Spider web
Empowering Children Environment Family Travel Illinois Livin' Life Travels

Achieving Goals – A Journey of 1000 Miles

The gorgeous, creepy creature that weaved the beautiful web in the above picture had to start somewhere. But where? And how? How does a spider start weaving its web? I guess, as they say, a journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step...

Spider web

The gorgeous, creepy creature that weaved the beautiful web in the picture had to start somewhere. But where? And how? How does a spider start weaving its web? I guess, as they say, a journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step… or something like that.

img_1275
The beautiful waterfall, Waterfall Glen

One of the goals we have in mind for the future is to hike the Grand Canyon from bottom to top, with the kids. Granted, this will have to take place sometime in the future (and it may never take place at all). But, as stated above, a journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step. And sometimes that one step is just a thought, an idea, a future goal, something to work toward.

A journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step.

Enjoying the view

Well, our journey today took us on a 4-mile hike at Waterfall Glen in the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. And nowhere did the kids learn the lesson that a journey of 1,000 miles (or hiking one more mile back to the car after hiking 3 miles on little 6-year-old legs) begins with one step, then another step, and then another.
Until you reach your goal (which, in this case, was either the parking lot, or the ice cream I promised them to keep them hiking).

I see these little victories, these little tweaks in attitude, as major life lessons.

In any event, in order to keep her spirits up, my little girl started making up songs that went: “Every step you take gets you closer to your goal….” My son, after telling me he couldn’t take another step, took another and another. Then smiled proudly to himself after we reached the car when I reminded him how he thought he couldn’t do it, but in actuality he could.

Waterfall Glen
The last 1/2 mile of a 4-mile hike.

I see these little victories, these little tweaks in attitude, as major life lessons. Lessons that could be applied to completing algebra homework, perfecting pirouettes, or even writing a blog post! Each little increment gets you a little closer to where you need to be. Each difficult task requires effort. And in order to reach each big goal, you need only conquer one small and manageable goal, then another, then another.

One step at a time. One foot after another. That’s how to start. That’s how to succeed. That’s how to reach goals. Whether you have eight legs or only two.

 

Janette DeFelice, MD, MA is a writer currently focusing on how the changing environment affects our health. Her essay collection Resistance Essays from the Heartland and her new novel Delia Rising: A Ballet in Three Acts are both available now. She has also published at Be The Change Mom, ChicagoNow, and Medium.com. She holds a Doctor of Medicine degree from Chicago Medical School and a Master’s degree in Humanities from the University of Chicago, where her major essay was Hegel and Ibsen: The Evolution of Consciousness in Ibsen’s Prose Play Cycle. She also has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Indiana University. A former professional dancer, former adjunct Humanities professor, and former lecturer in Medical Clinical Skills, as well as a mom of 9-year-old twins, she currently finds herself at a career/life crossroads at which she is trying to figure out how to use all aspects of herself (her art, her medical and scientific knowledge, her philosophical explorations, her interest in popular culture as a teaching tool, and her unique perspective) for the good of humanity.

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