Goal-setting – Why Nike (and Forrest) got it right!

Goal-setting lessons rom Nike
“That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run.”

Goal-setting is the key to success whether it’s related to sport, business or any other walk of life. Yet most of us aren’t very good at setting goals – probably because we’ve never really had to. So, if you’re finding goal-setting daunting, how do you get your goal up and running, so to speak? Here’s my take on it. I hope it helps.

Goal-setting – the Forrest Gump way

If you’ve seen Forrest Gump, you might remember this quote. “That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So, I ran to the end of the road. And, when I got there, I thought maybe I’d run to the end of town.”  Before we knew it, Forrest had covered the United States twice and ran for 3 years, 2 months, 14 days and 16 hours before he decided to go home again. Of course, that’s just a story but it contains one of the best lessons in goal-setting ever!

Just one more lamp-post

Then there’s the story of a friend of mine who is also doing the Plan. He told me that, a few years ago, he went through a stage of not really keeping himself fit and had difficulty sleeping. So, one morning he got up at 6am and, like Forrest, decided to go for a run – ‘for no particular reason’ except boredom. It was the middle of winter, dark and snowing, but he stuck on his old trainers and went for it. He ran to the first lamp-post across the street and home again, before going back to bed where he fell asleep for another hour. He did the same thing the next day but ran to the second lamp-post and back. Soon he was running further and further while saying to himself, “Just one more lamp-post.”

Mount Kilimanjaro rising above the African plain
Kilimanjaro, the world’s highest freestanding mountain

Within a few months, he wasn’t counting lamp-posts any more but miles instead. He ran 11 miles on a Friday night after work when his friends were in the pub. 10ks and half-marathons were next on the list but my friend didn’t want to do the full version, so decided to go walking instead. First up were 10-mile hill-walks, then 20 miles. It wasn’t long before he completed walking challenges like the 54-mile Caledonian Challenge, the 64-mile coast-to-coast hike ‘Across Ross’ and a section of the Sahara Desert before finally tackling Kilimanjaro. All from one simple decision.

The hardest part about training

Putting on trainers
The hardest part of training

Olympic medallist Steve Cram once said the hardest part about training was putting his running shoes on. We all know that we should be doing regular exercise but we sometimes struggle with our reason why and putting our ‘running shoes on’ is just too difficult. If this sounds familiar and you’re finding goal-setting a challenge, why not follow Nike’s (and Forrest’s) advice and ‘Just Do It’?

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