Marathons: Training, Running, Finishing

March 11, 2008 at 7:07 pm (DiscoverULife, Lifecoaching) ()

By Heba Alshareef 

Four days, thirty hours, and fifty thousand words.  That was the challenge that I signed up for this past weekend.  Held in my local library, the novel marathon is a chance for writers to take their one page outlines and produce a publishable work in a limited amount of time.

Putting the R in SMART

If you are a DiscoverULife member, you already know the value of the SMART way of goal setting.  If you are not, well, what are you waiting for?

SMART is an acronym used when setting goals.

The S stands for Specific, so instead of:  I want to get fit, say I’m going to work out on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 7 am. 
The M stands for measurable, meaning that the goal must have a solid criteria for measuring when you’ve attained it.  Ex.  I will know that I am fit when I can run up 5 flights of stairs without feeling winded, or taking a break in between. 
The A stands for attainable, meaning that unless I have the means to get to that gym at 7 am on the specified days, I will not achieve my goal. 
And the T stands for Time-bound, meaning that you need to set a day for the goal to be realized.  So, you tell yourself, I will test that 5 flights of stairs five weeks from now. 

What about the R? 

Well, that stands for realistic, but DiscoverULife coaches strongly dislike that one.  We much prefer, slightly unrealistic.  When a goal is realistic, it’s really not too much fun, it doesn’t challenge us enough.  When it is slightly unrealistic, it provides enough excitement to egg us on.  And when we actually accomplish that slightly unrealistic goal, it gives us a boost in confidence that will have us soaring to our destination all the more quicker. 

Consequently, when all the achievers in the world get things done in a certain amount of time, DiscoverU members get things done in 1/6 of the time.  Instead of memorizing 6 juzu in 6 years, they have the capacity to do it in 1 year.  Instead of making 10k in 6 months, they have the goal setting capabilities to do it in 1 month.  The list goes on and on.

What slightly unrealistic goal can you come up with right now?
Consider Abdullah. 
He didn’t share it with anyone, but he’d long dreamt of running a 10K marathon.  One day, during one of his DiscoverU slightly unrealistic moments, he said to himself, ‘it is time’. 

He found out that a local charity was sponsoring one, but it was only 6 weeks away.  Now, most marathon training schedules recommend at least 10 weeks of training, and Abdullah, although not a complete slob, was getting too comfortable in his walking shoes.  He took a second, thought it was too late, rationalized to himself that he could register in advance for next year’s marathon.  But then it hit him,

he’d been telling himself the same thing for the past 6 years and he had done nothing about it. 

It wasn’t too late to actually register, so he seized the opportunity and made his slightly unrealistic decision. 

He bought a new pair of running shoes, and for the next six weeks, he trained fast and furious.  He finished that marathon, and he’s done so much more since then.  His goals are always challenging, and his results are way more satisfying!

Exciting, isn’t it?

And so there I was, proving the theory to myself.   Holed up in the silent study room on the library’s first floor, surviving on coffee and more coffee, I completed that 50, 000 words.  I cried when Zeynep (my lead female character) said goodbye to her brother Tarek who was about to run from his Kurdish homeland over the mountains into Turkey.  I laughed when Ahmed, her little son, spills the milk over his baby brother’s head.  And best of all, 4 days later, my publishable piece is at a place I wouldn’t have dreamed possible.  Well, maybe in my slightly unrealistic dreams.

Request a complimentary lifecoaching session with Heba:



  1. Sharif Faizullah said,

    maa shaa Allaah! Beautiful piece. Truly, being slightly unrealistic is becoming now really VERY realistic as I stretch myself. Stretching our boundary, one day at a time, inshaaAllaah will take us to our ultimate destination.

    I would love to read the novel. Your writing has a catchy and unique style to it. I haven’t put my hands on it, but I’m loving it. When is the novel coming out?

    Keep soaring in the sky of greatness and UNrealistic achievements that others don’t even dare dream about.

  2. Someone said,

    MashaAllah, beautifully written.

    Jazzaki Allahu Khaira Sister Heba.
    Your writing is mashaAllah amazing. It is very organized and keeps the reader interesting.

    I would also like to read the novel you wrote. Will it be available to us anytime soon?

    I also have one question.

    In Islam, writing fake novels is not allowed unless it is made very clear to the reader that this is a fictional story and is written for a purpose to advise others, something that basically has a meaning and basis to change our actions to that which pleases Allah ta’ala. So my question is, is it a story based on true incidents or is it from your imagination?

    I also love to write and it is one of my hobbies but I let go of it for the sake of Allah azza wa jal, so if you can explain to me how it would be acceptable and allowed for me to pursue writing again.
    Jazzakom Allahu khair

  3. Aileenuz said,

    well done, brother

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