A goal achieved is satisfying to the soul.

How much is 5,000 miles? It’s more than the distance from Pratt to Paris, France, whether by air or by sea. If you spread 5,000 miles out over the course of a year, it averages about 13.7 miles per day.

5,000 miles proved to be the magical number for my friend Dan McAnarney and me in 2012.  We recently passed the 5,000 mile mark for total miles bicycled this year and continue to add more as year winds down.

I reset my annual mileage goal to 5,000 sometime early this month, when I realized just how close I was to reaching this mark. Typically, I set a goal of riding 3,000 miles a year. I have logged my bicycling miles on bikejournal.com since 2006, and 2012 represents a personal record.

I believe that anytime we set a goal and achieve or exceed our objective we get a boost of confidence to carry on each day and perhaps even strive harder to reach other goals. A goal achieved is definitely satisfying to the soul.

Likewise, any goal that’s worthwhile is never easy to reach. In this case, the goal involved riding through a few rainstorms, several 100+ hot summer days, and too many bone-chilling winter jaunts. Wind or calm, it didn’t matter. The total incorporated many hills, especially in North Dakota and the Gypsum Hills. It consisted of several century, or 100 mile, rides. However, most of the mileage was ridden within 25 miles of Pratt and quite a few miles were traveled right here in town, commuting to work, pedaling between appointments, taking in recyclables, or just running errands.

The key to achieving any goal is keeping focused upon where you want to go. For this particular goal, that was sometimes in a circle, arriving back at the beginning point. The next step in achieving a goal is easy yet often difficult: to keep plugging away and not give up.

There will always be others who will accomplish their goals quicker or who are better, stronger, faster, etc. That doesn’t matter in the end though. All that matters for each of us is that we set a worthwhile goal and do all we can to complete it. My New Year’s wish for anyone who might be reading this is, whatever you aim for in 2013, may you have the determination and perseverance to follow through to the end.