How would you feel one year from now if you were to achieve your top goals? If you were standing on top of that summit? Would you feel braver? Would you feel bolder? Would you feel more confident in your ability? What results would you get from reaching your goals?

Whether you are coming back from a setback or working toward a new goal, all accomplishment starts with goal-setting.  Not having goals is like climbing a mountain without knowing your route to the top.  A mountain climb with a plan helps you stay on path and reach the top versus getting lost above the clouds aimlessly looking for the summit.  Goals gives us direction and clarity, knowing we’re working toward what we want, and what’s truly important to us. 

As I stand at the base of my 2018 mountain climb, I think back how I’ve trekked hundreds of trails and have yet to see a trail that has a direct, easy route to top.  There are peaks & valleys, switchbacks, crevasses, low visibility, high winds, false summits, storm clouds, gain and loss of elevation, and distractions of every kind.  Regardless, I believe knowing my 'WHY' has been what has helped me reach my metaphorical summit over and over again.

The difference between someone who sets goals and someone who achieves their goals is they know what they WANT, they know their WHY and they have a plan for HOW to get it. 

 Volcano Cotopaxi glacier practice above the clouds somewhere @ 15,000 feet. 

Volcano Cotopaxi glacier practice above the clouds somewhere @ 15,000 feet. 

The journey of goal-setting is like climbing a mountain.  

THE SUMMIT: Your goal is the summit and the first thing you need to do when you are headed out on a climb is figure out where you WANT to go and WHY you want to go there.  

Once you know where you want to go and why, you have to figure out the best way to get there.

THE ROUTE:  Your objectives are your HOW and will help you get specific to reach your end destination- the summit.  

 Volcano Cotopaxi- approaching basecamp (yellow refuge) at 15,748 feet, acclimating prior to the next day ascent to 19,347 feet. 

Volcano Cotopaxi- approaching basecamp (yellow refuge) at 15,748 feet, acclimating prior to the next day ascent to 19,347 feet. 

 How do I establish my summit? 

YOUR WHAT

Take out a sheet of paper at the top of the page write the word “GOALS” and today’s date. 

Write down ten goals that come to mind that you’d like to accomplish in the next twelve months. Your goals should be just out of reach, but not out of sight. Can you see that summit? You want to stretch, not strain after impossible dreams.

Of these ten goals, which three are the most important to you?

Select and circle and on a fresh piece of paper, write down those three goals one goal at a time and answer the below.

 Volcano Chimborazo- 20,597 feet.  WHAT  was the goal? To climb to raise funds for the indigenous girls and women’s projects in the Quitugo community and to celebrate women's capabilities.

Volcano Chimborazo- 20,597 feet. WHAT was the goal? To climb to raise funds for the indigenous girls and women’s projects in the Quitugo community and to celebrate women's capabilities.

YOUR WHY

I want to accomplish this goal because...

This goal is important to me because...

The specific outcome I am looking for is...

How will my life be different when I accomplish this goal?

Does my goal give me a sense of happiness and/or excitement? 

How does this goal fit into my life and lifestyle?

How do I establish my route?

YOUR HOW

To reach your goal, you will need your action plan on how how to get there.  These are your objectives; together these create a strategy so you can move up your mountain path.  

What do I need to do in order to achieve this goal?

Make a list of everything that you can think of that you could do to achieve your goal.  

Organize the list by priority.  

Break down your objectives into three month blocks; these are short enough to maintain a sense of urgency but long enough for the larger things to unfold.

Actions I need to take in the next (3,6,9,12) months…

Build in milestones to know if you are on track for accomplishing your goals.   

   
  
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    Volcano Chimborazo, basecamp refuge 16,404 feet, we climbed the normal route (our  HOW ) marked by the red line to the summit at 20,654 feet. 

Volcano Chimborazo, basecamp refuge 16,404 feet, we climbed the normal route (our HOW) marked by the red line to the summit at 20,654 feet. 

 Crevasse on Volcano Cotopaxi.

Crevasse on Volcano Cotopaxi.

EVALUATE PROGRESS: Having an action plan is not enough.  A climber will have to constantly evaluate their progress in order to be sure they are on route. Unforeseen obstacles are sure to arise, such as low visibility, increased winds or walking up to a  crevasse, (a deep crack, or fracture, found in a glacier).  As a result, you may have to alter the route, go around the crevasse, or set up a ladder to climb across the crevasse.   In other words, notice what is working and what is not.  If an approach is not working, don’t waste your time with it. Change your route.

As you evaluate your progress and/or set backs, these questions may help you alter your climbing route.  Stay alert for goals that aren’t being achieved on time or for goals on which we keep extending the deadline.

