A few years back I set a goal to get in shape, so I started running and ended up shedding a few pounds.
A couple mile run after dinner every night progressed into signing up for a 5k race and I eventually challenged myself to a 5-mile… then it morphed into a running a marathon.
Well if you’re going to run a marathon you might as well as run it in a new and exciting place and for a cause, because who wants to just run 26.2 miles for nothing.
A trip to Dublin, Ireland for the race and a fundraiser for the Leukemia Foundation completed this marathon.
But that was not the goal, I felt accomplished but I wanted to do something different.
It is all about the journey and the story you have to tell.
After talking during a run with the Pastor of my church and another friend, he mentioned signing up for a run up a mountain.
I am located in New England so why not sign up for the run up the tallest mountain in the Northeast. The Mount Washington Road race, its only 7.6 miles and has only one hill.
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There were only a few catches to this.
- You can’t just sign up and run, it is a lottery to get a bib number and they only let 1,000 runners in every year.
- Mount Washington has the most extreme weather and has the highest recorded wind speed of 231 mph and during this race, it has snowed with extreme wind and rain. What weather would we be training for?
- How can you train for a race you can not replicate? Treadmills just do not cut it. We trained on mountains!
- Oh Yes, it is also in the middle of the mountains, a 3-hour ride from home.
- Best yet, If you do get a bib number, brave the elements and finish, you have to find your own ride down to the bottom of the mountain.
So I signed up and waited for a chance to do something that would test everything I could imagine and be one of the few that is crazy enough to push my limit.
BINGO, I got a bib number but my two running buddies didn’t, this is now not as fun as I thought but I had a coveted number and I was determined.
The day came, and record-breaking heat was forecasted and as I was standing at the start line I looked up and pointed to a small house I could see at the cloud line and asked the guy next to me, “is that was the finish?”
He said, “No, clouds are covering the summit it is much higher than that.”
What had I gotten myself into…
I only threw up twice due to the heat and my nerves, but I finished. Legs hurt for days and I have a story to tell the rest of my life.
So what does this all prove?
I set a goal that I was not sure I could achieve and pushed myself to achieve it.
Many of us set goals that take little or minimal effort. We set goals like we are writing a grocery list, knowing we will accomplish that task and cross it off with minimal effort.
Others will set goals so far out and unachievable that they wish to accomplish but really deep down that are jotting down dreams on a piece of paper.
To quote Tim Ferriss author of Tools of Titans:
“I would say that you can have unrealistic goals — according to other people — as long as they are specific, measurable, and you have timelines,”
Here are some goal setting tips:
- Set a Goal that makes you say WOW! A Goal that makes you excited as you complete the small steps that bring you closer and closer to that Goal.
- Write down your goals and share them with others.
- Make sure they are in the “3P” tense:
Ex: I’ve lost 25lbs by October 31st.
Ex: I am closing $100,000 in sales by April 30th.
- Team up with other individuals who also think big, and have big goals, and become accountability partners.
- Not every day is going to be a picnic. Sometimes you have to go backward (remember I had to throw up) to eventually go forward.
- All Goals should be measurable. i.e. you want to lose 25 pounds this year:
- That equals roughly 1/2 lb a week.
- How many days per week are you going to exercise?
- Keep a food log.
- Place a Time on the goal. 6 months, 1 year, etc. ending each goal with a “by [date]”
- I am losing 25 pounds by October 31st
“The thing about goals is that living without them is a lot more fun, in the short run. It seems to me, though, that the people who get things done, who lead, who grow and who make an impact… those people have goals.” —Seth Godin
What is your goal? I