The Summit. A lofty goal. The Peak. I want to reach it.
I keep seeing it on Facebook – People climbing and swinging on poles. Stefanie and Scott did it. Suzie did it. Jawahar said he does it every week.
(? Most of you know. “I’m not the least bit competitive.”?)
I had to read reach it.
My journey to Mission Peak reminded me of four very important facts about goal achievement and success in life that I feel I must share with you.
The start of the path up to Mission Peak goes straight up a deceptively “flat looking” incline. At the end of that, you take a left turn and start up a small grade for about 100 yards and then the path does a 180-degree turn back the way we just came but a higher point. This trail leads up a slight ever-increasing grade approximately 300 yards until you get to the next switchback.
As I progressed up the side of the mountain, the switchbacks continued; zigzagging up the hills. This is a great place for zigging and zagging.
Zigging & Zagging
This reminded me of Life and Goals. Sometimes you head out with a goal in mind and as you go along you realize that the way you thought you should go isn’t going to work, or might not be the best path to achieve your goal. At some point, you may need to Zig or Zag – make changes in the path to your goal. You are not changing your goal; to get to the peak, but maybe going straight up the mountain isn’t the right course. Zigging and zagging aren’t bad if it still gets you to The Peak.
I continued to climb. Parts of the path were steeper than the others. My mind would start talking to me,
“Hey! You don’t want to keep doing this. What’s the point? Let’s go get some coffee. How far have we gone? Let’s go back.”
Does that ever happen to you when you try to achieve a goal?
I’d look further up the path and see a big rock, or the next switchback. I’d say to that nagging, negative voice, “No! Let’s go to that rock or that switchback and we’ll rest again. I do that a couple of times and my mind would say, “Hey come on. Let’s go back.” I would look further up the path and see a couple of attractive lady hikers. “No!”, I’d say. “I’m going to catch up to them and get a better look at, uh, how much further we have to go.”
I kept setting these short-term goals as I went up, advancing a little more each time, getting ever closer to The Peak. I was more motivated than ever.
This reminded me of Life and Goals. Sometimes your goal may be tough or take a long time to complete. It helps to set short-term goals to accomplish a few small tasks that add up to the whole. Not changing the goal, but taking it piece by piece until you get to the peak. Are there specific steps that need to be completed before you achieve the goals. Can these steps be set as short-term goals?
One of my goals was to earn the Certified Mortgage Banker designation. It required specific knowledge and skills to be acquired as well as taking a test and being interviewed by a CMB panel. I estimated it would take about 2 years to achieve the goal. That’s a long time. I broke the specific tasks into short-term goals with their own action steps and deadlines that followed my Goal Achievement Success System. As each short-term goal was achieved, I marked them off and went onto the next until I completed all of the requirements and was awarded the CMB designation.
As I began to get closer, I could see The Peak. I saw other people at the top. Others had achieved the goal. I can, too! Then at the last switchback, I noticed the last part of the path wasn’t the same as I had been on. The smooth gently inclining path started going at a steeper angle and the path was now filled with big black rocks. My gentle walk up the mountain just turned into climbing up rocky slopes where the wrong step or a trip could send you careening down the side of the mountain.
I headed up watching my step. I would let the people coming down pass by carefully. About halfway up, one of the attractive lady hikers I used for my motivation on the way up was on her way down and said, “Keep going!, You’re almost there.” We smiled at each other and I continued to the top. There was The Peak, at the top of the clouds, or the fog.
I made it. I reached the Peak! I achieved my goal.
It Gets Rocky at the End.
This reminded me of Life and Goals. The path will get rockier and tougher as you get closer to the peak. When it starts getting tougher you have to keep going. You’re almost there. Now is not the time to let the rocky ending stop you. Your goal is within reach.
I learned three things getting to The Peak.
1. Zig and Zags are not bad and might be the best path to your goal.
2. Short-term goals will help keep you moving forward and motivated.
3. It might get rocky toward the end but you’re almost there. Keep going.
I looked back down the mountain, exhausted, tired but fulfilled and realized I have to get back down.
Set The Next Goal
This reminded me of life itself and goals. Just because you achieved your goal doesn’t mean you stop. You need to set the next goal. You have to keep moving. It will be a little easier but you must set the next goal. If your goal was to start a business, you still have to run that business. If your goal was to earn your degree, you still have to do something with it.
You still have to get back down from your peak.
What’s your next goal?