My husband and I have a goal – to walk the whole of the Te Araroa in our lifetime. Check it out here. www.teararoa.org.nz. It’s a 3000km walk from the top to the bottom of NZ and joins together many existing walks. We could do it as “through walkers”- start at one end and keep going till we get to the other end- but we don’t have the time or dedication. So we’re what’s called “section walkers”; we do it in sections. We fit in pieces where and when we can: a longer tramp at New Years, several day walks through the years, etc. It’s a logistical challenge. The biggest problem is always getting transport to one end to walk to the other.
We aim to do between 100-150km per year. That makes it a 20-30 year plan. Sounds ridiculous I know, and it certainly did when we started in 2012. (We realised we’d done some of the walks already so why not keep going?) However, we’ve now done 762km. That’s over 25% so it seems more realistic.
And how do I know that? I keep a record of all the pieces we’ve done. It’s drawn on a map and a spreadsheet of course. After all, I’m an accountant.
When we started, I’d never done any real tramping. So we started with day walks through both cities and country areas. Then an overnight tramp up the Whanganui river. Then a multi day walk – all along 90 mile beach. And finally some multi day tramps in the South Island. We’re gaining confidence and experience each time.
We had a big adventure over Easter. We’d decided to go to Huntly and connect on from where we’d walked to previously in Ngaruawahia. The leg we’d planned to do Saturday was closed due to storm damage. No problem, I thought, we’ll just move further along and do another piece. So Saturday saw us walking along the stop bank from Rangiriri to Huntly. A bit damp and soggy- the river was right up the sides of the stop bank- but it was lovely. Sunday we got dropped off further up the line near Mercer, planning to walk back to Rangiriri. It started out the same, strolling along the stop bank. The problem was, several km in we ran out of stop bank. We could see the markers for our walk on trees, but those trees were out in the water. So many hours of wading through the water, scrambling along the banks, though gorse covered hill side, up and over paddocks, and climbing over electric fences followed. We decided to head to some houses on a hill top, reasoning that they’d connect to the road. We finally got there late in the afternoon, followed the road down to where it reconnected with the walk and found we’d only got half way! But at least we had a country road to follow for the remainder where we fell into the car and headed back to Huntly for a well earned drink- and we’d still managed to cover another 37km of our goal over the weekend!
I do the planning and work out the logistics, like how to get there. It’s a challenge, but a fun one, and if I didn’t then the goal would never happen. The first year we only achieved 45km we just didn’t “get around to” any more. We didn’t make it happen.
As the saying goes, “A goal without a plan is just a wish”. It would just be something that you say, “One day I’m going to….” It won’t happen unless you make it happen.
You need goals for your business as well. Whether you have an existing business or are starting out, creating business goals is essential. Without a clear-cut list of goals, it can be impossible to know how you are going to grow or expand your business. A business that doesn’t grow and change with the times will just end up fading away, as eventually customers get tired of stale, unchanging products or services that no longer suit their changing needs.
Some examples of business goals might be:
- Increasing Market Share
- Lowering costs
- Developing new products or services
- Increasing effectiveness of marketing
- Improving customer service
- Expanding into new locations or markets
Be stubborn about your goals and flexible about your methods. Sometimes you have to adapt your plans and actions to achieve your goal, just like we did at Easter.
For a goal to be more than a wish or a “One day I’m going to…” you need to:
- Set a goal
- Make a plan for how you’ll get there
- Break down that plan to manageable pieces
- Work out the logistics for each part
- Learn what you need to, practice, build skills
- Take action: do what you plan to do
- Adapt where you have to
- Keep a measure of what you’ve done
- Track how you’re going against your goal
We love to work with clients and their businesses. We’d love to help you achieve your business goals. We can help you articulate your goals and develop your plans to make them happen. Then hold you accountable along the way. Contact us if you want to know more about setting and achieving your goals.