Should I Set Travel Goals?

It’s nearing the end of 2019. A little over two months remain. For me it feels like I’m floating on my back just letting the days pass by. It feels this way because I haven’t set any lofty travel goals for 2020.

I’m not longing for some crazy pursuits to find meaning in my life. It’s just that by now I usually have plans set for vacation and travels into the following year. But not this time. Not yet. I’m still waiting for some information about what will be going on with our children Be it school or speed skating. It’s hard to book travel if things are in limbo.

So do I just sit around and grow mushrooms on my life? Should I set other goals? Should these goals be for me or should I try and include my family? I never do anything if it doesn’t help out or somehow involve my family. Is it okay to be selfish?

But it would be nice if the next goal was for me. Maybe I could do some travel on my own. But the guilt of “Wish you were here” would get me down.

I don’t know. Maybe I should just wait a bit longer before getting to ahead of myself.

Early Morning Post

Usually I try and schedule my posts for the mornings. I like to have them out for the day- I find I get more traffic that way. But sometimes I just don’t get my thoughts out ahead of time and need to post later in the evening.

I wake up the next day and rush to stare at my phone to see if anyone has read or responded to my blog. Usually to be disappointed.

So I’m going to try and write my blogs and have them out during the early morning on the West Coast. This is where I need to discipline myself and hunker down during my free time.

Not going to fail myself this time. I can do it!

Never Give Up On Your Goals

On Tuesday I set a goal.  The goal was immediately mocked by my wife and two of our kids. 

Taunts were said of 

“You’ll never make it.”

“It’s too far.”

“You’ll turn around.”

A part of me began to think they were right. Perhaps my goal would be unachievable. I wasn’t about to give up before setting out. And yes, the goal wasn’t metaphorical- it was an actual thing. I wanted to paddle across the lake to a small island. In a cheap inflatable raft. This was totally doable, right? But it was so far away…


Our middle child decided she wanted to go with me. She was the only one who thought we could make it. I was glad to have the company.  Plus if we failed- I’d have someone to fail with (or read that as “blame” if we turned back).


We started off weak. My daughter didn’t have the co-ordation to paddle. She struggled and fought with the water. It took me a lot of explaining to just take it slow and steady while paddling. About a quarter of the way there and it seemed like we had hardly gone anywhere.


At the halfway point was the “make it or break it” decision.  We could feel the burn starting in our arms, but it wasn’t enough to deter our progress. We had been paddling for almost an hour at this point. (Mostly because of the slow start.) We then began a percentage countdown together. 

“Only 40% left to go.”

“I’d say we are at 25% now.”

“Last push for the final 10%. Let’s sprint.”


Finally we arrived. Sore and thrilled to have made it. We got off the inflated boats and climbed up to our victory. It wasn’t crossing the ocean in a kayak with media hubbub, but to us it was HUGE.


The payoff was euphoric. The views made it all worthwhile. For a small little island, we explored every inch of it. Everywhere we looked, it seemed like a different location; as if we had visited numerous islands. My daughter decided to swim around the island back to the boats. I climbed back up and around, glad to have done what was set out to do.


Our goal accomplished, we left the island behind us.  The journey back to our camp went much more quickly. In a little under an hour, we could see my wife and son on the shoreline waiting to greet us with surprise and congratulations.


With my story comes the motivational “After school special” lesson:

Life is full of difficult challenges. Setting your personal goals are exactly that. No one else should deter you from accomplishing these goals. The naysayers will hurt your ego. Some will even love to watch you fail. Screw ’em. Do your damned best. 

Make it to your island. Look back to where you started from. The views may surprise you.

Planning The Future


Where do you see yourself in ten years?  How about five years?  Next year?  What about next week?  Not everyone plans that far.  

Those questions are often asked by our employer or future employer.  It’s usually the only time we think about a prospective future.  Even if it is a lie just to get or keep a job.


But why only think about work when pondering your future?  Why not create a ten year plan, five year plan, or even a one year plan?  Such as plans for a vacation, paying down debt, education, or having kids.  How about buying a new home?  Or moving away to another city?  Most people are spontaneous with everything in life.  Usually only planning as far as six months ahead.  That kind of planning is often short sighted.  What are you doing for your life?


