My dad used to run marathons. I was a runner, too, though much, much shorter distances, like from one end of the French Quarter of New Orleans to the other. For me, running has always been a casual release versus a serious effort, unlike my colleague Jen A. Miller, author of Running: A Love Story. However, when I've spoken with marathon runners, they always talk about aiming beyond the finish line--you can't focus on the 26 miles, but on making it to the space after the 26 miles.
Why do you have to go beyond? Your body, already under a ton of stress, will begin shutting down before you get to the finish line. It knows you are reaching the end. That's why you see pictures of people falling when they are within arm's length of victory.
The same can be said for your career. You have to aim higher than what you want to get what you want.
The problem is probably that you're planning for just enough, rather than planning for more than you want... I know that planning for $1 million means I'm going to stretch my actions and my planning outside of my comfort zone and achieve much more than I would if I only planned for just enough.
Similarly, my intentions for this year are well beyond what I've actually accomplished in the past. I am uncomfortable. I am killing ideas. I am saying no, a lot. I'm positive I wouldn't be as strong, as focused, or as intense if I didn't have big, audacious goals in place.
The great part is that if I accomplish even half of what I have in my vision, I will still have an incredible, groundbreaking year.
Are your goals audacious enough for you to win?