Guest Blogger Nancy Cook

It’s January. We see a lot written about goals for the New Year. People see January 1st, the start of a new year, a clean slate, time to start anew. We re-evaluate the goals we set from last year, we celebrate those goals we accomplished and see the reasons why we didn’t make some of the others. After all it is the new year and it is a chance to look at new things to accomplish and realize some things that aren’t so important anymore.  The latest trend is to categorize into focus areas – focus words – focus actions they want to see happen in this new year. I like to set goals, am a goal oriented person, motivated by numbers and commitment. Once I write it down, share it with others it’s in front of me to achieve.

A newly addicted runner friend of mine said to me the other day how she loves the running community and especially because the competition is about YOU. It is about your own “Personal Record” or PR. Everyone cheers each other on and the camaraderie of motivation is evident at the races, online and in the running groups that form whereever you go. I love that about running too. Seems most of the time I run alone and need to motivate myself to go faster, find new “carrots” to dangle in front of me and set goals almost every run so I can achieve success in my running. So when I network on social media I love the interaction, motivation and cheers from other runners just like me – needing motivation and push each day. I love it when I find new running groups, partners to pace with or even just for the company along the road. All of this can help me meet my goals of being a better runner, faster runner and give back to the running community to inspire others to run and compete at high levels.

Let’s set our goals this year!  Set a focus – or focus areas – or a focus word – whatever feels good to you… something that you can focus on to make things happen in your life this year.

My focus word is CELEBRATE. I have just celebrated one year as a cancer survivor and I can relate that word to all my goals as I celebrate each day.  :) Let’s get creative by using an Acrostic Poem. An Acrostic poem tells about the word. It uses the letters of the word for the first letter of each line and share your goals.

Here’s mine:

C – CELEBRATE each goal, each day, each birthday, each holiday with some type of special tradition.

E – ELEVATE my PR times, goals in training and in racing. Speed play and running partners and training with the high school cross country team should help to accomplish this.

L – LOVE my family, my friends, my co-workers for all they do to support me!

E – ENORMOUS! Goal — what shall it be — choose one race to KICK some serious butt! For me I hope to kick it in for the Boston Marathon in April (my 7th Boston and PR course!) and the San Francisco Marathon on July 29. The timing is perfect for a great running pace and hopefully with my long distance training and racing the course won’t slow me down too much!

B – BOY– take care of my boy – help him to set goals for himself in sport and school. Share my passion and motivation and thrill for making a goal come true. Celebrate his goals!

R - RUN hard, run fast, run long, Runstreak to 100 days (or at least 75 — who knows maybe all year?!)

A – ALLOW- allow my faith to carry me through hard times, injury, soreness and overwhelming periods. Try not to stress about the little things and do only what I think is possible.

T- TEACH others to do the things that make me happy & help me to stay positive.Running and skiing is on the top of that list.  Work with those that ask for my assistance and help them to reach their goals with encouragement and support.

E – ENTERTAIN – Always stay positive, be happy & positive to inspire and entertain!  It is fun to entertain with friends and family!

What a great year it is going to be!  Tell me about your goals!

Nancy is a top ranked master Marathon Runner, proud mom, & loving wife, Waterskier, avid ski race photographer, Alpine Skiing Development Coach & PSIA certified instructor at Mount Snow, VT. She placed 7th Master in the 2007 Boston Marathon, won her age group at the 2009 Marine Corps Marathon  and in 2010 was 3rd in the New England USAT Trail Running Championships right before being diagnosed with lymphoma.  As a cancer survivor she ran the 2010 Chicago marathon 2/3 of the way through cancer treatment and the 2011 Boston Marathon 6 weeks after having her spleen removed.  San Francisco Marathon will be her 30th marathon, if you count her 4 Ironman triathlons.  She runs with the American Cancer DetermiNation program making a difference passionate about sharing her strength, finding a cure & raising the funds needed for research, working toward the ultimate goal of a cancer free world.  You can follow her on Twitter @nanskimtn and read more about her survivor story on “The Toughest Marathon of My Life”