I had an interesting and hugely instructive experience on Monday this week whilst on a trip out with my 7 year old son, Jonar. It’s way too good an illustration not to share with you!
Our mission was to get to a small theatre in Clapham Common by 3pm. Our train arrived at Clapham Junction station at 2:32pm. A quick entry into Google Maps showed that the quickest walking route was going to take us 34 minutes, therefore bringing us to our destination 6 minutes late. Oh no!
Undeterred, Jonar set off briskly up the road. “Dad, we HAVE to beat Google!”
The next 23 minutes turned out to be one of the most fun times I’ve had as a dad. 3 minutes in to our [very swift] walk we had gained a minute. Arrival time down to 3:05. Encouragement duly received my boy is now bouncing along the road with me lagging somewhat behind.
“Let’s get to the bus stop and then check again.”
Sure enough, another minute gained. 3:04. “We’re gonna do it Dad. Let’s try and get it down to 2:59!”
By arrival time we had beaten Google by 9 minutes and it was like we’d just won the lottery, the World Cup, an Oscar and Olympic Gold all in one. What a buzz!
I’ve kept the story brief but it illustrates the point well. When you have a crystal clear goal, with a deadline, and you track your progress towards victory (celebrating every small success along the way), the journey becomes exciting and the rate at which you progress towards the goal is way faster.
If someone had said, “Walk quickly from Clapham Junction to the theatre on Clapham Common and see how long it takes”, it would have, without a doubt, taken us significantly longer. As it was we walked, bounced, skipped and ran our way to our destination, eagerly checking for progress updates at every junction or bus stop!
Many of have goals. Many of us have written those goals down. From my experience, many of those goals remain too vague, with a blurred deadline and no tracking method set up.
Why not choose one important goal and go through the rigor of putting all this in place, just for that one goal…and see how you get on!