Tag Archives: goals

Cobblers Column: Steve Way and a new start

From the programme for the game vs Southend on 3rd Jan.


Happy New Year! This time last year we were bottom of the league, with no permanent manager, and we hadn’t yet seen #DareToIvan on the scoresheet. And a year makes a big difference. Whilst our league position isn’t where we would like it to be, I think all of use would have taken this at the same point last year.

Managers often talk about their teams needing “the winning habit”, and this is the time of the year when many of us make resolutions and try to make changes to our lives.

Eight years ago, an overweight, heavy-drinking, kebab and curry-loving, computer programmer called Steve decided to change. He was in his mid-thirties and his lifestyle was starting to take its toll. He was unfit, and after a health scare he decided to do something about it, so he stopped smoking and started running. Initially this was to give him something to take his mind off the cigarettes and fast food, but it turned out, underneath his 16 stone frame, there was an international marathon runner in hiding. Last year, Steve Way finished 10th in the Commonwealth Games, being the first Englishman across the line and beating the British record for an over-40 year old in the process.

Of course, Steve is blessed with the physiology and genes that enabled him to become so good at this. But it would never have happened had he not decided to commit to changing in the first place.

There is a well-known saying that it takes 30 days for a new habit to stick. The encouraging thing is that it can be done. Whether we want to make a small change or a large one, to give up a particular bad habit, or take up a more healthy one, getting through January on target means we’re more likely to succeed.

There were two things Steve did to help him on his way. The first is that he set himself a goal by entering the London Marathon. Our goals certainly don’t need to be as big as his, but having a target to work towards helps keep us on track.

The second thing he did was to replace the aspect of his life that he wanted to change with something more healthy. The smoking and fast food didn’t leave a hole in his life as he filled it with something else. Running helped him over the fast-food cravings.

What physically, spiritually, or emotionally healthy habit are we going to introduce in 2015? Perhaps learn a new skill? Or eat less chocolate (I’m guilty as charged!)? Perhaps we may want to investigate our spiritual side during 2015? And what pattern of behaviour would we like it to replace?

It can be done! Take that first step! Good luck!


How have the Olympics inspired you?

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who suffered from the post-Olympics blues last week. Those two weeks were full of optimism, excitement and joy. There was a sense that we really did like each other and our country, and that we, as a nation, have pulled off such a great sporting event. Not to mention the 29 fabulous gold medal performances by TeamGB and all the others from medalists and non-medalists.

The Olympic Flame

Highlights: The highlight for me was getting to experience it all by going to some events. But my sporting highlights come from outside of these. Mo Farah winning first the 10000m and then the 5000m in some style. Andy Murray finally succeeding in an important final. The Brownlee brothers in the triathlon. Jessica Ennis finishing off the 800m to win the heptathlon gold. She didn’t have to cross the line first as she already had the gold in the bag, but she was busting her gut to do it in front of her home crowd. Sally Pearson narrowly won the women’s 100m hurdle, but when she crossed the line she didn’t realise she’d won. There is a delay as she stands watching the video screen and when her name comes up first she just loses it. Wonderful reaction.

But my absolute favourite bit was watching Galen Rupp. He is the American athlete who is Mo Farah’s training partner, and they seemed to run the race tactically together. Whilst Mo was running away dictating the last lap, Galen was moving through the field to take the silver medal. But the look on his face when he crosses the line – he seems more happy for Mo, that his friend has won the gold, than he is of his own wonderful achievement. He runs straight over to his friend to congratulate him and is genuinely overjoyed. Fantastic moment (poor quality video coming up):

Inspire a Generation: Hearing the stories of the athletes involved, and the hard work they have put in was inspirational. This piece on Mo Farah mentions just a tiny bit of the training he does – years of preparation and practice which come together in this great moment. It inspired me to run some more. I’ve thought about finding a volleyball club (as I used to play in school) or playing more badminton (ditto). And that is part of what the government wanted the Olympics to do – inspire us, and in particularly children, to get involved in more sport. But there was more to it than that. They also wanted to inspire us with the notion that if we set a goal and work towards it, it can be possible. The inspiration for high achievement.

It got me thinking that often we drift through life. What would it be like if we really set goals to work towards, and prioritize those by cutting out things that don’t help us towards those. I doubt that many of us grow up dreaming “I really want to own a Volvo / Audi /BMW” when I grow up, but in the absence of any great goal these materialistic impulses take over in our adulthood. What would it be like to have personal individual goals, work goals, and even family goals to work towards? We have discussed this a little as a family and wondered what would be possible. We even thought about saving to go to Rio 2016 (but might leave it until the one after that!).  Otherwise we talking about giving more, committing to support and visit our missionary siblings more (as a visit does wonders for missionaries), and  having purposeful family time more. All things to work towards, plan, save and set priorities towards.

