Monthly Archives: July 2015

My New Bicycle

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” – Zig Ziglar


For the past seven months I have procrastinated about buying a bicycle.  I had all the excuses:

  • I can’t afford to buy one
  • I am not sure which type to buy
  • I am not sure which shop is the best value
  • I will get my old one fixed (turned out to be too expensive)
  • I will search for a cheap second hand one online
  • I will buy one after I buy my son one

However today I just drove to town and bought a new bike.  No hesitation at all.  All my excuses just fell away.  Why?  Because I have a new goal which is to run the Dublin City Marathon at the end of October.  My marathon goal scares me as I just ran a half marathon in early July and I could barely finish the half marathon.  To achieve my marathon goal I have taken on an exercise programme which states that I should cycle for 30 minutes as part of my marathon training.  I know I must stick to my training programme or risk failing to achieve my goal. Therefore I had to jump in my car and buy a bike – no excuses or no questioning myself.  Just do it!

While out cycling afterwards I realised that while I live in town there is beautiful countryside and quiet country roads not far from where I live.  I ended up cycling a quiet country road which I had never traveled before only minutes from where I live.  There were beautiful views of the Slieve Bloom mountains as I cycled.  I also realised that my children would enjoy this as well so more excuses on getting their bikes sorted out so then we can enjoy bike rides in the country together.

Another benefit of my marathon goal is that is forcing me to watch what I eat and lose weight.  You don’t want to try and run a marathon being overweight.  I simply must lose weight or suffer later.

Today I learned how having a big goal can force you to change in positive ways.  My big goal of running the marathon spurred me into action and all my excuses for not buying a bike for the past half year just melted away.  My bike ride opened my eyes to the beautiful countryside where I live and to the possibility of getting my children involved in a new activity.  My marathon goal is also forcing me to stop eating junk food and lose weight – something I have failed to do for the past year.

Its not just about running the marathon but the also the changes you have to embrace on your journey to reach your goal.  This is how big goals can change you.

Disconnect and Focus!


A man who chases two rabbits catches none.
~ Roman Proverb

Simplify and Focus

If you read my last post about what I learned from the 100 day challenge I realised that I had tried to do too many difficult things at the same time.  I had chased 5 rabbits and caught none!  I am thinking a lot lately about simplicity and focus.  I now have three goals for Quarter 3 2015.   Perhaps even three goals are too many – it remains to be seen.

I came across a very useful free book online by Leo Babauta called “A simplicity manifesto in the Age of Distraction”.  You can download the free book at:

The book deals with focus in an age of constant distraction.  We need to simplify our lives and focus in order to be at our creative best.  There are so many distractions – phones, instant messaging, emails, text messaging alerts, internet surfing etc etc.  We need to be able to create distraction free periods during our day where we can be creative.  We need to be able to block time throughout the day where we switch off all gadgets and focus.  We also can have blocks of time where we communicate – handle emails, make calls etc.  We can limit email to pre-appointed times only.

Leo advocates to plan three key tasks to be achieved for the day (preferably planned the night before).  A good idea is to start with the most important task first.  I already do this, it is simple and it works.  A great idea I learned from Leo’s book is to create a refocus ritual. Every hour or two have a quick walk for a few minutes to clear your head and then check back to your list of most important tasks for the day.  It is so easy to have a list and not look at it and get distracted with other less important things.  Making a habit of refocusing is an excellent idea.

There is much more to this free book and I will be returning to it for further gems of wisdom – I highly recommend you read it.


focus A simplicity manifesto in the Age of Distraction – Leo Babauta –