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Active Expert: Gale Bernhardt

1 Post tagged with the achieving tag

Getting what you want. Turning dreams into accomplishments.


The real question is…what do you want?


If you are a regular blog reader/subscriber, you know that I’m an endurance sport junkie. I love endurance sports. I like to be a participant and I like to help other people succeed in completing or competing at endurance events. In 2010, you will continue to see endurance sports related items in the majority of my blog postings.


For those that found the blog via the “Just One Day” (JOD) experiment at the end of 2009, welcome. Whether you are an endurance junkie or not, I still think you need to exercise. It is good for your body and your head.


When the JOD fans requested that I keep doing “something” in 2010, I wasn’t really sure what to do or how to go about it. During recent workouts I allowed my mind to wander and decided to do a 12-week schtick of JOD, as suggested by Facebook fan Pamela Bennett. But, the twist is that it is more than a random sampling of “try this out”. Some aspects of random tweets will remain in the 12-weeks - and - in addition, there will be more structure. Structure intended to turn your dreams into reality.


I’ll try to help you do that by taking you through parts of the same process I go through each year.The process for me usually happens in January or February, not tied to a particular date. The process has evolved over several years and changes a bit each year. That written, it there are some aspects of the process that never change.


The first thing that never changes is a notebook. Not the computer kind of notebook, but the pen/pencil/paper kind of notebook. If you want to join in on the 12-week JOD challenge, go find a notebook that is some 100-200 pages. If the pages aren’t numbered, then number them. I’ll refer to page numbers as we roll along.


Why a notebook and not a computer? Honestly, it’s because I think there is magic in writing thoughts rather than typing them. Yeah, yeah…I know what you’re thinking. “B.S.” I once thought the same thing, but was willing to give it a try. Now I’m a believer.


Why am I a believer?


At first, I began the process by just “thinking” the answers/dreams/goals/steps. I’ll keep them in my head. A steel vault. I’ll keep all those ideas safe and right behind my eyes in full sight. Riiiiight.


Then I used the computer. It worked marginally.


When I began the writing process, things happened. Big things. Small things too. I’ll give you a few examples of many:


In 1995 I wrote in my notebook, “I want to coach an Olympic athlete.” I also wrote, “I want to go to the Olympic Games.” At the time, I coached zero elite athletes and I didn’t have any idea how I could possibly make those dreams come true. (My first trip to the Olympic Games was to Sydney Australia in 2000 to support my athlete Nicole Freedman, who won Pro Nationals to earn her spot on the Olympic Cycling Team.)


I worked in corporate America for 16 years and faced potential layoffs multiple times. In year 10 of that job, I wrote down, “I want to be self-employed.” At the time I was doing personal coaching as side job for $20 per athlete, per month and didn't think coaching athletes would be my self-employment opportunity. Turns out, I was wrong. (I became full-time self-employed 6 years later, with a two-year self-enforced trial period. The trial period went well, I remain self-employed.)


I’ve written down a number of athletic endurance goals – 5ks, 10ks, half-marathons, triathlons (all distances), trail runs, mountain bike races... Some of the goals are completion oriented, some are time-related. I’ve achieved many of them.


Do my goals change? Yes.


Have I achieved all of the goals that I’ve written down? Not yet.


If you want to travel on the JOD journey for 12 weeks, know that the process begins on January 18. All you need is that notebook I mentioned, a pen you love to write with and an open mind.  Like the last JOD, big instructions happen here on this blog. My goal is for most instructions or JOD tasks to be short so they will be fed via Twitter. (My tweets feed directly to Facebook.)


If you follow along, will your dreams become reality?


Only one way to know.

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