Goals + Positive Feelings = Success

Inspiration can come from anywhere, you just have to be present enough to see it. I found some goal setting inspiration from one of my favorites, Jakob Elliott.

This video is Jakob competing in the National Youth Bouldering Competition, North Vancouver, February 2017. His goal – make the National Youth Team.

Watch his last climb of the comp that determined his outcome. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-WoDISQwHU

Did you watch it?

You can see by his disappointment that he knew he had lost his chance.

But here’s the thing. Jakob was actually successful. But he didn’t make top three to join the team.

You see, Jakob and his friends came to Squamish, BC in the summer of 2015 for their first climbing trip. He was just embarking on his journey as a serious climber.


He got hooked on the sport at an Ontario climbing gym and hasn’t looked back since.


When Jakob showed up two years later in the top three, people didn’t really know who he was. In that short of time, he went from a scrawny teen with a dream, to a competitor.


Even after his first competition and scoring super poorly, he loved it from the beginning. He said everyone was so chill, giving each other tips and cheering for one another.


He felt like he had connected with a community and based on Jakob’s overall performance, he belongs within the bouldering community.

And yes, I may be biased because I have known his family for almost 25 years, but what I didn’t show you were all of the other climbs where he was totally in-flow and problem solved his way to the top.

When you look at this story through the lense of a feelings, strengths based approach to goal setting, it’s a success story. Whether Jakob knew it or not – he was seeking out those feelings through bouldering: adventurous, dedicated, strong, supported, connection, belonging.

I asked him how he felt after competing yet not making the team. Jakob said he still felt accomplished and strong in his climbs, and if he was disappointed he didn’t show it.

With all of those positive feelings, how can anyone say he was not victorious in his endeavours?

His demeanour was happy the entire competition. He cheered for other competitors. They cheered for him. He felt their victories and their loses.  And they felt his. Whether he was winning or losing, he still felt adventurous, dedicated, strong, supported, connected and like he belonged, all leading to a sense of accomplishment.

By flipping that switch to goal setting and chasing those feelings, Jakob has since driven across Canada to compete in Edmonton and embarked on a climbing trip in the United States with his best friend. Jakob understands that there is more to life than just winning, it’s about feeling good in everything you do. By that definition, he IS winning and therefore successful.  Pretty impressive for a 17 year old.

Consciously Jakob may not have used a feelings based approach to goal setting, but as you can see, he is a shining example of what life can bring if you focus on how you want to feel when going after your heart’s desires.

I couldn’t be any more proud of Jakob than I am today, and I hope that he keeps following those good vibes and chasing his dreams. It truly is an inspiration.

Interested in learning a feelings based approach to goal setting? Join me at one of my upcoming workshops! (Jakob won’t be there – he’s already dialed in 😉

Find out the details here. www.annmariemckenzie.com/events/

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