nude back in October. Plan to do that again at the end of tax season. I’ve run one 10k and I want to run a marathon next year.

    My goals. CPA license. Masters Degree and then Phd in accounting. After that I want to make some money. If things go well and I make enough I would like to teach accounting at the university level.

  5. Congratulations Chelsea. 5k’s is great. Check out the 5000 mtrs at the Olympics, it’s grueling.
    I like to swim, but stick to the same distance, 500 mtrs, just get quicker. If I don’t, then my 5k walk is a bit quicker.

    I’m 57yrs old and been sober for 2yrs now, so you go Chelsea, and do what you know is right for you.
    My goal?? to be sober and active tomorrow. Yeeehaaa !!

  6. ood for you, Chelsea!.

    Until last summer, I had never entered any kind of foot race. I decided 9 months before that I wanted to try the local 5K. Studied up on the web and trained accordingly. My goal was to not have the paramedics trolling behind as I anchored last place. Actually I came in with the middle of my age group. Pretty pleased.

    I turn 60 this year so there is always room to try new things for a youngster like you.

  7. @davew: Go for it. I find clubs are a lot harder than lacrosse balls, and I’ve never managed more than 3 of anything. Good luck and persevere!

  8. Chelsea,

    Definitely not the lamest superhero. And starting in on a running program is the hardest part. Until you get into a rhythm, hauling on the shoes to go for a run can feel like a 5k all by itself.

  9. My goals for the next 5 years:

    Keep paying bills on time
    Learn to keep my kitchen clean
    Finish grad school (again)
    Keep 3.5 gpa
    Get a job
    Finish refinishing/reupholstering chair

    Yep, that’s about it. I have simple goals. I get my self worth from being. But, fulfilling goals really helps when you’re faced with, you know, failing to fulfill goals. I try not to make physical goals. Health and motion and bone integrity are never guaranteed.

  10. Goals: get Medical Assistant certificate this summer, and continue next year to get the Associate’s degree that goes with it, all while maintaining my current 3.5+ grade average. (OK, it’s 4.0. Geez, I have a hard time bragging.)

    Get a good job as a Medical Assistant, making some decent (very small potatoes, one step above current subsistence level) money.

    Continue education part time in years to come, eventually graduating with still unknown degree. Thinking of switching to History for the Bachelor’s.

    Get daughter and boyfriend off the couch and back through college one by one (he’s first, by agreement) and into better career tracks than their current subsistence level.

    Get us all out of this crummy apartment and into a house. Find a few acres of land out in the country so we each can have our own little place and I don’t have to deal with their utter lack of housekeeping skills/desires any more.

    (Drags view back to short-term) Keep making those small changes in diet every day to keep off the thirty pounds I lost over the last three years. Definitely keep it under 145. Would like to get back under 140, but not holding my breath; trying to stay realistic.

  11. I do, in principle, run that exact distance on a regular basis: Once a year, in early september.
    Although I think I should start doing on a more frequent basis as well now, as I’ve decided to participate in The Great Gorilla Run in London later in september and that’s 7 km – in a gorilla suit.
    And I have a secret ambition to be able to complete a marathon in 2012 (in the event the world doesn’t end).

  12. Spend less time on the web while at work so I can go home earlier. But I’ve only just found Skepchick!!!

  13. I can’t imagine how I would ever get up to 5k without pausing for a breather. The most I’ve ever done is 3k, but that’s good going for me now at 46. As a schoolkid I couldn’t even run 400m without a break.

  14. My new goal:

    Stay sane. Seriously. I have so many damn projects on my plate… well, not so many… but so many for me.

    If that doesn’t work, then I’ll just keep running. Running is a good way for me to forget that I’m completely overwhelmed and neurotic for a while.

    I’ve set some pretty exciting professional goals for this year… including picking up the ones that I set for last year but got pushed aside. Really, my plans sort of bottlenecked when, one day, this baby popped out of my vagina.

    Personal goals:

    Run 10K in May. I start training this Wednesday. After being sick from mid-December through the entire month of January, I was pretty sure it would take me at least 4-5 weeks to get back up to running 5K… I had two runs where I struggled to hit 2 miles, then my body was all…. OOOOOOOOH yeah, we LIKE running 3 miles.

    Which, yeah, sounded so daunting when I started running in September. 3 MILES?! That’s like a marathon! Now I’m feeling like 5K is an adorable distance for people who don’t run. And since I have this stupid thing that my mind does where I insist that I should be taken seriously about anything I ever take on… even if I hate what I’m doing… I have to push myself to run a “respectable distance”. I’d also like to push myself to run at a “respectable pace” (right now I am not allowed to even register for the 1/2 marathon in September because I’m too slow.)

    I also have cool things going on with the WTF. The first year was rough; no one had any idea what we were doing. We ran the organization on big ideas and adrenaline, but got gut punched by reality and had to redshirt a bunch of our plans. This year we feel like we know what we’re doing. We have a bunch of vax clinics we’re trying to pull off, a Hug Me project I’m hoping to be able to announce soon, and a handful of really fun events. No getting in over our heads this year!

    And I have 2 other big projects I’m working on that aren’t really secret, but are premature to “ANNOUNCE!!!!!!!” They’re not new but they’re awesome, and I’m really excited about what I’m even thinking about accomplishing.

    Sooooo… with all that, how do I feel about reaching my goals? Go back and read the 5K paragraph. That’s pretty much my MO. As soon as I reach my goal, I immediately discount it and look at all the ways I didn’t do it right. That’s a really hard habit to break. (I hadn’t made it home from my first 5K before I started thinking about how I ran it too slow. My second, I was mad that there was a half marathon running concurrently that I wasn’t in good enough shape for. The Hug Me clinic at Dragon*Con was amazing, but I didn’t make it there and I didn’t do enough work on it to take credit. The WTF is awesome, but I get too much credit…. and on and on.)

    The nice thing about that mindset is that my uncompleted projects aren’t so hard to cope with. If I don’t finish, I don’t have to listen to my neurotic negativity.

    But it’s getting better. My husband is my reality checker. He puts everything into perspective. When I’m pissed about things not done well enough, he’ll show me what went amazingly and what, honestly, could have been improved and then gives me some thoughts about how and why those things went less than perfectly.

    And now I feel like I owe you all a co-pay or something.

  15. I’m trying to run 5K in 20 minutes. I’d got to 22 minutes and then my left knee decided to try and kill itself. I’m back at 24 minutes now. Grrrrr

  16. I finished my first 5k in September 2009 in 43:24. “Ran” is the wrong word. It was really more of a slow, painful shuffle. I finished my second last summer in just a hair under 40:00. I hope to finish one in May in under 35:00. My husband, bless his heart, signed us up for a race in July without realizing it’s a 10k. I just hope to finish that one!

    Goals are awesome, and under 40:00 for a 5k is totally doable. Good luck, train hard and have fun!

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