Guest blog by Nicolle Germain, MBA
When was the last time you set a personal or professional goal for yourself?
More specifically, when was the last time you challenged yourself – mentally, physically, intellectually, or emotionally? Have you taken on a new project at work, signed up for training, moved companies or positions for a new professional challenge, gone back to school, taken up a new hobby or sporting activity, traveled to a new country or city, or even tried something new on a menu? If you can’t think of the last time you felt challenged or stepped out of your comfort zone, you could be on the verge of entering into a professional or personal rut.
Ruts are easy. They’re comfortable. They’re familiar. They’re even inviting. Some routine is good, but a life of repetitiveness, little change and no challenge can often lead to unhappiness. Therefore, establishing new goals and achieving those accomplishments helps you stay motivated, encourages a positive attitude and keeps you engaged in your environment – be it at work or home. The goals could be small or big, but they introduce new experiences and challenges into your life.
A personal example I have is that over the past few months I have been training for a half-marathon that will take place in beautiful Canmore, Alberta this upcoming September. I wanted a new personal challenge for myself, so earlier this year I made that my goal. I decided from the beginning, that the run would not be about the competition or winning, and that it would focus on the personal accomplishment of completion.
There were a few reasons I signed up for the race, which have kept me motivated in recent months. 1) I have always been intrigued with long distance running and the challenge it offers. 2) The discipline I would need to endure in effectively training for the race. 3) The mental, emotional and physical challenge that will accompany the journey. 4) The opportunity to complete the run with some close friends and have some fun along the way. 5) The personal accomplishment of completing the 21.1 km.
Often when we don’t set new goals for ourselves we can get caught in that familiar life rut. When you push yourself to try new things – personally or professionally, you can reap the rewards of personal growth, achievement and success. It is important to focus on the benefits and positives, and not get caught up in the negatives and other detours and roadblocks that accompany your goals. New challenges will be challenging, otherwise there would be no challenge at all.
When you push the boundaries of your capabilities that is when you can really see yourself shine. Think of the last time you stepped up to plate and just went for it. How did you feel? Probably like you were on cloud 9 when it was all said and done! I challenge you to create a few new goals today and reap the rewards. As for my upcoming race, the goal is not to be the fastest, but to stick to my original plan. See you at the finish line.