People love crossing finish lines. Many endurance events, such as 5K’s, triathlons and marathons, continue to gain popularity. And for many people, the thought of crossing a finish line is their sole purpose for signing up for the event. Finish lines, however, provide so much more than the achievement of crossing it. In the bigger picture, they can propel us toward additional and larger goals we might never have aspired to without the affirmation of what I call the finishing line effect!
Truth #1: They are great motivators
Once you commit to an event, you can start planning your finish. This gives you the opportunity to implement a plan on how you are going to finish. If you are running a 5K, you might plan for shorter route distances to achieve each week until the event. Alternatively, if you’re entering a weight loss competition, you might start cleaning out your fridge or changing your environment to make your goal more achievable. Whatever the scenario, knowing a finish line is in your future will motivate you to start making changes now so you can cross that line. You learn to set goals, action steps, and an overall structure that will allow you to achieve an objective you’ve set.
Truth #2: They provide a sense of achievement
Once you cross that line, a rush of pure satisfaction will go through your head. All of your planning and hard work got you to that point, and there is no better feeling than achieving something you set out to do. Crossing that line can provide a rush of feel-good endorphins and wave of positive emotions. Most of us need to be told we are doing a good job from time to time, and the finish line can be that ultimate, concrete source of positive feedback after all of your dedication and work towards it.
Truth #3: They cultivate a can-do mindset
Many of our members have weight loss goals. Yet, sometimes they may not begin with a real focus or even exact objectives around how much weight they want to lose or how they want to lose it. When signing up for an event, it puts them into goal setting or planning mode. They have an end in sight and know they have to make changes in order to achieve it. This can be a very positive experience for many people. If they can make a goal, complete a plan and set out to execute that plan and finish, it creates a positive mindset they can tap into to achieve other fitness goals and results.
Truth #4: There is no real end
Although it’s called a finish line, be prepared to ask yourself, “what’s my next finish line?” as soon as you cross it. Finish lines create a sense of urgency for wanting to feel that powerful rush of achievement again. In fact, many people specifically create a year of goals with concrete finish lines to continually move forward and enjoy a regular sense of accomplishment. Incorporating a continuing stream of “finish lines” in the year ahead can create a powerful and positive momentum in your life and can push you to embrace bigger and bolder goals.
Whether it’s an endurance event or a weight loss goal, be prepared for the other positive experiences that come along with crossing that line.
What’s your next finish line? Share below!
ANIKA DeCOSTER is a sports nutritionist for Life Time Fitness, the creators of the Esprit de She race series. She is experienced working with athletes of all levels to uncover metabolic issues they may be facing, along with helping those who are seeking weight management support. Anika graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stout where she earned her Registered Dietitian license. She also has an Adult Weight Management certification through ADA, a Certified Sports Nutritionist certification through the International Society of Sports Nutrition, and is a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine.