Skip to content

Goal Setting: The Allegory of the Hiker

Listen to Heather’s guided reflection on 2017 and goal-setting for 2018

Let’s close out 2017 with a touch of reflection and a mountain of intention.  

Let’s chart out where we’ve been and where we’d like to be heading with a simple allegory for reflection…

Have you ever heard of the phantom peak? If you’re a hiker, skier or snowboarder or any other mountain sporter, you’ve surely had this experience: you’ve thought you were about to reach the tip top of the mountain, only to realize you’ve only reached the top of one of many plateaus along the way. That’s a phantom peak experience. They can leave one in quite the foul mood if tired.

As we travel through life, we reach emotional phantom peaks and if we’re not careful we can keep pushing and pushing without the reflection and breaks necessary to enjoy life.

Warning signs of phantom peak syndrome sound like “I just can’t keep going”… “I’m exhausted”… “won’t I ever get a break?”

When we are climbing a mountain, if we have set our gaze to the “peak” of the  mountain, we oftentimes forget to pause for the necessary act of self care and reflection. When we forget to stop and turn around we miss two important things:

a) We lose the opportunity to enjoy the view. For example, we may want that end-of-the-year bonus but if that’s all we focus on, we may miss how we actually created a career we’ve worked so hard to have.  

b) We don’t understand why we are so exhausted if we don’t stop and reflect on how far we have come (or we don’t take the rock out of our shoe because we keep pushing to that next peak).

Here are 3 questions to reflect on to set yourself up for a fantastic 2018 and to close out 2017 with style:

  1. The View: Let’s start by reflecting on the challenges faced and the accomplishments made in 2017. Make sure to identify the TRUE ACCOMPLISHMENT e.g. I sold x number of $ turns into I changed x number of lives for the better.
  2. Packs Off: Now we ask ourselves – what have we learned along the way that we want to let go of? What do we want to adjust? And what do we want to keep with us? If we learned that it feels good to have space in certain relationships, now is the time to consider how we want to apply what we have learned to make the climb ( our life) as enjoyable as possible.
  3. Gaze: What goals would we like to identify for 2018? We want to prioritize the climb over the peaks. First identify how you want to feel then decide what you want to do to feel the way you want to feel rather than the other way around.

Now we can take a deep breath while we let 2017 go and move into a clean and fresh 2018 with intention and purpose!