Motivational quotes extort us that "a goal without action is only a wish - take action!" It sounds so simple - once you have a goal in mind, all you have to do to reach it is work hard. In reality, it is anything but simple. How hard you willing to work to achieve a goal? Are you going to head out in all conditions - cold, rain, snow and darkness to put forth the effort needed? What intermediate steps will need to be planned out to reach that ultimate goal? The planning alone can make long term seem unreachable. How long will you wait and work towards your goals? What sacrifices need to be made and which ones will you actually make? Going to bed early, getting up early, declining some social events. Are the long term goals worth all that? All good questions and ones the must be pondered when setting goals. It's no good to reach for lofty goals without the willingness and desire to work for them. That's just setting up for failure. The experts also have all kinda of grids and formulas for setting goals. Make them measurable, they say. Include objective data that can be directly assessed. A specific place in a race isn't really measurable because of the differences in competitors showing up. Some days the fast people come out to play - other days its just like a local group ride. So if that's out as a measurable goal, maybe time? Something lime I want to ride this event in such and such a time. Getting closer but still hard to quantify. Time can be effected by all kinds of variables outside our control. Wind, heat, rain - all can make reaching goal times difficult. I've learned that the hard way and had what I thought were easily reached goals flit away because of circumstances out if my control. I should know how to write good goals - I do it everyday for a living. But those are for others. It becomes a little more personal when it's my dreams on the line...

As the year draws closer to an end and the season wraps up - one more race! Hard to believe it's almost over! I think about what I want to accomplish in the next season. But its more then just setting race goals and all that. Its also looking at all those questions and trying to be realistic about what I am willing to do. And what I am willing to ask Nick to do for me and with me. After all, in a partnership one person's goals can't overwhelm the joint goals. I also have to honestly consider all the sacrifices my goals will require and if I am willing to commit. If I'm not willing to commit, then the goals will need to be revised. It's a lot of work - setting and committing to goals that will take months - and possibility years to achive. It's part of the journey and also the challenge.


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