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  • Crystal Nye

Goals vs purpose; the power of both

In May of this year (2020), I confirmed my lodging at Bright Angel Lodge in the Grand Canyon. We were doing it. R2R2R! My friend and I scheduled September 26th to be the day we would hike all 45 miles in the same day. What an adventure.

In June I moved to a new location, and in the back of my mind I knew I needed to start running and training for the big day; but I couldn’t get myself to do it. I kept saying I didn’t know where to run since I had just moved and was unfamiliar with the area. This excuse went on for a while, until...I got a call. You see, also at this time I was starting a business. I had not yet found a position that I felt was a good fit for me, so I was undertaking the biggest adventure of all- becoming an entrepreneur.

The call that was the catalyst for my training to begin was the solidification of my first coaching client. Suddenly, I was unstoppable, nothing was going to get in my way of training. Getting up at 5am? Done. Running new routes? Done. Investing money on new gear? Done.

What had shifted? The goal had been there months earlier, and I am a very driven, goal-oriented person. The shift was Purpose.

Purpose. This word gets thrown around a lot. What did it look like in my situation? The shift for me was having a sense of purpose for my life. I had been searching for purpose in various jobs I had, but was not able to quite find what I was looking for. The entrepreneurial road was now providing it for me. The purpose I was feeling was the potential for positive impact.


I am a fairly intrinsically motivated person. So the possibility of me having a positive impact on someone’s life is far more motivating than a big paycheck. But how did this career purpose translate into my fitness goals?

That is the power of purpose. It is transferable across all aspects of life. Having a sense of purpose is contagious; gives you the drive, energy and determination to accomplish the impossible.

When my shift happened, it was perfect because I had fitness goals to reach, as well as professional goals that this new purpose now fueled.

Goals without purpose are still great; they just might be the ones that get tossed aside when they first hit a roadblock or you run out of motivation. And purpose without goals is great; you just might find yourself deeply involved and committed to things, without producing results.

The sweet spot is to have both. Know your purpose and set high achieving goals that push you out of your comfort zone and require a purpose to propel you to them.

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