I’ve spent this last week reflecting on 2014 as I make preparations for the coming year. I still find it difficult to wrap my mind around the magnitude of hiking and running 3,132 miles over the course of the last twelve months. Last New Year’s Day, I set out with only one ambitious goal for the year—to successfully thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail. I invested most of my annual time, money, and energy into fulfilling my goal, and through perseverance and sacrifice my dream became a reality.
I gained great satisfaction in achieving my singular goal, but in my zealous pursuit I focused almost exclusively on my physical capabilities. If I could overcome my cerebral palsy and hike from Mexico to Canada I knew I could achieve anything I set my mind to. I fully committed to my endeavor, however I neglected or sacrificed other areas of my life to fulfill my dream.
As I plan for 2015 I have created nine strategic goals to focus on the areas of my life which remained underdeveloped or neglected during 2014. I’ve kept a physical goal, but I selected relational, professional, and spiritual goals to work towards throughout the next year. None of the goals seem daunting in particular, but combined they seem more overwhelming than the PCT. I guess I’m addicted to a good challenge. Good goals push me out of my comfort zone and force me to grow.
When I started my 500 mile hike across Colorado I felt overwhelmed, but once I completed the hike I realized 500 miles felt completely reasonable. Before I began the 2660-mile PCT I once again felt completely overwhelmed, but to my surprise once I reached Canada I felt empowered to pursue even greater challenges.
My nine specific and quantifiable goals for 2015 will challenge me to grow and force me to hone my skills. I meticulously crafted the first nine goals, but I’d like to end up with an even ten goals. I figure I’ll let the tenth goal find me along the journey of 2015.
Have you reflected on 2014? Based on your achievements and shortcomings of 2014 what will you focus on over the course of 2015?
Regardless of how 2014 turned out for you, I hope you will be challenged, yet fulfilled throughout 2015. Happy New Year!