When I took on the challenge to run the Gipsy Moth IV round the world voyage the obvious place to start was Sir Francis Chichester’s book, Gipsy Moth Circles the World. Something that particularly struck me was that Chichester spent many years away from his family sailing on various challenges; he was very much an absent father. I remember propping up the bar at the Royal Yacht Squadron with his son, Giles Chichester, and I asked him why his dad did these things that took him away from the family for such long periods. His answer was simple, he did these things because ‘they intensified life’. I don’t pretend to understand Chichester’s way of thinking, but I do believe it is good to have challenging goals outside of work.

So I have set myself three personal goals, all yachting related, that I am going to be working towards over the coming year:

• I am a an offshore sailing examiner for the RYA and want to become an Ocean Examiner, that is someone who can examine people on their astronavigation and world meteorology. So my first goal is to become an Ocean by the end of February this year.

• My second goal is to qualify as an instructor trainer for the RYA. This would enable me to teach people how to teach people to sail and I hope to achieve this qualification by the end of June this year.

• Finally, I examine people on sailing yachts, I am not qualified on motor yachts. So I plan to build my experience and to become a power vessel examiner by the end of December 2020.

It’s good to share goals with people because most will be encouraging. Also, some of the places I will be going, and things I will be doing, will make more sense when people understand what my goals are. Goals are great for focus, motivation, and self fulfilment. They are often what enable ordinary people to achieve extraordinary things. And the clearer the goals are, the more likely they are to be achieved. Ultimately, as you hopefully know, a good goal needs to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bounded. (SMART). If you don’t have any goals at this time then why not grab an hour or so over a coffee and write some down!