"To achieve happiness, we should make certain that we are never without an important goal." - Ralph Waldo Emereson
I've come to realize that goal setting is key to achieving results, at least for me. In the past I've been one to start a number of projects, get really passionate about them, and then without a clear end-goal in mind let these projects dwindle to a distant memory.
Running is an example of this. A few years ago I started running a few mornings per week (the most cumulative time running I remember being 18 minutes). But I had no clear goal in mind. I was just running (I like to call it running, although many would describe it as a slow jog). After a few weeks I wasn't going out as often only to eventually completely stop. Why did I stop doing something that I had really started to enjoy and could see my progression?
I had no end-goal in mind.
This year was different...
I was going to run my first 10km race - that was my goal. The registration was paid for, I had told everyone around me. There was no going back. I got online and found a training program that would get me there, I trained and I did it. My next goal was the Montreal half marathon. Same story - I registered, told my friends and family, scheduled my training runs (literally had Outlook appointments in my agenda scheduled), and focused on the incredible feeling I would get from completing something that I honestly thought might just be impossible for me.
Along the way I realized something else...life is so much more fun living when you have goals and you set out accomplishing them!! Running those races gave me a purpose, and forced me to surpass myself a little more every week. Before setting my goal I was going through the routine of life: work, sleep, work, sleep....now I was passionate about something! I was telling everybody about my goal creating accountability, and seeing the progress I was making week after week. For the first time in my life I truly understand the meaning of "it's not about the destination, it's about the journey to get there."
For me the key to success was creating a tangible, mesurable and time-bound goal. A goal that would stretch me enough and allow me to see progress along the way. Creating accountability by talking about my goal. And most importantly, having a goal that speaks to me; a goal that in my core drives me and about which I am truly passionnate.
- What do you want to do that would make you proud?
- What drives the fire in your belly?
- What will achieving that goal feel like?
Remember one step at a time, and enjoy every step along the way.
My next goal: Running my part of the distance, 80+kilometers, in the May 2013 Montreal-NYC challenge. One step at a time, one kilometer at a time and I will get there! Let the journey begin!!!!!!!!!!