After completing the previous blog post “Strategies for Achieving a Seemingly Impossible Goal” , I pondered how the outlined steps could apply to meeting a long-term and highly challenging goal of major personal significance. My day of skiing, as mentioned at the end of the previous blog, was short in duration, with relatively minor effort required to achieve it, and with little to lose if I did not. While it all ended up great, I remain most curious to see if these steps can work for achieving larger “seemingly impossible goals”.
I hope to generate a discussion through this series of posts about how others have achieved their goals, noting how these or similar steps have worked for them. I also hope to motivate those who have sat with an aspiration for awhile and may be inspired by these steps and discussions to give it a go. I welcome any and all comments on this subject, and will incorporate reader’s thoughts as appropriate into future blog posts on this subject.
In the meantime, I want to share an important, potentially life-changing goal I have for this summer and beyond. I am choosing to “go public” with my goal in hopes that my disclosure will motivate others to explore and possibly share their challenging life goals as well.
Last summer, I hiked the John Muir Trail in it’s entirety (see “Lessons from the John Muir Trail” for a recap of that experience). While the trip was challenging and eye-opening, I realized in the months following that I really wanted to do a similar hike by myself. I have never backpacked alone, and I feel called and ready to do so. Part of my strong incentive stems from my desire to write a memoir, a goal I have had for over two years now. After last summer’s hike, I considered writing a memoir using my experiences on the trail as the basis for the story. But I soon realized that the story I most want to tell will be inspired and generated by doing a hike of similar significance alone, as opposed to with a partner.
The idea of hiking the 220-mile John Muir Trail alone, and doing so with the intent to write about it, became my new, seemingly impossible goal.
I applied for a permit to hike the trail, and was chosen by lottery on March 24 to begin my endeavor on August 10, 2016. I had taken the first step! Soon the reality of my fears, uncertainties, and numerous obstacles began to parade alarmingly before my eyes. I began to second guess myself and seriously question my ability to pull off this goal. The idea of putting my solo JMT goal into the steps outlined in the previous blog post was born.
The “goal” is really two separate goals, both daunting: Part 1 — Successfully complete the hike, and Part 2 — Use the experience as a platform to write a memoir. At this point, I am not 100% confident I will achieve either part, but I am highly motivated to give both my best shot. I have just under four months to plan, prepare, and plot out the steps to accomplish Part 1, a necessary prerequisite to Part 2.
The intention is out there and the exploration begins…
In the next blog post, I will examine the apparent obstacles to meeting my goal, and what steps I can take to meet them.