Well it’s February. We’ve got the excitement of the new year behind us and we’re just now kinda in the groove of waiting for Spring, managing life, etc. I thought now would be a good time to reflect on goals. See, everyone talks about goals in January so I thought I’d let all of that simmer with you for a little while before addressing it here. I think most of us have heard about how quickly most New Year’s resolutions meet their demise. That’s why I think, “well heck”! Let’s focus on February instead, or maybe June. Who cares what month it is or if everyone else is doing it. What matters is that you are beautifully moved to make some kind of commitment to yourself and/or maybe to those you love. Maybe you want to save money to travel, take more family walks in the evenings or lose 75 lbs. to hopefully live a longer, more engaged life.
Many years ago, I set a big goal. I decided to join my boyfriend at the time on a wonderful adventure to climb Mt. Rainier in the state of Washington. I would get to the top (even though I never did anything like it before). I would sleep on the side of an ice-covered active volcano, hike to the summit in the dark of night and enjoy the amazing view from 14,410 ft. So, I learned about acclimating to the elevation and what crampons were (huh??), as well as how to potentially stop myself with an ice axe if I experienced the unfortunate situation of finding myself sliding down the icy mountain. It was just the two of us in this beautiful part of the country, encountering wildlife, physical challenges, new emotions (fear) and “roughing it”. I did great – for a while – but then our choice of route which had previously been a common path over a ridge, had eroded away. This subsequently left me precariously balancing on a ledge while my boyfriend left me to try to find foot holds that would safely get us down the ridge to our camping spot at about 10,000ft. So, for a good few minutes, stuck there on the ledge, wondering if he would fall and die while exploring a route out for us, I just had to breathe and re-contemplate my goal. Luckily, he made it back to me and carefully guided me down to a place where it was safer. Once our tent was set up and we had a chance to relax and make plans for the summit attempt, my emotions made it clear to me that I was not ready for this goal. I looked up at that summit and began to cry. I don’t like to fail; I didn’t want to disappoint him and I didn’t know when I’d get another opportunity to see that amazing view. I couldn’t bring myself to say that I didn’t think I could do it, but he knew. He said we’d go back down in the morning and he felt badly that he guided us to that place that may have been the cause for my loss in confidence to continue.
But like any goal, we can try again. And I did. Two years later, we went back with a team of a few friends. I was the only female but it didn’t matter. The guys were encouraging and great. I felt confident, I trained hard for months beforehand and I was determined. This time, I did it! Amidst awful white out conditions (which resulted in me never getting my view from the top by the way), whipping winds and complete exhaustion, I did it. I didn’t even want to relish in it, I just wanted to get down. But it felt amazing regardless.
If you’re pursuing a goal, please be honest with yourself. It’s ok if you’re not fully ready. Maybe you need to take just the first few steps towards your ultimate goal or need to make sure you have a strong team around you. But take some time to reflect and determine any adjustment you might need to make so you can be successful. Because if you fool yourself, you may just end up frustrated, sad or stuck on a ledge somewhere scary.
Be well friends!