Do you have goals in your business? Do you have goals for your LinkedIn strategy? How about health goals?
Goals can be set about business, your career, health and fitness, lifestyle, practically anything. It is important to have BIG long term goals and smaller short-term goals, or even BIG short-term goals for those who are driven! But often as we get busy or distracted, we lose focus. How do you stay in action and accountable? Having a big goal, chunked down into milestones, tasks and action steps, aligned to a timeline, managed in a project management tool with deadlines could be the way to go. Having a coach or accountability buddy is another. But I believe that making something FUN can increase the likelihood of reaching or surpassing your goal. How can you add FUN into your goals and tasks?
Turn your goals into a QUEST
A quest has a different energy or vibration and helps us stay aligned to our purpose for the goal in a fun way. Could a quest be a series of goals connected by a theme? According to Dictionary.com, a quest is both a noun and a verb;
- a search or pursuit made in order to find or obtain something: a quest for uranium mines; a quest for knowledge.
- Medieval Romance. an adventurous expedition undertaken by a knight or knights to secure or achieve something: the quest of the Holy Grail.
- those engaged in such an expedition.
- to search; seek (often followed by for or after): to quest after hidden treasure.
- to go on a quest.
- to search or seek for; pursue.
In literature, a quest is “an adventurous journey undergone by the main character or protagonist of a story. The protagonist usually meets with and overcomes a series of obstacles, returning in the end with the benefits of knowledge and experience from his quest.”
I’m currently on a quest, so I guess I’m the protagonist in my story, and I will be documenting the experience in the coming month. Earlier this year I created a quest as a series of personal goals. My quest has a clear outcome, a timeline and goals, broken into milestones. I identified the tools I already had and those I needed to make it easier and discovered new tools and techniques along the way. I gave it a fun name that I felt connected to and a unique hashtag so that I could share the progress and be publicly accountable to myself. Nothing like putting yourself out there and having to deliver on your own promise.
Why #PerthPoolQuest ?
I got into swimming for exercise at my local pool a couple of years ago and started building up fitness. I loved visiting the pool in my youth but never learned to swim with my head underwater and breathe effectively. I would only go to the pool as an adult with my kids, but when they were doing lessons I decided in my early 30s to take lessons myself and learn to breathe. I still didn’t get into swimming, and it wasn’t until my mother-in-law started going on a regular basis that I decided to join her. I struggled to do a length at first, but I set goals to increase my distance without stopping and the total distance I was swimming. Then I moved to the 50m outdoor pool and worked up to swimming 1 km, which I never thought I’d be able to do!
Early this year I started swimming with my colleague Vicki Main, in another pool to keep each other accountable and as a way to catch up. She shared her goal to do a triathlon which I thought was mad. But after some research, I discovered entry-level events for women, and it became my goal too! The Every Woman Triathlon I decided to do wasn’t in the ocean, it was in a lake and had a FUN level, which spoke to me. In researching how to prepare, I found a triathlon training program and signed up after much hesitation, and a dose of imposter syndrome. Girls Like Us Triathlon Coaching is a fabulous inclusive program for women of any fitness levels. It wasn’t until half-way into the program that I found the courage to signup and commit to the event.
Getting triathlon ready could have been the quest but I wanted to add a layer of adventure to my fitness journey.
The training program meant I was swimming in another pool, making it 3 pools each week. Being curious I wondered just how many public pools Perth has. I hit Google and found a few lists of pools, but not an entire list, so I created my own list and set an intention to swim in each pool this year. I shared this for the first time at an event I was speaking at on the topic of backing yourself and giving things a go. Because I shared the idea with a room full of people, and then publicly online through my social media channels, I had to do it. There was my first dose of accountability.
As I travelled to different locations for work, I factored in time for a swim. Then I switched the focus and decided where I was travelling to swim and worked around it. I added another layer to the quest by inviting people in my network to book a swim catch up with me which I call Splash Networking. For some it allowed them to show off their local pool and/or favourite cafe, and for others, it was a reason to get back in the pool. I primarily used LinkedIn to share my quest and upcoming swim dates, and managed to meet a few connections that I hadn’t yet met in person and I heard from a few aquatic centre managers.
