I just spent a few days in Nebraska and South Dakota biking. I am now two states closer to my goal of biking 50 miles in all 50 states... and it was a blast! Nebraska was pretty easy, a little windy but flat. South Dakota was another story. It was beautiful but there were crazy hills everywhere we rode.
On one of those hills, as I was trying not to throw up my lungs, I started thinking about goals and the correlation between success in ANYTHING and our ability to stick with a goal. I've also been reading The Compound Effect and have been inspired to evaluate what I want to accomplish and how I can get there. It's all about being the tortoise and not giving up. And that was me on those crazy-ass hills. A sweaty, determined tortoise.
The best part was the feeling of accomplishment when I was done. When I caught up to Professor Honey-Buns at the end (who does not struggle with vomiting vital organs) he said "You did it and you are awesome!" To which I responded "Why yes, I did and I am and aren't you lucky to be married to me."
I still have 30 states to go, none of which are close to where I live. It won't be easy and it won't be quick, but it will absolutely be worth it. The crazy thing is that I've had this goal for quite a few years and I've never quite felt the determination I feel now. I think it is because I can see progress - every time I park in the garage those license plates are saying "you can do it!".
Setting goals is the easy part. Finding the determination, resilience, and will to continue up all the hills is the hard part.