 EVALUATE PROGRESS: Altering our route to stay on path, working as a team toward one common goal. Iliniza Norte summit 16,818 feet. Women's ascent, acclimatization training for higher peaks.  

EVALUATE PROGRESS: Altering our route to stay on path, working as a team toward one common goal. Iliniza Norte summit 16,818 feet. Women's ascent, acclimatization training for higher peaks.  

CELEBRATE: When you are taking those last few steps in that final stretch to reach your summit, breathe deep, remember your WHY, and practice gratitude.  Each obstacle and challenge that you pushed through will leave you stronger and wiser.  After the climb, take time to reflect on your goals, recognize how far you have come, insights and accomplishments.

 CELEBRATE: Summit of Volcano Cotopaxi, the world's highest volcano 19,347 feet.  F  irst indigenous women's summit celebrating women worldwide  reclaiming their strengths, capability and power. 

CELEBRATE: Summit of Volcano Cotopaxi, the world's highest volcano 19,347 feet. First indigenous women's summit celebrating women worldwide reclaiming their strengths, capability and power. 

 CELEBRATE: We were off to tackle our #1 goal and we'd use all of our skills working together at the community level and apply the same practices above the clouds.  Expedition Huarmirazu (pronounced Warmi-razu) descending from the Volcano Cotopaxi summit.  

CELEBRATE: We were off to tackle our #1 goal and we'd use all of our skills working together at the community level and apply the same practices above the clouds.  Expedition Huarmirazu (pronounced Warmi-razu) descending from the Volcano Cotopaxi summit.  

Mountain Teachings:

1) To truly be successful, and reach your true potential (your summit) you must constantly push yourself to move outside of your comfort zone.  

2) The goals we create with passion and drive and are synced with our WHY can truly change our lives if we commit to pursuing them. 

3) Never lose sight of the summit.

4) Above all enjoy the climb.

What's your summit going to be?  

Need some support establishing the trail as you begin your 2018 climb? I became so sold on the power of goals and coach clients through the entire goal process from definition to achievement.  Through my one-on-one coaching, workshops and retreats, I work with individuals on:

  • Creating well-formed goal statements 
  • Breaking goals down into manageable steps 
  • Motivation and commitment 
  • Keeping on track 
  • Frequent review and re-assessment 

Reach out to me if you'd like to explore more.  I'd be happy to provide you with a complimentary 30' minute consult to learn more about your vision and goals, share more about my coach approach, co-active partnership, background, trainings, retreats, workshops and programs offered.

I will continue writing in 2018 around strategies to sustain and surpass your goals, playing to your strengths, leading change, and building the new versus fighting the old.  If you'd like to receive those posts straight to your inbox, reach out to me and I shall deliver.  

Abrazos,

Dana

 Volcano Cotopaxi summit- 19,347 feet.

Volcano Cotopaxi summit- 19,347 feet.

 Ten hours of climbing, route finding, working as a team, altering our route to reach our goal.  

Ten hours of climbing, route finding, working as a team, altering our route to reach our goal.  

 This way or that way? Volcano Cayambe, glacier practice and route finding at @ 15,092 feet.

This way or that way? Volcano Cayambe, glacier practice and route finding at @ 15,092 feet.

 Right foot forward for the New Year...

Right foot forward for the New Year...

 Another epic view of what you see above the clouds in the Andes Mountains. 

Another epic view of what you see above the clouds in the Andes Mountains. 

 6:00 am climbing break under the summit of Volcano Cotopaxi, somewhere around 18,000 feet.

6:00 am climbing break under the summit of Volcano Cotopaxi, somewhere around 18,000 feet.

 Volcano Cotopaxi summit- 19,347 feet.

Volcano Cotopaxi summit- 19,347 feet.

 Volcano Cayambe, glacier practice somewhere @ 16,000 feet in preparation for next day summit at 18,996 feet. 

Volcano Cayambe, glacier practice somewhere @ 16,000 feet in preparation for next day summit at 18,996 feet. 

 Sunrise climbing to the Volcano Cayambe summit, New Year's goal- 18,996 feet, Ecuador, South America.

Sunrise climbing to the Volcano Cayambe summit, New Year's goal- 18,996 feet, Ecuador, South America.

 Volcano Cayambe, glacier practice at 15,092 feet in preparation for next day summit at 18,996 feet. 

Volcano Cayambe, glacier practice at 15,092 feet in preparation for next day summit at 18,996 feet. 

 Taking a break in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru, reflecting on the Ishinka climb 18,143 feet. 

Taking a break in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru, reflecting on the Ishinka climb 18,143 feet. 

 Sipping tasty coffee in a local Andean marketplace planning my next summit (aka goals).

Sipping tasty coffee in a local Andean marketplace planning my next summit (aka goals).

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