“Follow the path to your goal, one step at a time. The best time to take the first step: NOW!”

Martin Parnell
Potential Unlimited - Success on Your Terms

Potential Unlimited - Success on Your Terms

Posted by martin.parnell | Overcoming Obstacles Potential Workshop

Last week, I presented a Keynote speech and Workshop at the Recreation Connections Manitoba Conference, in Winnipeg. I was fulfilling a commitment I’d made exactly a year ago, when I was suddenly taken ill and diagnosed with a clot on my brain. This year’s conference was held at Radisson Hotel and my presentation was at the Metropolitan Entertainment Centre.

Built in 1919, the neo-classical style building, has a 2,500-seat auditorium with a stage and orchestra pit. The building was closed in 1987 and remained shuttered up for 25 years. In 2010 / 11, Canada Inns had the foresight to invest $20 million and returned the building to its former glory. Standing on the stage, with the largest projection screen I had ever seen, behind me, felt like I was back in the 1930’s.

My talk went over well and, in the afternoon, I delivered my Workshop. The theme was “Unlocking Your Potential – Setting Goals and Achieving Results you never thought Possible”. A group of 40 participants gathered for the session. I asked them to think of a goal, personal or professional, that they might like to achieve in the next 6 months to a year, the reasons why they chose this particular goal and some obstacles they might encounter.

There were a wide range of answers varying from learning to speak French to hiking the Mantario trail, dealing with a difficult employee to completing a marathon. The delegates were also asked to give reasons as to why they had chosen their particular goals. The responses included getting outside my box, helping my son, building my confidence, improving the culture in my workplace, engaging my competitive side and leaving a legacy.

One person told the group that he’d always wanted to travel to Egypt, as he had a passion for archeology. Financing his dream had always been an obstacle.  This was just one reason why goals are often not tackled, others might include competing priorities, time constraints, old patterns and behaviours, self-doubt, unsupportive family or colleagues, or red tape.

I steered the discussion towards ways in which a person might overcome or circumnavigate these type of hindrances. I strongly believe that it is possible to achieve your goals and achieve your full potential, if you tackle things in the right way. It’s all a matter of planning, setting up a support mechanism and having belief. I gave the delegates tools in which to start the process of identifying their goals, in order to attempt things they might not have thought possible and which could, potentially, make them feel more fulfilled.

By the end of the session, the amateur archaeologist in the group had not only devised a plan to at least begin to raise the means to finance his trip, but also to go even further and go back to school, with the intention of, one day, teaching History. Others had lesser goals, but it’s what is important to the individual that really counts. One person’s 5km walk is another person’s marathon.

Over the past few years. I have set myself many goals, If I had listened to some people, I wouldn’t have even attempted most of them, but I’ve proved that, with support, planning and a great deal of stubborn belief, most things are possible.

Next time you’ve got a few minutes to spare, why not ask yourself what it is you’d really like to achieve and how you might go about it? You might surprise yourself.

As the workshop finished I put up my last slide “Follow the path to your goal, one step at a time. The best time to take the first step: NOW!” 

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" The only person you're accountable to is yourself. Finish well and shine."

Martin Parnell
5 Steps to Finishing what you Started

5 Steps to Finishing what you Started

Posted by martin.parnell | Determination Finish Obstacles Potential

We are a society of non-finishers. On January 1st we wake up with a bright idea for a New Year’s resolution. In the UK, a ComRes poll for Bupa, a global health and care company, identified losing weight, getting fitter and eating more healthily as the top three resolutions. So off we go and buy that gym membership, diet program or treadmill. It is estimated that more than 40% of North Americans make New Year’s resolutions. However, as the old saying goes, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” and a University of Scranton research study found that only 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s goals.

It isn’t just New Year’s resolutions that we have problems finishing. We face the same challenges in the business world, whether it’s completing a project or making a sales target. So what can you do to give yourself the best chance of finishing what you started? Over the last 10 years I’ve learnt a thing or two about finishing. Challenges have included cycling across Africa, running 250 marathons in one year, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in 21hrs, setting 5 Guinness World Records and, most recently, recovering from a clot on the brain.

What follows are 5 steps that will allow you the best chance of crossing that finish line:

What motivates you?

We say we want to lose weight, get fitter or eat healthy. The question is why. The motivation has to be strong enough that in the dark days you will continue to pursue your goal. To say you want to look better doesn’t cut it. To say you want to keep you with your grandchildren on a ski trip you’ve planned just might.

Visualise and commit to your goal

The key is to set a goal that has an identified outcome by a certain date. Then tell everyone about it. Remember life is like a plate of eggs and bacon, the chicken participates, the pigs committed. Fear of not accomplishing what you said you would do is a great motivator. If you want to run a 5km race in 3 months then visualise what this looks like as you cross the finish line, how you feel and the sense of accomplishment.

Have a plan and measure your progress

The key to success is having a road map and sticking to it. One of my favourite quotes is “I don’t know where I’m going but I’m making good time”. Don’t let this be you. Understand what you control and what you don’t. Keep a diary and write down what you’ve done that day. Share your progress with others even if it’s not always good news.

Get help

Whatever your goal is get help. When I started running I joined a running club, when I learnt to play lacrosse I got help from a grade 9 gym class and the Calgary Roughnecks. Never be afraid to ask, once people know what you’re trying to do they will step forward to give you a hand. Everyone wants you to succeed.

Be flexible but focused

You are going to hit obstacles, it’s not if but when. Accept them as part of the journey and do not beat yourself up about them. We all have bad days. However don’t take your eye off the ball. You may have to adjust the schedule and be creative but if at all possible stick to your goal.

Finishing what you started is not easy. It takes leadership, perseverance, discipline, team work, tenacity, creativity, resilience, attitude and courage to name just a few. Don’t let this put you off. The effort is well worth it and it will be a step along the road towards achieving your full potential. 

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