The 5 Things I learned last Monday night...

Last night I went to an talk by Gerry Duffy hosted by Darkness Into Light Kinvara (link here). The talk was advertised as an insight into how to achieve your goals so myself and Aisling turned up with open minds (and empty bellies) straight after work. It's would be hard not to be completely in awe of Gerry's physical endurance accomplishments and his personal contributions to charities (read all about him here) but Gerry said five things which stayed with me long after we cleared out from the hall last night.

1. Write down your goals.
2. Will it make the boat go faster?
3. You don't have to run.
4. 30 minutes is 2%.
5. You have to pass through 3 to get to 10.

1. Goals - I've written about my goals before. I know it works yet, I don't write my goals out any more. I know in my head what I want but I rarely commit them to paper. The problem with goals in my head is the fact I bend them around to suit my current situation. I haven't linked my goals together either, I'm just following my combined goal formula of: Running + Weight Loss = Better Running & Better Weight Maintenance. 

The problem with my formula above is that it is not specific enough. Why run? Why lose weight? Why do I want to run better? Who am I doing it for? Who can I get to help me achieve this? What can I change?

2: "Will it make the boat go faster?" was the principle a rowing team used which effectively won them gold at the Olympics. This should really be the question that underpins everything you go in terms of getting anything you want. If the answer is ever Yes - then you have to choose it. Will staying in on the couch help me run faster? No. Will splurging out at the weekend help me reach my weight goal? No. 

Where I see this being key is in turning my viewpoint on why I do what I do. I don't take ice baths, go to physio or have sports massages. Will they bring me closer to a goal? Yes. Will educating myself on nutrition help? Yes. You get the idea. Applying the 'Will it make the boat go faster?' rule could be just the thing I need.

3: You don't have to run. You get to run. It's that simple. As Gerry said those words, I they struck me to two reasons. Firstly because they are so true - nothing is granted to us. There will come a time when I might not be able tin run due to injury or otherwise. Why waste the time I have now seeing running (or anything else) as a chore then really it is a gift. 

The second reason these words stuck with me were because I knew I had heard them somewhere before. I went looking at this time last year - three weeks out from Connemarathon, I hit a motivation block. I actually posted the picture above in that post (see here)

4: Thirty minutes is only 2% of your day. I actually had to work it out when he said it but it's true. Getting up 30 minutes earlier to get a run in before work or bring the dog for a walk seems horrific but changing it to giving 2% of your day to a run/walk/reading (whatever) is a seriously manageable chunk of time that shows really the insignificance of taking that time 'out of your week' when you consider 4 x 30 minutes is just over 1.1% of your entire week! 

5: You have to pass through 3 to get to 10 - The message here was whatever the current hurdle you are struggling with, you have to pass through it to get to your goal. You knew you'd have to pass it so don't make it harder than it is. Gerry was speaking here using the power of his mind to push himself forward through the 3rd day of his back-to-back ironmans as the goal was to hit 10. It doesn't matter how slow you go, just keep moving forward.

If you stop at 3, you'll never hit 10. If you keep chipping away regardless of how hard it is or how long it takes, once you pass through 3 you are closer to your goal than you were if you stopped. Same applied to running (the finish line doesn't come to you) and weight loss (you won't lose a stone without losing 28 half pounds first).

These were the five things I learned Monday night. Hope someone else finds them as helpful as I did.


  1. This was really helpful! #3 - wow. 2% is nothing, really - considering the benefits. Brilliant, bookmarking this :)

  2. Yes, I think I will find at least some of those helpful. Thanks for sharing.

    Now - goals and the alarm clock....

  3. This is an amazing post! Something I've been needing to read for a while. Going to spend the evening writing down my goals!

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