I set many goals for myself for the summer of 2018. I wanted to spend lots of time with my family, go on some fun trips, and spend as much time as possible outside enjoying Boulder’s beauty. One goal that stands out for me, is completing the Rim to Rim hike. It’s a 24-mile hike into, across and out of the Grand Canyon – in one day.
I knew this hike would push me out of my comfort zone in several ways. I’ve never been one to set physical goals for myself outside of trying to make it to a yoga class by Friday or to go running once this week. In fact, I would say one of my lifelong goals has been to avoid exerting myself too much in any given day. So this hike was a big, hairy, audacious goal for me. It was scary, daunting and exhilarating. And I knew this was the perfect opportunity to push myself out of my physical and mental comfort zone.
There are five essential elements to effective goal setting summarized in the acronym SMART. Hiking the Rim to Rim was a SMART goal for me for several reasons:
1) It was Specific
Dropping down into the Grand Canyon and getting out before sunset is a very clear and specific goal.
2) It was Measurable
This goal was measurable for me in many ways. I knew the actual date I was doing the hike, and the amount of time I had to train. I knew how much ground I needed to cover, the elevation change and temperatures I was going to encounter. It was clear what was required of me to arrive at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon by sunset.
3) It had inherent Accountability
18 other people were committed to doing this hike with me in mid-September. We supported and motivated each other throughout our summer training hikes. I was not going to back out of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity like this. I wanted to experience this incredible adventure with my close friends. And I knew that this group would support and inspire me to keep training all summer long. We were all in this together.