I always wanted to swim at Scarborough Beach Pool, but was too scared to go alone. When my colleague Vicki asked me to swim with her there, I was finally able to check it out. I had put a limitation on myself for no reason. Sometimes we don’t do things alone because of fear, limiting belief or excuses. What was I scared of? Doing the wrong thing, not knowing where to go, the rules of the land (or pool), or being in an unfamiliar place in my bathers! It really was ‘false evidence appearing real’, and I had created stories that were holding me back.
My Pool Quest has challenged those limitations. I can swim anywhere. I don’t need permission or someone to hold my hand. I do what I always do in every other situation – I get curious and ask questions. I research the best times to swim based on lane availability, classes and avoid school holiday peak times. I research the facilities, read the signs, and chat to people at the pool including the staff to ask about water temperature and chlorine levels.
Have you created stories that could be holding you back from achieving your goals?
LinkedIn is the platform I specialise in, and I’m confident and curious, but I wasn’t always that way. It took a while to find my own voice, get clear on my values and vision, and find my confidence to put myself out there. It’s similar to the feeling of deciding to start swimming and having to get over being in bathers in public, thighs and all!
Back to swimming, all you need to get started are bathers and a towel. Goggles and a swimming cap make it easier and more enjoyable. To take up up a notch I have added;
- Prescription Googles by Zoggs
- A Garmin Vivoactive to track my efforts
- Speedo kickboard
- Speedo pull buoy
- Bone conduction headphones with MP3 player built-in to help inspire and keep pace
- Fixamul tape to stop my fins from rubbing
- New bathers (smaller size) by Zoggs as I toned up 🙂
Next, I will add hand paddles to work on my technique as I prepare for my next triathlon.
I started with a list in a Word document but moved to a spreadsheet so I could number and reorder the pools.
Excel – I created a spreadsheet to track my journey as the quest grew. Columns were added to allow me to capture and rate different elements of the facility. Sheets were added for pools that aren’t part of my main quest, such as regional pools, hotels and non-public pools.
Strava – is a tool I use with my Garmin, and each new pool added to the quest is labelled with the number and photos, aligned to my stats.
Humanitix – This is the online booking tool I use to show where I am swimming in the future and allow people to book a #SplashNetworking swim with me.
Social Media – I share updates across platforms. Photos and reviews on Instagram and Facebook. An update of the overall pool quest on LinkedIn. All use the hashtag to make discovery easy.
Google Map – I created a map to track and rate where I had been.
As I started sharing my quest online, people became interested. I was invited to do a few radio interviews (ABC Radio and 89.7FM) and it comes up in conversation when I’m networking or speaking at events. It has become part of my brand.
Through my content, centres became aware of my quest and wanted to meet to chat to me about it. One staff member even chose to swim with me. If time permits, I check out other features such as the sauna, and the cafe.
I’m on track to complete my quest successfully, the only hold up is a few pools closing for winter, and of course COVID restrictions.
If you want to join me I’d love you to check out the pools I have on my list. I’m also open to swimming in pools outside of Perth, hotels, and member-only pools, and would love an excuse to visit other locations.
Look out for my ‘report’ where I go through each pool and share my reviews.
Choose Your Quest
If you are inspired to create your own quest let me know. Start with your big goals. What do you want to achieve and how can you make it fun? What do you love? What would you like to do? What would challenge and benefit you?
- What is the desired outcome of the quest?
- What are the milestones along the way?
- What will you measure?
- How will you celebrate reaching the milestones?
- How will you manage the actions?
- Who needs to be involved for the quest to be a success?
- What tools are required to get started?
- What tools will make the quest easier or more enjoyable?
- How can you remain accountable and in action?
Maybe I can join you and be part of it.
Join Me For Splash Networking