Maintaining Focus to Achieve Your Goals

“GOALS…What you see when you are not focusing on the challenges.

A Parable on Careers

I set a goal for myself to qualify for the 2017 Boston Marathon.  Goal achieved.  It was not easy…in fact, there was time, effort, and some degree of pain.  But I had a dream, consulted with coaches and mentors, wrote out a specific plan, and then put in the work.  Gratefully, the work, planning, and coaching paid off and I realized my dream of qualifying by running the California International Marathon in Sacramento in goal time.

Then I set a new goal, this time to run the Boston Marathon and beat my previous marathon time.  Having achieved success before, I got a little laid-back in my pursuit of this new goal.  Distractions and set-backs became too common during my training.  One week I caught myself about to give up on meeting my daily training goal, when a fallen tree blocked my trail.  Turning back would have cut my run  short by about 4 miles.

Whoa! Large tree blocking my path.

Focus on this spot!

At first, I turned back.  Then I caught myself…how easy to lose sight of my goal.  I needed to run another 4 miles to stay true to my goal workout.  I reset my gaze on the fallen tree, examined it from different angles, and squinted for signs of the old trail on the other side.  Voila!

Upon determined inspection, I first saw the old trail, and then discovered a way through to it.

With a little extra effort, re-dedication to my goals, committed focus and determination, I made my way past this obstacle and continued my journey to success.  Having persisted and prevailed, I found new confidence in the pursuit of my goal and staying true to my workout.

Persistent focus unveils new pathways.

Next I was to run 19 miles on paved roads, and I attacked my work with renewed vigor.  I’ve since encountered more obstacles and challenges, but am stronger in my conviction, more confident I can overcome, and more determined in my commitment to my training and eventual success in achieving my goal!

I also am proud to say that in April of 2017 I successfully finished the Boston Marathon.  In fact, I re qualified to run it again next year.

What challenges are you facing in successfully achieving your goals?  Are you focusing on those challenges, or your goals? Where have you successfully overcome challenges and “found your path“?  How can you use this story as a parallel for staying focused on achieving success for yourself and your team?

Wishing you much continued focus and career success!

The Race Is On! – My Boston Marathon Race experience…April 2017


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What an experience!

After months of training, preceded by the obligatory qualifying marathon in Sacramento (CIM) to time-qualify, applying for the Boston Marathon Race, being selected, and then planning the trip to Boston…we have arrived!

Boston folks bringing incredible energy the whole weekend, from the closed streets days in advance, well-attended runner’s expo, buses taking 10,000+ runners to the start line 26.2 miles away, and cheering crowds lining the streets all the way back to Boston to the finish line!  As I sped to the finish, it felt like I was starring in a ticker-tape parade!

RESULTS?  Tremendous feeling of accomplishment…took hours to stop grinning!  Completed the race in under 4 hours, re-qualified to run again next year, and placed in the top 20% of men in my age group.

SHARING: Many events along the way to share, but here are a few select photos of highlights.

So grateful for the support from family, friends, clients, coaches, and fellow Tamalpa Running Club members.

Completing the Boston Marathon is one of my greatest accomplishments yet… AND I QUALIFY for 2018!   3:49:40.  WOW!  Who would have thought…

More thoughts about running the Boston Marathon, and parallels with running businesses and managing our careers, coming soon!


Completing the 2017 Boston Marathon in under 4 hours.

I couldn’t have done it without my coach!  Worked with athletic trainer Warren Lanier for 9 months to prepare for a pain-free race.

So glad I got to run with my partner for life!  Danielle also qualified to run the Boston Marathon, and encouraged me all the way here.  And I encouraged her!

Repping Stanton Chase!  Checking out the finish line the day before the race.

Caught me! Hand Slap #195… Gotta love these fans!  Who knew an introvert could get energized by strangers?

Lot of active audience participation. My right shoulder started hurting from all the High-Fives I shared along the way. Some fans are over-enthusiastic in their support…and hand slaps!

Trusting that I was truly across the finish line, it hit me that I could stop running now, and take a break. Yahoo!

2017 Boston Marathon successfully completed.