My working day starts with a 30 minute walk. OK, I admit, originally I dragged myself out for 10 minutes a day, then 15, then 20 minutes a day as part of my new “Get Fit” regime. You see, an unhappy marriage left me with an extra four stone that really didn’t belong to me, and having left that marriage well over two years ago, I thought it was maybe time to cast away the extra padding and return me to my former glory.
Besides which, I’m now in my mid forties, and I’d rather have a fit and healthy middle through to senior age. It’ll be a while before I can run 5km again, but having reached unenviable levels of un-fitness (is that a word?!) I had to start small. My days of going to the gym four times a week for an hour and a half at a time seem to a distant memory, although they are in my plans to get them back. But, the fact remains, where I was once slim and very fit, I really wasn’t any more.
And so, both diet and exercise had to be overhauled, and so far, so good with a stone and a half lost thus far. I digress…back to my morning jaunt. When I started with the new exercise regime, my initial 10 minutes was a chore and a struggle. How on earth could I have let myself get so unfit?! However, over time, and going out most days whatever the weather, that time slowly increased so that I was regularly walking at a fast pace for 30 minutes a day. At first, that 30 minute walk left me out of breath, but over the weeks it has become a doddle. And so, a few weeks back, I thought I’d change my route so I could increase the intensity.
We’re fortunate enough to live in the middle of nowhere with the stunning Forest of Dean a stone’s throw away, and so I headed in that direction and went into the depths of the forest. I had an easy first 15 minutes, merrily heading off down the hill towards the lake in the middle of the forest. I got to my 15 minute turning around point, and started back the way I came. Except, now it was all up hill! And quite a steep hill at that. At first, I attempted it at my normal fast pace and decided fairly quickly that just wasn’t going to happen if I was ever to get home again with both lungs intact. And every time I looked up, all I could see was the long, winding path going on forever in front of me up to the top of the hill.
Instead, I focused on just the few feet ahead of me. I aimed for the next twig or leaf or stone that was in my path. And I replaced my long, fast strides with slower, shorter steps. And do you know? Before I knew it, the path suddenly levelled out and I was on my way home. Yes, it was hard work, but certainly not as difficult as if I’d kept going with long strides at speed.
It also got me thinking about the huge goals we set ourselves in business. If you have a massive dream inside of you, the path ahead may just seem all up hill and very daunting. And even though you really, really want to be creating your dream, it seems completely unattainable and a long, long way away.
However, take a tip from my daily jaunts back up this hill. If you break your journey down into shorter, smaller goals (the twigs, leaves and stones on my walk), and take it at a slightly slower pace, it suddenly won’t be quite a frightening as it first seems. Each day and each week, just head towards a twig, a leaf or a stone, and before you know it, you will be well on your way to the top of your hill.
Do let me know what your “twig” is this week – I’d love to know what you’ve achieved.
To your success,