Steve - runningMy chest is burning and I am trying to keep control of my breathing, whilst at the same time trying to maintain my running form as I continue to run at 95% capacity (I am saving the extra 5% for the sprint to the finish line).  I am at the point of my running challenge where Melville Barracks is on my left and I am fast approaching a tight turn to my right as I start to run up an incline.  I am at the three quarters stage (distance) of the Army’s Basic Fitness Test (BFT) around Abbey Fields in Colchester, England.   I am feeling the same emotions and mental tortures as a 60 year old as I did 20 years ago when I did it for a living.  Admittedly, I weigh a little more, my stride has shortened and I have less hair (is that a good thing?) but my 10 Times Goal is to get under the Army’s 28 year old age assessment – something I have been planning to do for some time.

 “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream” CS Lewis

What is a 10 Times Goal? It was never going to be enough to do a 2 x time’s goal of achieving the Army’s time for a 40 year old.  I didn’t know what that was when I was in the Army and I didn’t intend finding out what it is now.  I wanted a bigger challenge.  A 10 times goal is so much bigger than you would normally set for yourself.  So set a target then multiply it 10 times.  Make it awesome because that is what you are.

How to go about setting up your 10 times Goal using the GROW model

  • Goal – be specific about what that goal is and why you want to do it – it’s going to be big so it is important you believe in it
  • Realistic – I was a club runner for Colchester Harriers. Up until I was 40 I could get under the BFT time with 3 minutes to spare.  I knew  it would be realistic that I could still get under the time, even if it was only by a few seconds, if I prepared and then gave it 100%
  • Options – Leading up to my test I looked at all the options to get me up to racing speed from Hill Sessions, Long Slow Distance and speed sessions
  • Will or Way Ahead (or both) – I have my objective now I had to make a plan

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If you don’t write down your goals for life then they are just wishes.  Make them commitments.

What you will need to set your king size goal:

  • Vision – know where you want to get to. Write down your Vision Mantra – no more than 4 words
  • Passion – You need to fall in love with your goal
  • Discipline – You need to be organised – You need to be focused
  • Commitment – tell people what you are going to do (then there is no going back) – do that and you are committed
  • Determination – Recognise that there will be obstacles in your way. No obstacles?  then this is not going to be a 10 Times Goal.  Know that you will face down those obstacles on your path to successfully achieving your goal.


Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. 

Benefits of having 10 times Goal(s):

  • They force you to move out of your comfort zone
  • They open new opportunities for you
  • When you have met your goal it gives you confidence
  • It motivates you to set new king sized goals
  • You progress and develop as a human being

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“When the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals adjust the action steps” Confucius

I tend to set my 10 Times Goals at the beginning of the year and already I am starting to think what they will look like for me personally and professionally at


“Setting a goal is not the main thing.  It is deciding how you will go about achieving it & staying with the plan”

Tom Landry



I turn the final corner on the route and then on for a long stretch to the finish line.  I was going into oxygen debt which was a feeling I was expecting to experience at this stage (I was now running on memory) – as it got more painful the faster I was determined to run.  With my head down I soon reached the end of the test with 20 seconds to spare.

Background.  The BFT was just one of many tests soldiers complete each year.  The age group timings start with an assessment for 16 – 28years olds.   I wanted to prove to myself that I could still cut it at 60.  Is this a good enough reason for a 10 times goal?


So what will be your 10 times goals?