Focus on the JourneyI like setting goals.

Right now as we’re fresh into the New Year, there’s lots of information to help you set and achieve goals. This post isn’t about that.

This post is about exploring the personal development that occurs on the way to achieving goals. Being a self-motivated, goal-setting woman (or A-type?!) I’ve never considered what I’m learning as I work towards my goals. My practice has always been Ready, Set, Fire = Success or Failure.

Recent goals from the last year included:

  • Doubling the revenue from my business
  • 8 lb weight loss
  • Getting good at swimming
  • Hiking the Bruce Trail

…So none of those things happened. There are many reasons for it, most likely that the goals weren’t very SMART – specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and timely. Realistic seems to be an area where I’m not particularly pragmatic.

When I don’t achieve what I set out to, my default reaction is internal disappointment, frustration & self-loathing. Basically a lot of negative self-talk. How harsh is that? I would never want my kids or anyone I care about to beat themselves up like I do!

I rarely look back on all the goals I have achieved. I never give myself a chance to celebrate. It’s just on to the next goal.

What I’m realizing, as I work towards an incredibly challenging goal that is REALLY important to me, is that there is huge value in the process of achieving goals.

So I’ve been studying how the journey towards the end goal is more important than achieving it. I heard a great podcast this week with Josh Shipp that covered this topic extensively.

Here’s my big goal for the next 5 months:

I will grow my group fitness business in a new neighbourhood of Toronto (Hello Junction peeps!) by running at least 4 classes a week with 6 people registered in each by May.

Phew…I launched my group fitness classes in a second location in October and while I’m very excited to be trying this venture, so far it’s not going very well!

I’m finding it’s really hard to start from scratch in a new neighbourhood. I’ve cancelled a lot of classes that have only one person registered. I’m teaching for almost no money. I’ve hired and had to fire new instructors when their classes don’t run because No One Is Signing Up! Gah!

It is incredibly hard to stay positive, yet somehow I am. If this were easy, it wouldn’t be worth doing, right?

Here’s what I’m learning as I go through this:

Take out the ego: it’s not personal that people aren’t signing up for classes in the Junction. It’s not about me. If my offering isn’t meeting their needs at this time, that’s ok.

Persistence: keep trying and don’t give up. If I stop pursuing this without giving it enough time I could be three feet from the gold… 

Networking: I’m getting out of my comfort zone by going up to strangers on the street and in the studio to introduce myself and my offering. This is something I couldn’t do before, but now I feel compelled to. I want to see those classes full!

Getting Creative: I’m developing a mom & baby group in the studio so I can build stronger relationships with local women. I’m trying an April Spring Training Fitness promotion with unlimited classes for a set price.

Recognizing Strengths: I’m way better in person than on Facebook. Getting to know people in person actually feels perfect to me. Plus, this way I get to hold more babies = JOY!

Being Uber Productive & Focused: Now I’m commuting across the city, not just walking down to my local studio. Time is fleeting and there’s a lot to pack in. I don’t even know how I’m finding time to write this post…oh, because I’m running late for picking up the kids at school again (!)

Appreciating Friends and Family: I am SO LUCKY to have a support team who wants me to be successful. Thank you to everyone who is asking me how the expansion is going, offering ideas/advice/contacts and even coming out to the new studio to attend classes with me. I’m very grateful for everyone’s help.

I’ll continue to push on, meeting super cool moms in Toronto’s West End, encouraging them to join my “community of exercisers”. Of course I’ll appreciate the extra income this will bring but more importantly I’ll value how I’ve grown and stretched myself through the previous 9 months.

And if I don’t get there, it’s not failure… It’s feedback. The universe (and the market) will be letting me know that it’s time to reconsider, try something different or try again later. As Napoleon Hill wrote, “Failure is a trickster with a keen sense of irony and cunning. It takes great delight in tripping one when success is almost within reach.”

I will practice self-compassion and reflect back on the person I’ve become through this process. Here’s to a year of wild learning and growth!