335 days: TFAC Recap

Quick recap: I have a plan to raise $10,000 for some awesome organizations by Sept. 22, 2013. One month in and so far we are on track. Raised so far: $925.

Last week I shared some of the steps I consider when accepting and taking on a challenge. In summary…

Step 1: Set a TARGET. Some key points included…

  1. I set my target high. Make it scare me a little bit. Or a lot.
  2. Go ahead and set a ridiculously lofty target… but build up to it.

Step 2: Establish FOCUS. Some key points included…

  1. Make a structured plan focused on reaching this target.
  2. The plan should be challenging, but not overwhelming.
  3. Write the plan down. Now you own it.

Step 3: Attack the plan. Some key points included…

  1. Stick to the plan.
  2. But be smart about sticking to the plan.

Step 4: Commit to accomplishing your target. Some key points included…

  1. Commit financially. The almighty $ is a mighty good motivator.
  2. Religiously track your progress.
  3. Make your goals known.
  4. Get a support group.

In going through each of these steps I highlighted some samples in the athletic world along with some samples from the “real” world; marathon/triathlon goals were mixed in with goals in my professional life and with this $10,000 fundraising challenge.

So… what was the point in all of this? Why bother writing all of this down and sharing it for the world to see? I’ve been asked a whole bunch of these types of questions as the Tri-ing for a Challenge blog enters its second month.

Of course, there are many answers to those and other questions.

  • No, I didn’t start this journey intent on writing a book… but I’ve always thought that at some point in my life I would. Only time will tell if this is the topic I choose as that focus.
  • No, I am not a life coach, and I am not a triathlon/running/biking coach… but I am always willing to share my methods, offer encouragement, and provide feedback. Sometimes without you even asking.

The steps I follow in setting and accomplishing goals have followed a general formula for a few decades now. The process has matured a lot, and will continue to evolve. But it was a process that I had never consciously given to words; and most certainly had never written down.

Right at about the time this Tri-ing for a Challenge blog and fundraising activity started I went on a long run down near the beach. I was thinking a lot about this challenge, why I took it on, how I was going to reach my goals… so many things you can process while on a nice long run, or bike ride, or swim, or drive… and I couldn’t shake acronym for Tri-ing for a Challenge: TFAC.

Target. Focus. Attack. Commit.

And combined these all perfectly describe my mental process for setting goals and making them happen. So I had to write them down…

I had to write them down, and share them, in their imperfect state. Now. Today is exactly 11 months until the challenge end date. 11 months until I race in Ironman Lake Tahoe. And that is a long, long time away. My career right now is very stressful and time consuming, and will remain that way for months to come. Lauren has been traveling a lot for work this month, so I’ve needed to suck it up and take on the added responsibilities at home. My cycling heroes have been publicly disgraced. At certain points I’ve allowed these stresses to dominate… and I have lost that battle a time or two.

In a nutshell: I’ve been struggling with my motivation.

And, for me, paying attention to T-F-A-C is helping snap me out of that funk.

Tomorrow the words you read won’t be mine. They’ll be the words of a friend who I’ve asked to share her story. Partially because I think you might find it motivational and help push you toward accomplishing your goals, and finding goals you had never considered. And partially because I find the story motivational – it is certain to give me a kick in the pants.

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