Setting and Reaching Goals

I saw this quote today which confirmed to me I should go ahead and write the blog post I’d been thinking about.

Cumberland, Md., beginning of Chesapeake and Ohio Canal

Cumberland, Md., beginning of Chesapeake and Ohio Canal

“A goal properly set is halfway reached.” Zig Ziglar.

I recently biked the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal towpath – 184.5 miles – over a few days.  I had set a goal for myself years ago that this was something I wanted to do in life.  Last May, while my husband and I were on vacation in Shepherdstown, WV, we biked a portion of the canal on our way to Antietam National Battlefield in Maryland and decided it was time to reach for that C&O Canal goal.

We planned, we rode during the bad weather on our stationary bike, and we took a series of weekend bike trips continuously lengthening our routes.  We set a goal, we stuck to it, and in the end, we had an absolutely memorable trip we will never forget.

I try to keep in shape; I know it’s good for my body and my mind.  But this event seemed to have greater meaning.  This was outside of my normal work and play activities.  This was something I had been wanting to do for twenty years.  And I did it.  I made it a priority.  I didn’t let distractions get in the way.  I had a partner who helped me keep the goal in sight.  And now I am thrilled to have experienced one of our nation’s most unique and beautiful National Historic Parks end to end.

I’ve been very reflective about this trip, and wasn’t really sure why until I realized what it was really about.

It wasn’t about the bike trip.

It was about setting and reaching goals.

Anyone else willing to share a set goal?


  1. Thanks for sharing, Carol, and congratulations! And as has likely happened with you, sometimes I write a piece for one purpose, and realize later that it serves a better purpose. Now, I’ll stop “talking” so you can get back to that draft. 🙂 FYI, blog readers, Carol has a great leadership blog:

  2. Valerie: I’ve been really proud of the ways I’ve set and achieved writing goals this month. I am usually very ambitious — like you were in your exercise routine! – and try to create a positive reward. So I had a friend coming to visit and there was a deadline at my favorite magazine for submissions, and I sat myself down, edited (for length) four submissions based on their open call, and sent them off. Then my friend came and we celebrated! I have another deadline coming up, and it’s a bit harder – and I’m going to sit myself down again today and make a draft happen, so I can get it done! I always feel better when I accomplish these, even if the writing isn’t accepted by the publication. It’s a great feeling!