It seems I wrote about avoiding the ‘post goal blues’ a little early… This week just gone they caught up to me and for no apparent reason slapped me around. So the Tuesday was a tough one and left me questioning what I’m doing and who I am.
This had me thinking on my walk home that night about goals, lifestyle, achievements and community, these aspects are important to me and I know they can so easily, and quickly, get out of balance.
One reason I chose Kokoda was due to needing a goal to work towards that would be hard to achieve, stretch me out of my comfort zone and take a stubborn determination to achieve. What I realise now is that it took all that and added in a new lifestyle, community and a string of achievements along the way.
Really that means I shouldn’t experience the blues, but reading an HBR article it resonated with me and what I realise we need to do post achievement is recognise what we have done and cut ourselves some slack, as keeping motivated post achieving a goal or a new skill is important and hard.
There is no better feeling!
Standing at Owers Corner, 12th September 2018
I thought I had done this, I gave myself time and let my body recover from the experience (although in reality 6 weeks later it’s still recovering), I celebrated with friends, made a video, blogged, shared photos, got a tattoo, talked with my Kokoda team mates and realised that no one truely gets the experience you’ve been through.
The potential for post-goal burnout is real, in both work and play, and I have noticed when thinking about what’s next for me that I don’t feel that there is anything bigger (of course I could try climb Everest, but that’s not going to happen), so I need to think differently about challenges and that the big goal is ‘a bump in the road’ on the way to an ever changing lifestyle.
To remember that our lives are made up of goals and moments of all shapes and sizes and these should also be celebrated, remembered and given the credit they are due. When I look at Kokoda training, the first time I walked up the Golden Staircase in the Blue Mountains it took me an hour and a month later I did it in 25 minutes - boy did I celebrate and congratulate myself as that was a noticeable achievement.
Another not so noticeable was my increasing confidence to walk alone in the mountains, to do the Landslide hike by myself and feel confident and able that I would ‘get out alive’, to put myself in a situation (stupidly) where I was coming out of the Leura Forest after sunset and managing to keep it together to the top, these were all small moments in a journey that made up the bigger picture of my goal.
Ultimately looking back I always had the goal as achieving Kokoda, but in reality it should have been a lifestyle change that walking Kokoda was a part of as I kept moving. I’ve now reflected on and grieved for the goal that was, and by allowing myself to dream of what’s next and know that there is a new found strength that I can achieve it.
Mastering what I thought would be unachievable has now made me realise
that anything is possible and to keep moving forward.