Have you ever heard about the ‘Yale Study of Goals?’ It’s a fascinating story about how the 1953 graduating class was interviewed and only 3 per cent of them had written specific goals for their future. Twenty years later, those 3 per cent were worth more financially than the other 97 per cent combined.
Amazing! And a total crock. The study never actually happened, though it’s been touted by guys like Tony Robbins and Zig Ziglar.
Still, the results of the mythical study can teach us a thing or two about establishing goals and setting out to achieve them: Simply create a bucket list.
Personally, I’ve never written a goal down in my life. I keep a lot of them stored in my head and mentally cross them off as they’re achieved. But, for you, I say do what feels natural. Write your goals down or don’t. Either way, listing your goals — and keeping them handy — will ensure they stay top of mind.
My bucket list is full of exercise things I’m not currently capable of doing. I need to train harder to achieve them, and I’m 42. I might puke. My wife thinks I’m crazy. Hell, I think I’m crazy. But before I die, I’m going to scratch each of these things off my list — barring some type of debilitating injury or illness.
- Run 10K in under 40 minutes. I’m planning to accomplish this in June. It won’t break any records, but I think it’s pretty damn fast for a guy in his forties who rarely competes and has short legs.
- Run a marathon in under four hours. At the drop of a hat I could do a half-marathon in under two hours, but this is going to take some training.
- Complete an Ironman. If you don’t know, this is a 3.86K swim, followed by a 180K cycle, followed by a marathon (42.2K). In order to finish this race, you need to do it in under 17 hours. I’m shooting for under 14 hours, maybe even under 13. Just completing it will be a major accomplishment. Oh, and did I mention that I suck at swimming?
- Learn to surf… And at the same time, hopefully, overcome my fear of sharks — it developed when my parents dumped me at a movie theatre to see ‘Jaws’ when I was only seven.
- Learn to snowboard. I fancy myself an accomplished skier, which I understand matters diddly when you first strap on a snowboard.
- Do a 360 off a jump on skis. This one scares me more than anything else on this list.
- Do the Delirium Dive run at Sunshine Village. This is happening this year, but don’t tell my wife.
I’ve crossed a few other things off my bucket list, like doing a 20-foot cliff jump on skis, jumping off the “big one” — which is about 50-feet high — at Seebe cliffs into the Bow River and benching 315 pounds in one repetition.
Accomplishing those other seven is going to take some work, keeping me active for many years to come. Which is why you should have your own exercise bucket list. It doesn’t have to be as ambitious or downright stupidly dangerous as mine (or maybe it will be even scarier), but it should be full of things you need to reach for and train hard to achieve.
That way, when you finally do kick the bucket, you can look back on a life well-lived — as long as you don’t die doing one of the items on your list. Uh, ya. Be careful, OK?