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At the start of this year I led a goal setting webinar walking people through my strategy for setting massive goals for 2015, you can watch it here if you missed it, but as we head towards February, I thought it might be worth revisiting the core idea of setting out what you want to achieve with your running (and in life if you like) through Big Fat Stupid Goals and Massive Milestones, especially as we are expecting a new cohort of Clubhouse Members through the door anytime. If now is not the time to think big, then I don’t know when is.

I have always been a planner, and a bit of a goal setter but growing up I would often hear conflicting messages about how best to achieve your dreams, there was the

slowly slowly, catchy monkey approach to life, you know making small but consistent steps everyday until eventually you reach your goal


Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star, as in think big and you will go places

So which one is it?

Well, I guess there is value in both of them…because “We are what we repeatedly do” afterall, but I seriously think there is some value in choosing goals that absolutely scare the living daylights out of you once in a while. But why? Well do you think any of the greatest achievements or inventions of the last 100 years were achieved through following SMART goals? And also because BIG FAT STUPID DREAMS are the ones that are going to get you out of bed and running on a cold Sunday morning each week, they are the ones which are going to get you to dramatically rethink your weekly schedule, change your diet,  try new things and ultimately look at the world differently.

Big Fat Stupid Goals are goals that are big in scale, Fat as in the luxurious good for you type, and Stupid like folk will be shaking their heads in disbelief at the sheer thought of you doing it. The point is to think big, but to break things down into a range of equally ambitious tasks, what I like to call Massive Milestones.

Last week I attended a meeting in Cardiff, it was a gathering of The professional Speaking Association of Wales and I had travelled all the way there and back in a day during a week where I should have really been ploughing through my mahusive to-do list, but I went because I really wanted to see a speaker called David Hyner a renowned motivational speaker who was giving a talk about goal setting for 2015, with the strap line are your goals really big enough?

In a nut shell he was amazing, and his words have truly had an impact on me in the last week. He was mesmerizing to watch…and a big chap in his own right smashing stereotypes all over the place…swimming with sharks anyone? Or trekking along the great wall of china at 300lbs?

Anyway, he has a great metaphor for life using the simple examples of two animals, and illustrating how the world is made up of people sitting in one or the other camp, either cows or rhinos


Now cows live in herds, they don’t really do much in life, they don’t have big dreams or if they do they are too scared to go for them. They think “ooohh the grass looks greener over there, but I’d better not…I don’t want to stick out or leave the herd, so no, I’ve got everything I need here, I will just be satisfied with my lot”

So as you can imagine, these are not the folk likely to inspire anyone to change, or achieve anything that meaningful in their lives. Moo bloody moo hey?

graceless-rhinoAnd then there are the Rhinos.

Rhinos are decisive creatures, they see something they want and they go for it…they don’t care how hard its gonna be to get it, or who they have to get through first, or how it might appear to other people they just lock their eyes on the prize and charge. Avvvvvvving Ittttt went the Rhino, with a cockney accent just for effect.

We all know a Rhino is real life don’t we, the person who never gives up and won’t take no for an answer…and how cool that that baby Rhino is mid run…a proper runner too, just look at those legs off the ground.

You see I think I am a rhino…I have had to be in my life. everything I have achieved I have done so by being absolutely pig headed about, never playing by the rules and proving everyone wrong about me. But don’t get me wrong I still have my moments of being a COW (just ask my fiance’)

When pulling together The Clubhouse for example, although I knew it was needed and that it could be really succesful at the same time I have had many moments of…what if nobody joins? what if people think its crap? what if the running community think I am crazy charging £10 per month for a running club which in many places you can get for a quarter of that price annually?

The thing is, how do you know if you don’t try.

Hesitation and lack of confidence doesn’t just hold us back in our running or in business, it slows us down generally and the lessons we eventually learn in life we learn much later than what we need to, because most of what we learn we learn from messing up. Do you think Richard Branson quibbles over things or worries about what other people think about his ventures? And neither did Einstein or Hitler or Barak Obama

And did you notice how I just quoted all men there?

Us women are the worst for being held back, and not only be others it’s usually our own sense of ourselves which holds us back. How often have you said “Who do I think I am?” or “No I’d better not”, so instead we let the guys get on with being Rhinos conquering the world whilst more often than not we settle for being Cows, and moany cows at that.

I was offered a marato place at the end of November, at the time I was justa bout getting myself round parkrun on a Saturday, but I agreed to this Big Fat Stupid Goal because I knew it would force me to take my running serious again, the fact I would be virtually coaching 4 ladies piled on just a bit more pressure…oh and did I mention we would be followed by a national athletics mag?

The point is I now have my Massive Milestones in place, written in my diary and out there for the whole world to see, so rolling over and going back to sleep, or deciding I will have a weekend off is not an option, not it I want to do what I have set out to do.

So ladies, I want you to revisit your goals for 2015 and ask yourself do I want to be a moany cow the rest of my life or do I want to go for my dream and live the best version of me I possibly can, even if that does mean crashing into things occasionally or feeling completely out of your comfort zone.

Answers on a postcard…or of course on The Facebook Page.

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