What running round Central Park taught me about goal setting

Hi, thanks for joining me on today’s live video. Today I want to talk about why running around Central Park helped me to think about setting goals.

Last week I was in New York City for Tartan week. We were staying in Mid-town on 7th Avenue about 28 blocks south of Central Park. Before the trip, I decided I wanted to go running in New York and I worked out the best place to run would be Central Park.

It’s approximately a mile and a half. Twenty blocks is about a mile and Central Park is about 6.1 miles around the circumference of it so that’ll be a good opportunity. Central Park is such an iconic location in New York and running around it would be pretty cool. I’ve also read that if you go running or do exercise when you arrive in new location, it helps you to get over your jet lag.

I knew on the first morning I was there, I’d wake up early anyway because I’d still be on UK time so what better opportunity than to get up early and get out running to help overcome my jet lag.

On other occasions I’d wanted to get up early in the morning to take photographs when I was on holiday in different locations. There was a great dawn scene I thought it would be great to take a photograph of but I never actually ended up getting up.

What was different about this occasion in New York where I got up early even though I was tired compared to those other situations when I didn’t?


About a week before, I’d started looking into where to go running. I decided then that I wanted to go running in New York. I started planning out where to go, how to get from the hotel up to Central Park, when Central Park opened, why it was good to run around the park.

I started imagining what it would be like to run in New York City, looking at photographs, visualizing how it would feel and what it would like.

You might be saying to yourself, it isn’t a big deal, you’re just going running in New York, what’s so exciting about that? But for me it was a big deal.

I’ve chosen to share this story because setting and achieving this or any goal requires the same or similar steps as it took for me to go out running in Central Park. It doesn’t matter how big or small that goal was or is, the steps that you follow are going to be similar.

Dr. Wayne Dyer says about, “If you don’t get what you want, you get what you are.”

I wanted to go running around Central Park but wanting it wasn’t enough. I still had to get up early even though I might be tired and get out there, put my kit on and get out the door.

“You don’t get what you want, you get what you are.” - Dr. Wayne Dyer

You can see running around Central Park as maybe being a small goal on the way tp a bigger dream. Maybe you wanted to run a marathon this might be one training session.

Getting up early that morning even though you might be tired is an important step to achieve the ultimate goal. Or that goal of running around Central Park could be a one off, like it was for me getting out there, achieving that dream of running around Central Park in New York City in such an iconic location.

I’m sure lots of people travel to New York. When I was running around Central Park myself you could see people from other parts of the states or other countries all doing the same thing as well as the locals who probably run there all the time.

The Steps

My goal of running around Central Park, the steps I followed to achieve that were as follows.

See yourself achieving it

Seeing yourself achieving it. The week before I was planning, looking into it, seeing what the options. I was creating the vision of the goal I wanted to achieve.

Before I even arrived in New York I’d already decided that this was going to happen.

Write it down (Routine)

Next is to write it down. Whether you’ve got a journal or diary that you keep, the thing that you do each day and writing your thoughts down in your diary or journal, everyday preferably, is going to help to solidify what it is you want to achieve.

Write down what it’s going to feel like to achieve it, what it looks like, what it smells like. Writing it in terms of you having already achieved it.

Make it measurable, put distances, times, dates, whatever it might be just to make it more measurable.

Take Action!

Next is taking action.

That’s getting out there and doing it.

But also setting your environment up so that you’re going to achieve it.

The night before I went running I set my kit out. Checked the temperature, so I knew how many layers I needed, whether I needed a hat or gloves. It was actually quite cool that morning, so I made sure I had all those things laid out. Set my heart monitor out so when I’m waked at six o’clock in the morning, tired it removed any excuses from actually getting out the door.

My kit’s laid out. I just get up put it on, drink some water and put my tunes on and get out the door.

I headed down in the lift, walking through the lobby and out the front door of the hotel. As I stepped out and felt that cool air and the noise and hustle and bustle of New York City, and I started my watch, the adrenaline started pumping. I was actually running far too fast. My heart rate was up in the 160s. I actually had to slow myself down because I was just buzzing from just seeing that I was actually in New York, and I’d got out the door, and I was running in New York City.

Eventually I reached 59th Street and across that and into the Park and joined the other runners.

You could see the cyclists riding through the middle. The sun was just rising at that point in the morning. I think the sunrise was 6.15. I arrived at the park about 6.30 in the morning so the sun was just rising up the side of the buildings. The whole atmosphere was just amazing.

As much as it might be just another day, another opportunity to get out and run, for me that was much more than that. I was achieving a goal, in this case a dream as well to be running in New York City, and that was massively inspiring.

Regardless of what your goals are maybe something small or big. Setting yourself up to be able to succeed in that goal. To be able to get up early in the morning, whether you’re tired or not. Getting out and running if it’s training or exercise whatever it might be just setting yourself up for success. Me getting out running in New York as much as it was a dream I also made sure it happened, because I’d set myself up for success.

I decided before I left that it was going to happen, I’d written it down, I’d got my kit out the night before. I’d taken action so regardless whether I was tired or not. In the morning, there was nothing that was going to stop me achieving that.

That’s what I want to share with you today. As Dr. Wayne Dyer talks about, “You don’t get what you want. You get what you are.” Becoming that person who gets up early even though you’re tired and gets out there, gets the kit on and goes training, it means you then becomes that person who does that as opposed to someone who thinks about it but never actually takes action.

That’s what I want to leave you with this week. Get out there and set yourself up for success. Take action, create a vision, environment, routine, write it down and then become that person who takes action and gets out there.

Thanks for listening and I will share with you more ethic.

Ready to Thrive?

Jim Rohn puts it best. “Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines practiced daily.” Are you ready to take your life to the next level? To start moving in a new direction? I would love nothing more that to see you go from stuck to succeeding; from surviving to thriving.

“Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines practiced daily.” ~ Jim Rohn

I have created a seven (7) day challenge, for you. It introduces one new discipline I practice everyday.

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Seven days will not change your destination, but if you commit to getting up everyday determined to get from the day and not just through it, you can change the direction of your life in seven short days.

“You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.” ~ Jim Rohn


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