Unlock the Secret to Achieving your Goals
It was a dark day in December. Although I had considered doing the Playtex moonwalk, I had felt that the possibility was slight if anything. Places are limited and last year alone 75,000 women failed to get a place, I felt that I should apply but never for once considered that I would be one of the lucky (!) ones. Things seemed to be conspiring against me and it seemed to be my destiny, as due to a mad rush to apply for places the website crashed, thus giving my husband the opportunity to log on and get me a place when the page came back on line. A demon text message said “You’re in” and my world went into slow motion. Oh. My. God!
As a life coach, I am always thinking in terms of achieving goals, for the majority of my clients these goals tend to be around increasing confidence or getting along with people more effectively. My own personal goals tended to be around achieving qualifications. These goals were easy for me to achieve and I started to wonder why and to analyse the secret of why I could be successful in one type of goal and yet the ability to be a size 12 somehow totally eluded me.
For goals to be effective, they have to have meaning for the person setting them, they need to have a purpose, to be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and within a given timeframe. Looking at achieving qualifications it is easy to see how to be successful, choose the right course that is of interest to you, do the work within set dates and get it marked, simple. The main part of the goal is that you are gaining something. That made me really think about the way I view dieting, and losing weight. For me this is always about giving something up, doing without things and being organised, I have even been coached about giving up chocolate, no, I am not better than chocolate, sometimes it just has to be a certain blue packaged brand!
Taking part in the Moonwalk somehow re-ignited my motivation to get fitter, not just a general fitness, but fit enough to walk 26 miles in the middle of the night in my bra!
This goal is specific and measurable ie I have to walk a marathon, I am set on it being realistic and it will take place on 20th May in central London. It also has a purpose in that I should get fitter and by chance thinner and it is meaningful in that I will be raising money for breast cancer.
In some ways, it is almost a purely selfish act; many other women are doing it because they or someone close has been touched by cancer. I had a bit of a scare, a lump, which turned out to be fat (somehow the story of my life). Although this was nothing serious, it was a bit of a scary moment and not a very pleasant experience involving a large needle and a mammogram.
Once I had started my training for the moonwalk, I realised that I would probably not have achieved my weight loss goal by May, or even if I had, then come Christmas it would all be back on again (limiting belief), what I needed to do was to have another goal to keep me motivated. It was then I saw the advert on TV for the Aviva Breakthrough weekend 60 k walk – yes 60 k! – I immediately got on my computer and logged onto their site and became a participant in that event too. This event has the additional aspect of having to raise £1500 before I can take part –nothing like having goals to achieve!
How am I going to do this? Well as a Life Coach I know that it preparation and support is important, as is breaking the goal down to smaller manageable portions, “chunking down” is the official term. Both the Moonwalk and the Aviva breakthrough walk have training plans detailing how many miles per week you should be achieving. In addition to this I have broken the larger goals into smaller achievable goals, like doing the race for life in May, June and July. Training to run 5k will help to improve my fitness towards the larger events. Although I am much fitter than two years ago, I am not particularly fit, if I was to use a scale of 1 to 10 for my fitness, 10 being very fit then I would have to say I am about a 2, so this is quite scary for me!
What support have I managed to get? My husband is now a fitness fanatic, who now takes part in triathlons and runs regularly, rather than being a couch potato. Buster the dog is always a regular participant in any walks he can get on and on my days off work, he follows me around until I take him out – annoying but motivating. I have also got myself a personal trainer and we have set clear goals to improve my cardio vascular fitness, no mean feat for him working with an overweight 45 year old with asthma and a hatred of running or getting even slightly sweaty!
So how is the training going? Well I am on week 3 of the programme and we did 23 miles this week, the programme says 12 miles, but I like to be prepared. I have my new walking trainers, special ones specifically designed for the Moonwalk. It is essential that special walking trainers are used rather than running or cross trainers. It is all to do with the amount of time one spends on ones heels apparently. Walking increases the pressure on the heels whereas running is more focussed on the toe action. I can vouch for that, the first few big walks (4 or 5 miles) my heels were agony, but now I have my new shoes, my heel problems have been sorted. The other aspect about the trainers it they are pink – what more could a girl want?
As the training progresses I will keep you updated; I may even keep a diary about how I am feeling each day – today I am feeling lucky to be alive; we have some lovely walks near by, we have the river and a few hills to go walking by. I did learn an important lesson yesterday; a short cut is not always the best way. The path along the river was muddy, slippery and downright dangerous. At one stage I ended up crawling along on all fours, the only thing that kept me from falling in the river was the brambles caught in my hair –
I think after that a marathon in my bra will be a walk in the park!
Donations to Helen Yarnold for the Aviva Breakthrough Weekend are by her personal page on http://www.breakthroughweekend.org/index.html
Helen Yarnold - www.strawberrysofa.com