Setting goals and reaching them

Setting goals & reaching them

Dear readers I am proud to share with you the fact that together with my daughter Lentle and son Yannick we finished the famous Dodentocht of 100 km of  Bornem within 21.30h.

Last year when we finished we decided to participate again. We implemented some lessons such as: much better physical preparation, better shoes, socks, foot soles, rest times at the different posts, better food.  Tip: preparation is and stays 90% of final success in whatever activity, so be prepared!

The weeks before I had a severe nail infection so the doctor had to cut away a part of my thick toenail. It was a very nasty experience, believe me, but it had to be done otherwise participation was out of order.

So there were we together with 13952 participants from all ages, you could feel the energy from each one of them (the sky was full of hormones circulation in their bloodstreams). They all had their proper reasons to come here; some to experience what it is, others that were inspired by colleagues. I think that more than 95% has a clear reason for coming to Bornem. Tip: meaning each one had a desire to reach for something special, they all transformed this desire into a clear goal; this is the hallmark of goal getters!

We started and it took so time to walkover the starting point. Time was running now, as you know we only have 24 hours. This puts a pressure so you need to take a quick start because after 50 km you are getting tired you get pain and your speed will lower. Tip: time management is essential when you want to reach your goal and certainly in this event.

After 30 km I got my first dip again, I became nauseous. It felt horrible; I knew this feeling of last year. My kids told me to wait for 10 minutes and to walk on only when I felt ok. It was my first barrier to pass. I decided to walk further, even when feeling bad. It was my mind over what my body was telling me. I was happy when it went away. Tip: to reach goals you will confronted with barriers, please do not walk away from them, these are only learning points for the rest of your life.

The person that really suffered the from the start was Lentle, she had shoulder pain from the start due to bad seating in several consecutive flights this mixed with a jetlag. She just stated it and went going on, no complaining, no excuses just walking on. I admire this strong attitude. My son gave her some medication and this stilled the pain in some way. Tip: to reach goals you need to take up responsibility, you need to be accountable even when things are not going your way, do not seek for excuses, please do not complain it will not help you it will make things worse.


At 50 km I met my second nauseous barrier again, but this time much more acute. The idea that passed my mind was “I want to stop, what am I doing here”. If at this point my daughter and son would not have motivated me, there was probability I would have left the race. Tip: we all need external motivation to reach for ambitious goals. This combined with strong intrinsic motivation is crucial for success. Thank you Lentle & Yannick.

What also helped us tremendously was the energy we got from all the people from Bornem. If you hear people saying “You can do it, go for it, respect, make it happen”. Strangers you do not know, I can tell you that it boosted my motivation strongly. I hereby express my deepest gratitude for all people standing out there, even during the night to encourage us. Tip:  we all need these words of encouragement. I also understand that for them too it is a big event.

The weather conditions were not so great; we had rain and this impacts our way of seeing things.

What helped us through this march were all the small messages we got from several friends and supporters. Each message gave us an additional reason to continue. Thank you all!.  I will do the same for you (we will practice the law of reciprocity that’s for sure).

At km 79 my wife Magda supplied us with drinks and good food for the last 20km. We were all so happy to see her at that point. If you get encouragement of your beloved ones it boosts morale again. This is what we needed at that point. Tip: this indicates clearly that you do not only need motivation at the start, but you need it all the way till the end to reach for ambitious goals, this combined with good support on other levels will help you to get the job done.

At km 80 my son got very nauseous too, he had to bear this till near the end. I saw him suffering a lot. Our speed dropped because when you feel that way it impacts your speed of activity. He told me “Whatever the time it takes, I will finish that’s why I am here for”. He too as my daughter has a strong will power to get things done. Tip: to reach for success we all need willpower, not complain power; complain power will lead you to the valley of excuses, to pity city or to the boulevard of the broken dreams. My advice stay away from these places they will not help you on the contrary.

We finished at 19.00h meaning that we walked for 21.30h from the start. The last km is magic, you feel the sense of achievement, and you feel proudness of achieving something very difficult.

We were carried by all people standing there and congratulating us for this achievement. Tip: in order to reach for challenging goals you need to leave the comfort zone, you have to leave the harbour of comfort and experience new things. Dear readers (till the end of this article) I encourage you all to go after your goals with focus and persistence; you will be amazed what you are able to reach for in your life. My advice "go for it" and "make it happen" what you want to happen. You are the designer of your own life and live it to the fullest.

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