Last month, we spent a week in Venabu, Norway. This was the view from our room:
But we weren’t there to gaze at Muen, no matter how lovely it is: we were there to learn to cross-country ski. On day one, we joined the rest of the group in the ski room, learnt how to wax our skis, checked our kit and then headed out to a practice area close to the hotel. After learning how to put our skis on, take them off, how to stand up after falling (a skill that proved to be very important), we skied round in a large circle for a little while, working on our gliding technique before moving on to snow-ploughing down a tiny hillock.
Before long, it was time to head out into the wide white yonder. With varying degrees of grace, we slid through the stunning scenery. It was all pretty flat to start with, a few bends, and a gentle slope or two. Then we dealt with a longer downhill stretch which still wasn’t too steep but challenged several of us. Another flat stretch and then the hotel was in sight.
On top of a hill.
Not a particularly steep hill, I will grant you, but on day one, it felt like we were at Camp Four preparing for a summit attempt on Everest.
Our fantastic instructors, Richard and Siobhan (both in their 70s, both amongst the most inspiring people I have ever met) assured us that this was perfectly possible to achieve on skis. Richard showed us how we had to ‘dance’ on our skis, taking quick, constant, light steps to move gradually upwards.
It was all going so well until I thought that I could maybe take a bigger stride. I lost my hold on the snow, flailed around trying to recover, but slithered backwards, ending up halfway down the slope and flat on my face.
Working towards our goals can sometimes feel like skiing uphill. At first, it can seem insurmountable. We seek out help from someone who has been there before and achieved a similar goal. Lots of little steps help us progress. We need to stay light on our feet, ready to react, and keep going. Sometimes we over-reach and find ourselves slipping backwards out of control.
For my part, and when working with my coaching clients, I’m building action plans with plenty of small steps. None of us want to slide backwards, potentially ending up even further back than where we started. These plans keep us heading in the right direction.
Today’s pebble for your thoughts:
Does your action plan involve you taking lots of small steps towards your goal or are you in danger of sliding backwards? What can you do this week to keep you moving on up?
What do you think?
ps if you’d like someone to help you formulate the steps you need to take to progress towards your goal, why not email me to find out more?