With everything in life, you can either be moving toward something – charting the path of your destiny, or you can just go with the flow and allow the world to push you around. Now maybe it’s just me, but I really don’t want the world dictating how I look, how I act, what I eat, and what I do. Why not? Simple. Because if you do that you will be a self-centered, shallow, fat, broke, and unhappy person. Seem harsh? Well, it is. Too bad.

The world has no reason to better you. Actually, most of the players IN the world are working to conspire to take your money and come up with ways for you to willingly throw it at them. Advertisers prey on your darkest fears to make you buy junk/fast food, diet pills/books, and makeup/fancy clothes so on. So let’s see how this works. One group makes you fat. The next group promises to make you skinny. The rest just want to sell you stuff to cover it up because you feel bad about how you look.

That’s insane.  BREAK THE CYCLE.

I love this graphic. It applies to life and goals as much as it applies to swimming.


The Riptide is the pull away from shore. If you try to swim back to shore you’ll never make it. So to escape, you swim at a 90 degree angle to the pull until it no longer has you in its grasp. Then you plot your own course back to shore. It takes LESS ENERGY to escape the Riptide than it does to fight it.


When you set a goal, any goal, you need to pick a destination. Then (and only then) you pick the path to get there. In this case, you don’t fight the riptide, you move AWAY from it. That’s pretty common in life too.

So set a goal. Athletic, personal, education, career – it doesn’t matter. But commit to it. Make it PUBLIC.

Here’s the steps, now you need to implement them:

1. Set a Goal. It must be specific, measurable, achievable, reasonable, and time based.

Example: I would like to do a 5k (3.1 mile) by <insert date here>

2. Pick a Path to get there


  • I will go to the Doctor for a checkup to make sure I can start running
  • I will start walking 5 days/week for 2 months
  • Then I am going to do a “Couch to 5k” program (9 weeks)
  • I will run the XYZ 5K on  <insert date here>

3. Make it public, make it social (if you’re a social person), and make it real.

  • Announce your plans to friends and family.
  • Find Social Support
  • Put your walk/run workouts on a calendar. Hang that calendar on the Fridge (yes, the Fridge). RECORD your workouts as you do them. A free service I like is www.sparkpeople.com – log your food, log your exercise, set your goal and watch your progress.

4. Adapt as needed. Be Patient but be persistent.

  • Be Flexible. Things will happen. People lose jobs, family members may fall ill, etc. Life happens. Roll with it.
  • Be Patient. Your timeline may be unreasonable (often is). For example, you cannot go from zero to 5k in a week.  Whatever the case roll with it – but keep the goal in mind. BUST through the barriers one by one. Remember, you will get there.
  • Persistence. You have to stick with it if you’re going to plot your own course… and there will be unforeseen challenges. Just work through them one by one. Don’t get discouraged. Remember, if it were easy YOU WOULD ALREADY BE THERE. Life isn’t easy.

In short, you can accomplish just about anything you want in life, if you set goals and systematically work towards them.

December 2003 I decided to set a goal of losing 100 lbs in 2 years. Now in retrospect, it wasn’t the best defined “goal” but it was a start and it was non-negotiable. I had to refine it, the more I learned, but the overriding goal didn’t change. I ended up adding a bunch of smaller goals along the way. Doing a sprint triathlon. Then doing an Olympic distance triathlon. A half Marathon. A half Ironman triathlon. A full Ironman triathlon. And so on. I’m still adding goals and going after them. For ME it was about improving my body to be able to keep up with my 2 very active boys.

 What’s your goal?

Take this time off with family and make a commitment to something great. Don’t start Jan 1. Start now. Set the goal and take the steps to get there.

 What’s your goal?

Taking control of your life requires only one thing. A decision. Your decision.

 What’s your goal?

How many times do I have to ask. Come on. Pick something. Anything. It doesn’t have to be running. It can be learning to ride a bike. It can be dropping a dress size.

 What’s your goal?

Share it here.  Post in the comments if you want.


Live life.

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