The Impact of Goal Setting

This week’s blog is on goals and how we stay on track with them. Not just any goals, but the goals that push us way beyond our comfort – goals that redefine what we believe what is possible… GOALS THAT RAISE OUR AMBITIONS. This is all about manifesting dreams into reality, but not just dreaming…dreaming BIG. But first, a couple current items for this week:

  1. HERREN PROJECT INTERVIEW WITH ME: Herren Project Interview with me about Ultrarunning, spirit animals, and recovery
  2. FOLLOW MY 100 MILER THIS WEEKEND: I’m running the Pinhoti 100 miler this Saturday in Alabama. Track me live (bib # 270).

So, goals – we have a lot of ways we can sabotage ourselves in the ways we resist preparing and showing up. As I start to wrap my head around running Arrowhead 135 this January, I find myself asking questions about my priorities and the way I spend my time. Why is this so important for this goal? Well, Arrowhead 135 is a danger fest in a league of its own, and something I need to take very seriously.

The Arrowhead 135 is an ultra-marathon described as the “coldest gosh-darn race anyplace, even the Arctic.” In certain years the wind chill has been as cold as minus-68, due to a Polar Vortex. Typically, less than 50 percent of the participants finish. Just Google “Arrowhead 135” and you’ll find all manner of major news publications covering its insanity.

Read this article about on National Geographic.

So, I need to buckle down and focus on being finely tuned for this race. Dare I say, I shall decidedly become obsessed? Yes, I do. I think this is how I’ll finish in one piece. It’s okay to go out of balance to meet a goal, provided that we do it mindfully. Discuss this with the people most important to you.

So, to begin…I ask myself questions before I formulate my training schedule, which will consist of cold acclimatization, sleeping outdoors through January, cold showers, ice baths, lugging tires, weight training, gear training, such as pulling my fully packed sled, meditating, breathing exercises, lots of research, plenty of night training, and driving towards where the snow is. Here is a practical questionnaire for oneself. I think it’s pertinent to someone planning a survival endeavor or their first half marathon. It’s all about doing the hard stuff and the price we’re willing to pay to go out of balance. That said, most of my blogs now through January will, probably, be about such matters, but I’ll do my best to make them interesting and useful to all! Here goes…wanna do something epically hard? Ask thyself such questions:


I encourage/invite you to print this out and jot down the first thing that comes to mind. It can be very telling about where our mind is concerning what we want and why we resist taking the steps toward it.

  • What are my top priorities – things in life that cannot fall apart while perusing my goal? ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


  • Is this bringing me further or closer to my goal? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


  • Is this just a distraction or necessary to my goal?


  • Will the world really come to an end if I do not perform this task instead of focusing on the essential elements / training / tasks around my goal?


  • How do I feel after completing certain tasks?


  • How do I feel if I don’t complete certain tasks? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


  • For tasks not completed – what does this resistance feel like emotionally and how can I go to war with it?


  • What experiences, things, and even relationships am I willing to sacrifice for my goal?


  • What habits and lifestyle choices are counterproductive to my goal?


  • What can I quit and what can I start to get me closer to my goal?


  • How can I streamline my time to meet my goal? Examples: writing up a calendar/ schedule, journaling, daily or weekly to-do templates…


  • How do I stay accountable? Examples: public announcement of goal, Strava, training groups, a blog, a personal coach etc…


Suggested Reading Overcoming Obstacles / Reaching Goals

  1. Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds / by: David Goggins
  2. The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph / by: Ryan Holiday and Tim Ferriss
  3. The War of Art / by: Steven Pressfield
  4. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones / by: James Clear

In closing… feel free to pick my brain and join my free run group:


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