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One step at a time

I took half term off for a family adventure walking from our house to Canterbury along the North Downs Way raising over £1,500 for a little boy called Elliot. It was 78 miles in total - a real achievement for my kids who are 5 and 7!

It was a great exercise in simple goal setting. Every day we had a clear goal - to reach our destination in one piece before it got dark - and each day we made it by simply focussing on one step at a time. A good lesson for life too!

"To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping" Chinese proverb.

The Stemazing theme this month is Goal Setting. I’ve just returned from a half term challenge with my husband and two children to walk from our house to Canterbury on the North Downs Way. We raised money for a little boy we know who is disabled and needs a lot of equipment and support, plus his family has had to shield for the whole of COVID as he’s so vulnerable and it’s heartbreaking to think how tough their life is right now.

The walk was 78 miles from our front door to Canterbury Cathedral which is a long way for a 5 and 7 year old to walk! Indeed it’s a long way for two tired parents too! Going at the pace of a 5 year old sometimes felt like we weren’t making any progress, however even the smallest of steps is still progress.

Every day, we had our destination goal and sometimes it felt overwhelming when we were all tired with sore feet and the rain was coming in sideways! However one small step at a time, knowing each step was progress and helping Elliot, encouraged us to reach our goal every day. Plus we found new ways of making the journey fun each day which was the best bit about the week together.

This is like a metaphor for life! If we know what our goals are, even if they are huge ambitious goals, we just need to break the journey down into small steps and keep moving forward - one small step at a time and eventually we’ll get there! Plus once we have faith our ability to reach the goal we can focus on enjoying the journey as much as possible.

Having a milestone for a walk is an easy goal to define but life and career goals can be harder to define. Being clear on what our goals are is often the hardest part - understanding what we really want to aim for and invest in that aligns with our values and will move our future in the right long term direction.

I believe Goal Setting is crucial for success. It’s something I do with all my mentees. But, it’s easy to rush the goal definition stage and move too quickly on to what we will start doing, as we just want to do something! Be warned, if you rush off in the wrong direction you will waste time and effort and possibly never reach your ultimate goal. So it’s important to spend time defining goals that are right for you and ensure these goals are meaningful and motivational for you so you can enjoy the path to reach them.

Think about what your current goals are and whether they are still leading you in the right direction. Have a great week!

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