Talking about goals and targets may seem at odds with yesterday’s post about idling but far from it. Idling is less about doing nothing and more about being really choosy about what you do. One of the things I choose to do is walk, and I want to do more of it.
I know I want to walk more. I want to walk further and in more places. But this doesn’t just happen, I need to plan and I need to build habits.
Country Walking magazine has an annual challenge of walking 1,000 miles and I was on the brink of signing up for it. 1,000 miles is equivalent to walking from Land’s End to John O’Groats and works out at just over two miles a day. Two miles a day is nothing, but miss a day and it becomes five, more of a challenge. Miss a couple days and even with longer walks, say fifteen miles as I did the other day, and you are still struggling to catch up. So all of a sudden this challenge, that is a good thing in that it gets you out and walking, can easily turn into a grind.
When on my abortive Munro bagging trip before Christmas the thought occurred to me that life is too short to spend it driving up and down the M6 and grinding up another 230 or so hills. But then if I don’t I miss all those fabulous hills!
My friend Dave Snowden amazes me in many ways and his ability to set himself walking challenges (like all round the Welsh border, all of the Wainwrights, the South West Coast Path and on and on) in spite of a busy work schedule is the one that most impresses me. He is going to die having done more amazing walks than me, and that gets to me.
So back to goals and targets. Does having them make us more likely to get off our arses and achieve things – or does it turn life into mindless tick lists, grinding obligation, and a fear of not having ticked enough boxes?
I’m not sure, what do you think?