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Goal Without A Plan Is Just A Wish

i remember being at a meeting of some kind, years ago. One of the organizing ladies drafted me to move furniture, presumably because I was almost the only male under 50 in the room. But when she saw me struggling with a heavy table, she apologized and found someone else. That’s embarrassing for a young guy, and I’ve never forgotten it.

So you wouldn’t expect me to set myself a challenge of being able to do 100 push-ups, would you?

I’m doing that challenge right now, though.

I believe everyone should have a challenge to help them feel really alive. A challenge is different from stress, because you feel more in control and have a goal to work towards. And in fact, it’s one of the things that helps you to deal with your stress in other areas of life.

Here are five steps towards taking on a challenge for yourself and enjoying success after you complete it.

1. Have a desire for change

It’s one thing to sit on the couch and wish your life was better/different/more exciting, etc. But if you refuse to entertain the idea of making changes in your life, you’ll likely keep wishing instead of doing and accomplishing.

For instance, I want to be fitter and stronger. Sitting at a desk for 6 hours a day isn’t going to help me achieve that goal. So, I’ve taken up kayaking, and I want to be able to paddle strongly and for a long period, and still be able to lift the boat onto the roof of the car when I finish. I also just want to feel better physically, to take up more residence in my body. I want those things enough that I’m willing to put some effort in to get them.

It’s important to find the motivation to get off the couch and make a change. What’s your motivation for taking on a new challenge?

2. Believe you can change

I believe I can change. I believe I can rise to challenges. I believe this because I’ve done it before.

I’ve passed exams, learned languages, started businesses, built relationships. I’ve also done a similar challenge to the 100 Push-ups, namely 200 Sit ups. I went from 26 sit ups to 200. I know it can be done and I know I can do it.

What’s more, I know that when I am successful at a challenge like this, it does more for me than just whatever I get out of the goal itself. When I complete the 100 Push-ups challenge, I won’t just have stronger muscles. I’ll have greater mental strength, a sense of achievement – and further confirmation for myself that I can rise to challenges like this and complete them. Completing a challenge changes who you are in your own eyes. And each success you have builds your confidence.

What successes can you look back to in order to support your belief that you can take on a challenge?

3. Find a destination