Achieving big goals: How do you eat an elephant – Claire McTernan

Achieving big goals: How do you eat an elephant

Claire WR #1I decided in 2014 to break free of some limiting beliefs that were bestowed upon me by my Doctor. I have numerous joint issues and I was told my body wouldn’t cope with sport so I had pretty much stopped all sport other than the odd game of badminton with my family. And that’s the way it had been for 25 years!

I decided I wanted to push myself to see what I was actually capable of doing. I also knew that to make me follow through I would need to commit publically to doing some sporting event. So in May 2014 I signed up for the September 2014 Wolf Run; a 10km obstacle race with plenty of mud and water.

Well, I did it !

So why am I sharing this with you? It occurred to me that it has loads of parallels with running a business.

Basically I woke up one day and simply made a decision to achieve something different. I changed my behaviour and got on with it!

All was going well until I hit a bit of a block. I was very focused on building my running up so I could run for longer and longer. This worked fine until I got to 3.5k and I couldn’t get past that point. The issue was all in my mind.

Running 10k seemed like an overwhelming distance and as my legs got tired my brain would tell me I’d never make it, and guess what? I had to stop every time and felt very deflated.

So I turned it around. Instead of focusing on running 10k I focused on 1k x 10 and that was a totally different experience. All I had done was break the goal down into bite-sized chunks that weren’t overwhelming.

So the business analogy…goals are just targets which are pretty stretching but have significant meaning to us. We only achieve them if we change our behaviour and actually commit to implementing a series of actions that ultimately lead to the goal.

Most people will hit obstacles along their way and invariably stop. Or they allow themselves to be so overwhelmed by the task in hand that they stop taking action. Even worse their negative self-talk kicks in and they simply give-up, convinced that they won’t be able to make it.

Have you done that before? How many times have you lost sight of your goals? What impact has that had on how you felt about yourself and your business?

I found the Wolf Run incredibly tough. Although I was the fittest I had been in 25 years I still could have been better prepared, but I completed it. When my training had got tough I phoned a friend and asked to train with them as that increased my accountability. We entered the Wolf Run as a team of 5 and we completed it as a team. It took all 4 of my team mates to get me round that course but we did it.

So to complete my goal I reduced it down to smaller steps to reduce the sense of overwhelm, I took continual action, I increased my accountability and I surrounded myself with a winning team; it’s no wonder I achieved my goal.

In business there can be a tendency to try and do it all yourself, to keep your goals quiet and to fail to take continual action to achieve them. It’s no wonder most businesses don’t reach their full potential.

How about your business & goals? Have you made enough progress this year? What can you do to make great progress in the next 3 months? How can you increase your accountability to do it?

All change starts with a decision to do something different and then making it happen. Have you got what it takes to step up and own your goals?

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