• Nancy Chambers

The power of having a goal

The power of having a goal is not to be underestimated. This week I was reminded of that on several occasions. Most prominently just at school pick up time last week. Quite a random time to be thinking about goals and the affect they can have on you. Well think again.

I was saying goodbye and good luck to a friends son, who was following his dreams. He set goals very young and has, through hard work, determination and the support of his parents, taken a huge step on the way to achieving those goals.

He was leaving his school and class after Primary 4 to head off to a new school away from home to further pursue his dreams. He has always talked about what he wants to do, and laid out a clear plan of how he was going to get there. Incredibly focused for one so young. This new step for him is a slightly different direction that he had originally talked about (to me anyway), but I think it may take him towards his ultimate aim quicker and more efficiently. It may also change slightly where he is going, you never know. Other opportunities may appear on the horizon as he is continuing on.

Anna McNuff stopping for a brief photo as she runs from Shetland to London barefoot.

So as we were chatting and wishing him well, I glanced up and saw a pink head running along the road. It had to be Anna McNuff, another person with huge goals. Anna is running 100 marathons from Shetland to London, which is a big goal and challenge. She has made it harder for herself and decided to do it BAREFOOT! A massive adventure. She didn’t know us at all, but when I shouted out her name, she popped over for a quick chat and a photograph with us. Her energy and smile were infectious. She also told the rest of the parents and kids what she was doing (I had been following roughly through her journey and knew she might be in the area, but had not anticipated right on the doorstep! Tracker here ) Anna had just had to change her plans slightly in the past few days and was taking a slightly different route now over towards Aberdeen via the Speyside Way. It’s one of the things I love about following adventurers, there is alway a challenge somewhere along the way, but it is how they deal with it and positively change for the future. If you get a chance read her books, The Pants of Perspective about running the length of New Zealand

50 Shades of The USA about cycling through all the states in the USA, they give a really good flavour of her determination and positivity. I really enjoyed both books.

I have also been reading this week, a really interesting book called Atomic Habits by James Clear.

This is a fascinating book and great for setting you thinking about how to create positive change in your behaviours and beliefs. Definitely worth a read or a listen if you do the audio book thing. All three of these encounters have encouraged me to think a bit more about where I am going, what are my goals, how am I going to achieve them and where will they take me?

So starting small, I am going to write down a few goals for myself and make them prominent with my family. I may share further when I am comfortable with them. If the journey to those goals changes as it often does, I need to allow myself to be flexible with it. However, it will be about how I deal with the change that matters. Will I have enough determination to continue on? Will I be able to cope with the boredom of doing a task regularly enough so that it becomes second nature. How will it go when I inevitably fail at part of it, will I manage to remind myself that failure is essential, to reach a goal. To achieve, you must be knocked down then have the detmination / focus to get back up and try again. You know what, I’m looking forward to seeing.

So as I head off, good luck to my son’s friend, may you be forever light of foot and the wind be with you as you set off on the start of a great adventure, also to the #barefootbritainrunner Anna McNuff, may you have soft verges and smooth tarmac. I’m looking forward to following both adventures and seeing what I can learn as they negotiate the next part of their journey.

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