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Now what? Life after achieving your goal

I stood on top of the most glorious hill of perseverance, knowing I conquered my journey through hell and back for the thousandth time.

The laughter stopped, 114 pounds were gone, and my legs no longer worked at the end of the 42.2 kilometres I swore I’d complete to prove to the world I wasn’t a living joke.

Despite the change of my 320-pound self to my current state, I was still afraid. The pride, joy and astonishment of reaching a goal is a feeling no one can explain because only you truly feel it. What scared me was the question at the end of any torturous journey ending in accomplishment: What now?

2 a.m., 18K stress relievers were now a thing of the past. No more obsession over the marathon — it was over. No more bursting in the door and passing out, or timidly staring down the calendar. The goal was reached, and though I will never forget it, I can’t live the rest of my life with a single accomplishment.

So what’s next? As mentioned before in this column, the journey is more important than the destination. I didn’t lose 114 pounds solely to run a marathon; I lost the weight by becoming someone who wouldn’t give up, and knowing I truly deserved to be something I was going to pursue. The marathon was simply my reward. It’s amazing to set a goal and reach it, but it’s much better to become someone who attracts success than someone who seeks it once.

There’s a secret to losing weight. It’s not excessive running, dieting, or even the idea of not giving up when times are hard (though all are extremely important). The secret is the attitude. I run, diet and refuse to give up because I chose to. I chose not to quit, I chose to constantly be my best and I chose to be someone who chases goals because deep down I know I deserve them, and I refuse to allow anyone to convince me otherwise. Never let anyone make you feel like you don’t deserve what you truly wish to pursue. No one has the right to tell you what you can’t achieve. Life is your journey, and yours alone.

I don’t look like The Rock right now, I can’t beat Usain Bolt in a foot race, and I never win foot races with anyone. It’s not my goal to look like The Rock. It’s my goal to be an amazing person, and improve from my once overweight, depressed and negative self. I’m not going to give up and neither should you. Some goals are meant to be reached and some aren’t, but both have important lessons.

What’s next? If you really have the courage to pursue something, it’s already on its way. The next step is always to pursue what makes you happy, because at that point, you know what it takes.

“Success is not to be pursued; it is to be attracted by the person you become” – Jim Roth

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