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OTHER ITA SITES:
A Goal for This Century
For the last few months I’ve been training to ride what we call a “century ride” – one hundred miles (yes, in one day!) Rather than riding my usual 30 or 35 miles each Saturday, I upped it to 60 or 65. I paid attention to my weekly mileage totals. When ride day came, I expected that I’d finish … slow and staggering, but finish.
As I rode, I noticed something I hadn’t anticipated. Generally, when I plan to ride 35 miles, I start feeling ready to stop at 32 or 33. When I know I’ll be going 65, I look forward to finishing at 60. But when I knew I’d be riding 100, 30 was just getting warmed up. I didn’t even notice 60.
Even as I saw my odometer reach 75, and 80, and 90 miles, I was fine. I was focused on that goal of 100. And the closer I got, the more I knew that I could do it, and do it well. It was almost easy.
I’ve been thinking about that mental state ever since. When I focused on a small goal, the small goal took all my effort. When I focused on a big goal, the small one was almost effortless, and the big one came true.
I’ve never had such a clear example of the value of setting goals, ambitious goals, before.
What did it take to manifest this particular success? To meet this goal?
The first step, certainly, was to set it in the first place. Isn’t that what abundance and prosperity authors are constantly reminding us? To get the Universe to conspire on our behalf, we have to be clear on what we want.
You may have heard of a goal-setting technique called SMART – we need to set SMART goals. My successful experience fits that mold. Doesn’t it make sense that other goals we’d like to demonstrate will fit it also?
SMART goals are:
--Specific. My goal wasn’t to “ride farther” – it was to complete a defined distance. When my defined distance was 65 miles, that felt like all I had. When it was longer, I did more.
--Measurable. This is easy when you’re talking about distance!
--Attractive. This goal meant something to me. Several years ago I trained for a marathon. I trained up to 18 miles and pulled a hip abductor. No marathons for me. As I got toward the end of my century ride, I thought about how I was making up for that marathon I didn’t get to run and the disappointment I’d always felt about it.
--Realistic. I could have looked at a much longer ride, or a much harder one. I chose one that was a stretch, but not completely out of my reach. I didn’t expect it to be easy, but I expected to accomplish it.
--Time-framed. That fit this example easily, since the ride was on a specific date. I couldn’t let my training slip because I had a deadline to meet. (This one can be tricky; sometimes things happen in the Universe’s time, not ours, because in reality we’re just not ready.)
I didn’t know I was using this technique, but sure enough, there was my success. The intermediate steps weren’t always fun, but the result was almost magical.
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