How have the Olympics inspired you?

Scheduling the Unexpected

Useful article from CJ Mahaney on prioritising in ministry/leadership, which may invove saying no to things and delegating but certainly invovles knowing what God has called you for and gifted you to.

First, it is important to understand our roles, goals, and schedules before we discuss responding to unanticipated requests. Often the procrastinator fails to work from biblical roles to establish his schedule, and is therefore vulnerable to the urgent. So he defaults to the most recent—or easiest—request. He neglects the important tasks and is governed by the urgent and the easy. He is busy, busy, busy, but he is not diligent, faithful, or fruitful.

via Scheduling the Unexpected.

More on John Terry’s penalty miss

Following on from my post a couple of days ago, I found some more quotes by John Terry who missed the penalty that (he thinks) lost the Champions League final for Chelsea. The quotes are from the BBC news website.

“I am so sorry for missing the penalty and denying the fans, my team-mates, family and friends the chance to be European champions,” he said.

“I have relived that moment every minute since it happened.

“I walked forward to take it knowing that it was there to be won and it was all down to me. What happened next will haunt me for the rest of my life.”

“I feel I have let everybody down and this hurts me more than anything.

“I am not ashamed about crying. This is a trophy I have tried so hard to win year after year and it was just an uncontrollable reaction. I wear my heart on my sleeve and everyone knows that.”

John Terry does not need to be ashamed about crying, and he doesn’t need to apologise for what he did – the team tried hard but just came up short by the smallest of margins. He does need to forgive himself though, and know that his self-esteem and identity need not be linked to his success or failure on the football pitch.

Goals, goals, goals – success and failure

This was the final moment of the season. The moment the whole season had been building up to. Chelsea had already lost the League Cup and the Premiership in the final moments, now was the pick of the three. The most important.

1-1 after extra time. Onto penalties, Man Utd had missed one of theirs. It comes to the last penalty. John Terry steps up. All he had to do was score, and Chelsea would win the Champions League, the pinnacle of European club competition.

As he stepped up to the ball, he slipped and missed. Man Utd were back in the hunt, and would go on to win.

After the game, John Terry cried. I don’t just mean that he was sad at not winning. He was inconsolable. For 10 or 15 minutes, as the rain pelted down around him, he couldn’t look anyone else in the eye. He buried his head first in the ground and then in his managers shoulder. They, he, had failed.

From the Daily Telegraph

His tears said it all. John Terry, one of the toughest defenders in the world, has suffered broken bones and battle scars, but nothing compared to the bitter taste of defeat.

The Chelsea captain didn’t care that 100 million people were watching him on television as he wept inconsolably on the pitch after losing the Champions League final.

Haunted by his penalty miss which cost the cup Terry seemed unable to look team-mates in the eye and instead buried his face in the shoulder of his manager Avram Grant.

His fellow defender Ricardo Carvalho said: “We couldn’t stop him crying.”

Winning this competition had been a goal of Chelsea and John Terry for years. They had never been to the final before, and it may be a long time before they get there again. John may not get another chance. It was devastating.

How do we cope when we fail?

If we build our lives on achieving goals, whether sporting, academic, or career – nothing wrong with any of these – but if they are the thing on which our identity is built, failure is devastating. It is not just the goal that is not reached, but our whole identity and our way of coping with the world is affected. It seems to me that there are many people who do this, whose goals need to be achieved so they stand out from the pack. What happens when the pack catches up?

So what can he do? He can buckle down, set new goals, and work towards them. Yes. But he may fail again.

Or he can set his identity on something that is real, unswerving, and will not let him down. Something which is not dependant on success or failure.

In the Bible, the apostle Paul has a goal and he says this about it.

I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”  (Phil 3:12)

His ultimate goal is secure, because Jesus has already taken hold of him and is pulling him towards God. His identity is based on that which is already achieved, Christ’s death and resurrection. That is how Paul defines himself, safe in the hands of God.

Now Paul is free to set new goals, and strive for them in the security that his identity is safe, even if he fails. He can go for them in freedom to stretch out for them, not in the fear of missing them. Succeed or fail, his identity is not riding on it.

Perhaps John Terry could do the same.