Starting to plan for the future is paramount.  You don’t want to have the past to be a dull story of “what ifs”.  The opening to a favorite film of mine describes it eloquently:

They all tryin’ to catch hold of one moment of time. To be able to say “Right now! This is it! I got it!” ‘Course by then it’ll be past. But they all happy, everybody havin’ a good time. Well, almost everybody. They’s a few lost souls floatin’ ’round out there. Now if ya’ll ain’t from the city, we have something here called a “the rat race.” Got a way with chewing folks up so that they don’t want no celebrating, don’t want no cheerin’ up, and don’t care nothing…

…Well the future, that’s something you can’t never tell about. But the past, that’s another story.

“The future is now.”

One Race Closer to Pursuing The Gold


About a year ago I shared a story and aspirations I have for my son.  Here is the link: My Son- The Future Olympian.  Today I am with him again as he is working hard competing in another set of races.  This time we are at the Richmond Oval on the outskirts of Vancouver.  This was the location where the Speed Skating events were held during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.


Throughout the building there are inspirational images of the past Canadian athletes that partook in previous Olympics.  Seven years later- the facility is well maintained and busy.  The city has split the large oval into two separate rinks, and a dozen basketball courts. There’s a ping pong table tournament area as well as a sectioned off for a Cheerleading competition.  (Coincidentally, the Cheerleading competition that my daughter will be attending later today.)


These skating meets can be overwhelming.  The hardest part about these competitions is the waiting.  Waiting alongside racers from other clubs can feel intimidating.  Before the races, my son hangs out with his friends in the facility-  often playing on iPads, iPhones, or wandering around and even taking a break to play drop-in ping pong during lunch.  There is a special camaraderie in our skating club.  As the skaters are on the ice- the rest of the group cheers from the stands offering encouragement.


All of this waiting is for his two minutes of ice time.  During his two minutes of work- my son pushes his limits.  At his age, places don’t matter as much as his times for his age group.  So even if he comes in third out of five, his time may push him up another level for the next meet.  He wants to beat his personal best times. Sometimes he wants to improve his stance and form- so he focuses intently on that.   


When he gets on the ice- it’s him vs his own nerves.   He has a determination that shows up when he is on the ice.  As if he is the only soul in the arena.  The last person who can psyche him out is himself.  He has put himself out there and pushes his boundaries.

I’m proud of our son.

Motivation 

Earlier today, my wife tweeted:


Every year for the month of May, my wife pauses to take a break from conventions and mass producing hats.  But every June she has trouble getting back into the habits of building up inventory stock and trying to design new products.  She loves what she does, however taking a break causes more harm than good in some ways.  Finding what motivates you to get back at it is the challenge.

Here’s my advice: 

Setting goals helps achieve those feelings of accomplishment.  Start a list of daily achievable goals.  Add on some weekly/monthly goals.  Finally set some yearly goals and five year plans.  It doesn’t have to be monetary goals- it could be a healthier lifestyle goal, traveling, art, music, or in my case- writing.  

All of that advice has been shared hundreds of times.  It’s not an original thought by me in any way.  Sometimes it’s just reading it again that you need to get back at it.  It’s always easier to give up than to get back into a routine.  Push through it.  Get back on that horse.  Make it happen, whatever “it” is.

I set a goal for myself back in mid January to write a daily blog post.  It started off wonderfully as I had numerous ideas and wanted to share them with everyone who would listen (or read in this case).  After about a month or so, I began to struggle.  At one point I was willing to take a “day off” figuring that most people wouldn’t notice, much less care.  If I did this, I’d be cheating mostly myself.  Allowing one day to slip would open the doorway to allowing another day to slip.  Soon my daily goal of writing would turn into a weekly goal, then monthly, then forgotten all together.  


Pushing through the difficulty of what to write was a new goal.  One that surprised me that I needed to make.  I did it.  Yes, some of my blog posts are terrible.  Even writing badly was still writing.  A few gems have come out of my commitment to writing daily.  That’s what helps to keep me going- knowing I can write something worth sharing and that people talk to me about it afterwards.  Not everything I make is worthy of being read let alone shared, but the posts that do get talked about, are the ones I love even more.  It means that people took the time to see a part of my soul that I shared and it somehow enriched their lives.

This is my motivation: Friends and family who care enough to see me succeed.  

Thank you for being there when I needed it.