May 29, 2012

Big Goals are a Recipe for Big Disappointments

“Before you can climb the mountain, you have to first learn to walk.”

Goal setting is a very dangerous proposition.  We often put a great deal of time, energy, thought and effort in creating goals.  Unfortunately, few people celebrate their accomplishment.  We have all learned it is a lot easier to create a lofty goal than it is to achieve one.

Through my 100 Pedals journey, I have developed an entirely different perspective on goals and goals setting. As I celebrated the accomplishments of 100 Pedals, I would have been the first to declare that focus, commitment, and positive engagement would drive you to your goals.

Upon further reflection, I am not entirely certain it is that easy.  Developing, executing, and achieving a goal is just not that simple.  While those behaviors need to exist in the success formula, there is more to achieving a goal than simply writing it down, making a commitment, and positively focusing on its achievement.

Getting to any incredible outcome starts with the basics.  Mental, emotional, and physical fitness is not something you simply start doing.  It requires time, attention, and experience.  It is from the foundation of previous successes that future, bigger accomplishments are defined and achieved.

Too many of us declare the big change we desire in our life without realizing how unprepared we are for such a journey.  This does not mean that such outcomes are not possible.  It merely means that we need to create a vision for our success and incrementally move forward towards it.

Last weekend I set an objective for my bike riding that pushed the limits for me.  The quest was what I called the 100/100 Challenge.  The challenge was to ride 100KM (62.1 miles) on Sunday.  This would be further than any ride I had made.  The other part of the challenge was to follow up on Monday with a 40 mile bike ride.  This would give me a two-day total of 100 miles – hence, the 100/100 Challenge.

While it was physically challenging, I was prepared for it.  My overall riding experience, my recent training routine, and my mini-challenges had prepared me for this mission.  As a result, I had created a foundation that facilitated the accomplishment of this stretch goal.

The realization of any goal is less about focus, commitment, and energy than it is about preparation, consistency and vision.  When it comes to achievement, here are the critical, fundamental steps necessary to take you to your defined objective:

  1. Simplicity: Keep your initial objective very simple.  You are at the early stage in your success training.  Make a commitment to start doing something every single day for 100 Days.  Celebrate where that accomplishment takes you, discover what you learn about yourself, and explore what you would like to accomplish next.
  2. Vision: Focus on what your vision — the outcome of your achievement – looks and feels like.  It is not crossing of the finish line, the weight loss, or more money that drives or inspires you.  It is what accomplishment allows you to celebrate, feel or enjoy.  That is the vision of your success.  Create and capture a mental image of that with you wherever you go.
  3. Inspiration:  Positive energy is contagious.  Find joy and peace in your quest and your progress.  Share what you are living and experiencing as a result of your accomplishment in positive terms.  Your commitment is a celebration of change and opportunity.  The words you use to describe, define, and share are how others will view it and hear it.  Make your challenge fun, exciting, and adventurous and you will inspire and be inspired.

Next time you decide to burden yourself with a huge goal, stop.  Instead, create a vision for your life, start out simple, and define how to begin living that vision every single day for the rest of your life.  The outcome will be much more rewarding and is much closer than you realize.

About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.