At the end of 2018 I came to a realisation that I had to make some changes to my life.
I was very unfit and very overweight. One third of my body weight was excessive and I could not walk any distance without a struggle.
This was partly due to the problem I had with my knees, following an injury in 2017. But underneath that partial explanation was the real truth.
Over a number of years I had steadily allowed myself to eat too much and do too little exercise. I enjoy food but I didn’t eat a balanced diet. I enjoy the outdoors but spent too little there.
So, with a major birthday approaching I decided to do something about it. In fact a made a few related decisions.
I decided first that I would spend my 60th birthday on 13th October on top of a mountain in my favourite part of the world, England’s Lake District. I then told my world about this decision, via Facebook.
I then opted to walk up “The Old Man of Coniston”. The metaphor is great and so is the location, just above the beautiful village of Coniston, where my family and I have spent a lot of very happy time together.
Then, a strange thing happened.
A lot of friends responded with very positive comments and promises to accompany me. Soon a campaign started called, “Old Men and their Mountains”. I started a Facebook group with this name (see here) and all sorts started to join me (whether actually old men or not).
It wasn’t long before someone suggested that I use the campaign to raise some money for charity. So far I have raised £560 online (go to here) and over £840 through sponsorship forms. All the money raised is going to the Masonic Charitable Foundation, one of the UK’s major grant making charities that helps people to make better lives (see https://mcf.org.uk/).
So, how am I doing?
Well three months ago I could only walk a couple of hundred yards. I am now up to six miles, although at present that is mostly flat. I will start walking up inclines later this month.
I have radically changed my diet, taking sugar, starch, etc, out as much as possible. At first this was a real struggle but in less than two weeks I had changed my eating habits and I have kept to it since, although I still have a weakness for wine (which of course is rich in sugar).
I have lost almost two stone in weight. In truth this has plateaued recently so I have decided to cut right back on drinking wine, although I may still indulge in a glass or two at the weekend.
Earlier this week, Diane and I spent a few days in the Lake District, getting to know Coniston again and making plans for October. Just breathing the air there, seeing the peaks again and revisiting some old haunts has recharged me and strengthened my resolve even further.
I am changing my life and I am going up that mountain in six months time.
What have I learned from all this?
Put simply, if you want to achieve something then don’t try. Just make a decision and stick to it. Be determined and keep your eye on the prize. Then everyday just take more steps towards your goal.
The approach I take to achieving anything is based upon my Success Cycle model. Download my free overview here to find out more