This weekend saw me achieve something I really thought I wouldn’t be able to do! On Saturday I hiked 27 mile charity hike in the Peak District and I was able to walk the next day without too much discomfort!
I did a similar thing (sadly not for charity) over 20 years ago when my husband and I trekked to Machu Picchu which was over 30 kilometres at altitude, but the circumstances were very different, I was 20 years younger for starters, I hadn’t had 3 children, battled with chronic fatigue – and we completed it over several days not in one day!
For someone who spends most of her working life not setting goals in stone and rather enjoying the journey and seeing where it leads, it’s been an interesting journey to have set myself quite a tough goal and then achieve it. This time last year I took my first cardiovascular exercise class in nearly 10 years and I’m ashamed to say that my fitness was so poor I hardly made it half way coupled with the fact that I could barely walk 2 miles let alone 27, I did wonder whether I had set myself up to fail!
When I was reflecting on this after my walk three insights came to me that I wanted to share with you to help you achieve what you want to achieve this year.
First of all, it’s really ok to set goals that scare you, goals that you think you will never achieve. Even if I hadn’t have completed the walk, I walked far more than I had ever walked this year and my fitness is so much more improved because of it so there is always growth no matter what happens. It’s like we have a natural momentum to only ever move forward.
Secondly, being nervous or anxious about our goal is absolutely normal. When we are doing something that stretches us we don’t know what the outcome is going to be, so we have no reference and it can be harder to engage with the thoughts that are telling us we’re going to be ok. So those thoughts that try to keep us safe, the thoughts that are scary and tell us what is going to go wrong, that literally scare us into saying, ‘perhaps I’m not ready, perhaps I won’t do it or what is the point’ are normal. I found it really interesting that I had them before the hike, but I knew deep down that they couldn’t tell me anything about what was going to happen or my ability to complete the hike, so that enabled me to allow them to pass.
Thirdly, passion is a secret weapon that will take you through! Often over quoted but still underrated as a goal achieving tool! Seriously ask yourself are you really passionate about your goal because if you’re not when things get difficult you will take the easier option – which is absolutely acceptable if that is right for you. There was a time in our walk near the end, when we were being offered transport to the finish, an option which many took (which is absolutely fine) but it was our passion to achieve our goal that fueled the determination to not give up and actually kept us going. Reaching goals that stretch us isn’t easy and there will always be a point where you will want to give up but if it’s something that you really want to do, something that you are passionate about you will be able to dig deep and achieve it!
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