The Gift of Goals

Amy Larson Coaching Boulder CO setting goals

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.

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Managing Perfectionism

Amy Larson Coaching Boulder CO blog post: Managing Perfectionism and the Permission to Be Human

I am not a writer. In fact, I strongly dislike writing. My propensity for perfectionism is the culprit. I find it incredibly difficult to select and commit to the exact or “perfect” words to express what I want to say. I have a hard time putting my thoughts down on paper with the intent of sharing them with the “internet universe” for all to see and judge for eternity. I can’t take it back, revise it or “perfect” it over time. Yikes! The finality and vulnerability of it freaks me out.

But what my coaching mentor, Lynda Wallace, explained about the blogging process is this: “The ego says “I’m not good enough.” Humility says, “I’ll offer what I have.” So that’s it. I am offering what I have.

Permission To Be Human

I have been studying Positive Psychology and coaching techniques for several years now and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this process. This journey has been life-changing  – my relationships are better, I am kinder to myself and I am more peaceful and present.

One of the most powerful things I have learned in my Positive Psychology journey is to give myself the “permission to be human.” This one hit me like a ton of bricks. I’m a go-getter. I always try my hardest at anything I do. I try to do better the next time and am not afraid of a challenge. But what I discovered is that I try to control every possible aspect of the process to ensure success and perfection. And mind you, that certainly helps in producing a good outcome.

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