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If I could share one thing that I do very well that reaps success in my personal and professional life, it would be my positive approach to tackling goals and maintaining balance.   I like to visualize the end result and then break it down into bite-size pieces to get there. The end result might simply be a clean house, happy healthy children, running a race for charity or health and wellness, completing a particular work project or having a successful career path. “Beginning with the end in mind” as Stephen Covey recommends in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, provides me with a clear vision of the outcome I want to achieve, and taking it one step at a time makes the process less overwhelming to manage.

It may seem easy to achieve goals and maintain balance, but it isn’t always so. Think of when you were in school preparing for an exam or a presentation – you knew that you needed to prepare in advance, yet you may have procrastinated until the night before and then became stressed trying to learn too much in a day! Signing up for a race with good intensions, but not following through on the training for the big day. Taking on an additional project at work, but then letting deadlines slip because you have too much on your plate. Joining a gym, to then realize you’re wasting your money because you haven’t gone in months. These are just a few examples of the challenges we face. I have been there; many of us have.

But there is a way to embrace your goals and still maintain balance at work and in life. Some simple techniques that I relied on when I was training for an Ironman that I still practice in my day-to-day are:

  1. Make the right choice. Focus on the results and make choices based on that. For example, I was not a morning person, but I forced myself to get up and train at 5am regularly because that was the only time that didn’t interfere with work or family life. Regardless of the battle in my head when the alarm went off each morning (get up, snooze… sigh), I chose to get up. You can too.
  1. Break it down. Tackle your goal bit-by-bit. When I would think of the Ironman distance triathlon in its entirety (3.8 km swim / 180 km bike / 42 km run), I would tell myself that it was impossible to achieve! Have a progressive plan, stick to it and the results will follow. If I can do it, you can too.
  1. Follow through. Commit to the journey. It helped me to talk about it – once I told others about my Ironman goal, I had their support. Find a training partner, join a club or include others on your team. Involving others in your journey is a great way to build dedication in achieving that goal, but also a great way to build relationships along the way.

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Having goals, reaching to achieving them and maintaining balance is a necessity for me. It keeps me focused on what is important. However, flexibility is key. There are always obstacles to overcome, such as injuries during the Ironman training – it is okay to fall back on Plan B as long as you continue to make the right choices, break it down and follow through.

In sharing my approach to goals and balance, albeit simple, I hope it will help you in achieving yours!

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