No one I know wakes in the morning and decides to walk 100 kilometres on a whim. That’s no small undertaking.

Yet hundreds of people will walk that distance in a day – I’m thinking of the Oxfam Trailwalker fundraiser next month in Taupo, where hundreds of teams will walk 100km in under 36 hours. One of our researchers here has been preparing for weeks with her team to take it on.

Organised runs, whether they’re 5km or 50km, push many of us further than we would have ever accomplished on our own. We could all use a similar boost for our money goals, too.

More than just a sprint, financially speaking we’re all running a marathon. Goals for the short and medium terms are fine, but we’ve got to play the long game, too.

These days, as traditional pension schemes fade out, we’re being left with more responsibility for our own retirement than ever before. We’re also living longer, so funds need to last. NZ Super should generally keep us out of poverty, but for many there will be a gap to fill.

There’s no one right answer for everyone; it’s time to think about what we might achieve and then stretch it.

People are downright amazing. Take Malcolm Law, who has been aiming to tackle 50 days of 50 peaks to fund-raise for the Mental Health Foundation.

“I don’t think I’ll ever be 100% confident that I can do this thing; it’s so huge, it’s so beyond anything I’ve attempted before,” Law said. “What I do know is that I’ll give it absolutely everything I’ve got, and it won’t be for want of trying if I don’t succeed in doing all 50 days.”

There’s really no downside to aiming a bit higher.

Hundreds of runners are joining Law for different legs of the journey. And for the Oxfam event, they plan on having close to 300 support volunteers on hand in Taupo. We all need support as we shoot for high targets.

Stretch your goals further – you’ll be amazed at how much you can achieve in the long run.

 

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