Successful From Not Accomplishing Your Goals

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I crawl out of bed, once again to arrive on time at my boot camp on the beach at 6 a.m.  Yes, you heard me right, 6 a.m.!!

As crazy as it sounds, I actually look forward to it, maybe not at the time my alarm goes off, but once I am on the beach and in between pushups, arm curls and running up the stairs and along the sand, I actually get to enjoy the sun rising, the pelicans diving into the water and the waves crashing on the shore.

As long as Grant, our trainer, does not catch me getting distracted, all is great. Actually Grant is amazing and keeps us motivated and on target with our workout.

Goals are important, and we are much more likely to be successful if we pull together and motivate each other.  If I attempted to do the same workout on my own I would have given up after the first five minutes.

It is human nature to push ourselves harder when we know we are being watched, and we gain momentum by doing it with others. Studies show having people support your goals increases your chances of success. However, what is more fascinating to me is what else we gain in our journey to accomplishing our goals. Let me explain what I mean.

About a year ago, I had set a goal to run a half marathon. I was right on track with my running when I had a few life situations come up that stopped me in my tracks and I had to stop training. You see, life is like that.

I believe in having a very clear picture of what you want, create those goals, work on them daily, and have a clear vision. And yet, at the same time, you must be willing to shift gears, change directions or totally change your mind if need be. It is not just about accomplishing the goal but also the lessons learned through the challenges and opportunities you come across while reaching or changing your goal.

So often we only think we are successful if we accomplish the goal. Not so, actually it is what we have learned along the way that is just as important, or maybe even more important, than accomplishing the goal itself.

So lets go back to my boot camp group again for a minute. As mentioned earlier, my goal when joining was to get myself back in shape for a half marathon again. Yet at this point, if I never run the half marathon, I see myself as already being successful as I have already got more out of joining this group than I would by completing my goal.

Firstly, the support I got from everyone including our trainer when my mom passed away was very touching and heart felt. Secondly, meeting people I would never have met before and feeling part of the group makes me feel like I belong which is an important human need.  Thirdly, Grant is pushing me physically in ways I did not know I could be pushed. I think that is good!

In the meantime, we are all planning to run the CdM 5k in June. Of course I still have my goal of completing a half marathon, but it has been the journey that has made me feel successful rather than the accomplishment of the goal itself.  This now has more meaning to me than doing the half marathon.

So my lesson in all of this is that when life sends us in a different direction, stop, grieve, regroup, learn, and appreciate what you have already accomplished by setting the goal. Thoreau nicely says it all: “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals”.


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  1. Hi Shelly, it’s Lynne from your bootcamp and I just wantedt to let you know you “Bootcamp” article really hit home with me and I couldnt agree with you more! I drive from San Juan Capistrano every morning for this bootcamp which I have been attending all three sessions lately and there are times the alarm goes off at 5 a.m. and I think WHY but once I get there and I’m with my BC posse as I refer to you all my day has already started off with a smile! Some days are tougher than others for me but I remind myself at the end of the session…I DID IT!

    Thank you for writing this article and reminding all of us how important it is to reach our goals and feel the sense of accomplishment in doing so. 🙂

    Your friend, Lynne