Running the Paris Marathon several years ago significantly changed our world. Something similar just happened here on Kauai (where we just finished the Kauai Half Marathon).
We are staged to make two huge life changes before the end of the year. You know by now that we have our biggest breakthroughs when immersed in nature. This year, during our annual outdoor extravaganza, the discoveries were particularly profound. As a matter of fact, I dropped one idea-bomb on Caanan about three days into our journey, and I thought he was going to drive off of the road (tip: don't discuss significant life changes while driving).
We planned to let these ideas – especially the two biggies – bake a bit while visiting the Aloha State and completing the marathon.
What does this have to do with goals and the two marathons? Well, we often tell people that actually finishing the Paris Marathon was about the least exciting and memorable part of achieving that goal. For us, the significant impact was not in the final result, it was in everything building up to that moment. The same has held true with nearly every other goal we've pursued, including the event here on Kauai.
So, we're big on goals. Not so much for the goals themselves but because of the mindset that having goals – and working to achieve them – puts you in.
Here is our "Top-5" take on why goals matter and why you should always operate with them:
Goals provide structure.
We really enjoyed having our 31 Things goal during August's outdoor extravaganza. It was all about performing one small, kind action a day for 31 days. Sometimes our multi-dimensional life can seem overwhelming and unanchored. We thrive on pursuing missions, like 31 Things, that enable us to accomplish something and create some structure around what's important to us in life (and do good along the way). Go check out some of our 31 Things!
Goals bolster your mental sharpness.
Goals often involve constructing a plan. Last month, also during our outdoor extravaganza, we knew we'd be in the prime of our marathon training. We also knew that a lot of our physical activity would center around hiking. Through our Challenge Yourself mission, we figured out a way to meet our goal of hitting the 250-miles-exercised mark while sustaining our business and other obligations. It took a lot of planning to make it happen (by the way, we hit 267 miles).
Goals right-size patterns.
The planning (and excitement) that goes into pursuing goals often points you to what's going well in your life and what isn't. Whenever we're pursuing a goal, we find that we are also better able to isolate day-to-day patterns that are positive / useful and, similarly, those that are meaningless. During August – being away in the wilderness pursuing a certain set of goals – we were very short on time for other activities. When we realized this, we could more easily see what life patterns were bogging us down and were candidates for being eliminated / changed. This also reaffirms those things that are working.
Goals propel an abundance mindset.
Goals put you in the mindset of thinking big – inviting more into your life. As you start to chip away at a goal in front of you, you begin to see the possibilities in other areas of your life. Our Marathon, 31 Things and Challenge Yourself goals all started to swirl together but were born of the same core idea that just got bigger and bigger. Goals are about the unmapped things that happen along the way
Goals put you in charge.
Oftentimes, when people feel like they are flailing, it is because they feel as though life is out of control. Goals are a perfect remedy for this. Why? Because they put you squarely in the driver's seat. There's nothing like feeling the confidence start to creep in after you create a goal and start to think, "Hey, I can do this!"
We loved finishing the Kauai Half Marathon and the sense of accomplishment that went along with it. More than that, though, pursuing all of these goals put us in a mindset – the hum, as we call it – that is leading to a couple of huge life events that will happen a bit later this year.
Set a goal and see what it does for your life along the way!
And be sure to let us know.