Oh, is someone eating elephants around here?!?! I'll get onto this one later...
So in case you weren't aware, I have two absolutely ginormous (if that's a word) goals that I will achieve this year and let's face it, there's no way at all they will ever be achieved by simply showing up and hoping everything goes to plan. I can say from experience in my past life that at some stage you need to stand up, get cracking and move forward towards your target goal by taking action each day because it's not going to fall in your lap.
Earlier this week was a BIG relisation that the first of my goals, Ultraman Australia is only 16 weeks away and it's time to get some specific training in over the next four months, in order to ensure come 14th of May, my body and just as importantly my mind, is ready to undertake the toughest thing I've ever done or attempted to do.
So my plan works like this - There are 4 x 4 week blocks starting next week that will get me there, each week focusing on increasing my session distances for swim, bike and run. My focus will come away from the event itself and I will break my training down to each individual session....yes each one of the six sessions per week. The only thing I need to think of is that specific day's session. There won't even be a focus on the next day until that session is over. Some of the long training days are back to back and are somewhat 'ridiculous' in regards to what needs to be done, but if you only need to focus on that very session you're doing then it's all achievable, in my opinion.
I will use exactly the same goal setting and action plan methodology when it comes to tackling and training for my second ginormous goal for the year, which is to ride my bike around Australia. This is a totally different type of event compared to Ultraman Australia, which certainly still requires a level of fitness and endurance on the bike, however the event itself will ensure that my body actually goes through adaption to the stress loads because the challenge is so long (2 1/2 months). Training for this is the same; you train, your body adapts and its base level is, over time, set at a new neutral or base level.
I think that your brain in fact works exactly the same as your body...have you ever thought about how we endure pain? Your body as we say can "become numb" to it or even "not feel it anymore". This is the same concept. Adapt and overcome, adapt and overcome and after a few repeats we set our mind and body to a new base level.
So what does all this have to do with breaking down a goal and taking action steps towards it daily?
Well, at times when you look at a goal you have in mind or indeed one you've already started moving towards, the end result can seem so distant that even starting seems like a daunting prospect. Sometimes so daunting that it can even stop you from having a crack at it. Every goal can be what I call 'broken down to the ridiculous'. You can have an effect, every minute if you really needed to, on hitting your goal.
For me, breaking something down even into daily bite sized chunks works. Yes, to do this with a goal that is up to nine months off, even starting can itself be a long and time consuming process but I use this time to actually assess if I have the drive, passion and belief that I can achieve the goal. If you're not investing yourself into this process then quite honestly the goal probably doesn't light a big enough fire in your heart to even worry about.
So for each and every day from now until May 14th, I know the exact thing I need to do on a daily basis to finish my first ever Ultraman Triathlon. I'll be saying to myself, 'my day tomorrow......an easy swim. How easy is that?' Yes there are going to be harder days involved that are designed to test me, however, they'll all be ticked off individually to achieve the ultimate goal.
So back to the elephants! I'm not sure where I first heard this statement or quote but I use it more and more these days and...coming from someone that only eats plants you might find it ironic lol.
Q: How do you eat an elephant?
A: One fucking bite at a time!
I often think about this analogy like this;
Use 80-90% of your focus to focus on what's happening today while always using say 10-20% on the final prize or destination. At times you can forget about why you're actually doing what you're doing and at other times I find myself thinking far too much about how I'm going to look running up Noosa beach to finish line of Ultraman or where I'm going to finish my bike lap of Australia! I haven't even started either of these events yet, so I'm having to constantly remind myself to stay in the moment where I'm training. Too much is lost when there's not 100% focus on a particular session.
The same goes for regular days for me. Whatever is on that day, I ask myself this question;
Will what I do today move me any closer to my ultimate goal?
If the answer is YES - Push on. Get on with it and have an awesome day.
If the answer is NO - That's ok too. Sometimes it might be working in a job you don't like or doing a task you don't want to do but you need to flip it in your own mind. Ask yourself this question;
What can I do before, during or after this task that will ultimately lead me to my goal? There's always enough time in the day to get something done.
So here's some questions I ask myself when setting a new goal;
1. What are my values and beliefs?
2. Is the goal something that will work towards these values?
3. Is the goal something that will stretch me and help me grow?
4. Can the goal be broken down into bite sized chunks to achieve?
My advice? If the answer to any of these questions is NO, you have the wrong goal and you'll need to reassess why you are indeed passionate and driven to achieve it.
Achieving massive goals...simple right? Share your goals with me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Until next week...
- Keep moving
- Keep going forward
- Keep kicking goals