The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Local Business

May 2, 2014

'Big Joe' Clark: Think big but don’t miss the little mile markers when setting goals

Beginning with the end in mind is the recipe for getting the result we want. Often, goals are set without a clear focus on the desired result. We don’t save our hard-earned dollars for a specific amount, but rather for a lifestyle called retirement.

Proper planning requires our attention be aimed not on the goal but on the result. I believe that with every ounce of my soul. But there are exceptions. They come in the form of strategic byproducts.

This is a big month for those of us in Indiana. Not only is it Mother’s Day, but it also brings about the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing." I can only imagine what the Indy 500 drivers and teams are doing to prepare for the final lap and the chase for victory.

There is another race that takes place in Indiana this month. Thousands of runners will gather in Indianapolis to run or walk the famous mini-marathon. I have never run the mini, nor do I plan to, but I do like to hike mountains. I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro a couple of years ago.

For runners, especially first-timers, training for the grueling 13-mile run begins months in advance. Their determined focus is on crossing the finish line and some even have a finish time in mind. I did the same thing as I prepared for the journey to Tanzania to climb the world’s highest freestanding mountain. My focus was on the end of the journey and reaching the top. What I did not expect were the wonderful things I learned and experienced as I prepared. The same is true for new runners in the mini — and for individuals saving for retirement.

There are beautiful peaks and parks throughout our country that most of us would never think to climb or run until we begin thinking about the sweet taste of victory. When we start out, some of us may have an initial focus of finishing the race, making it to the mountain’s summit, or simply accomplishing the task at hand. While achieving the goal and making it to the top is great, in hindsight we realize we were part of greater things along the way. Those are the strategic byproducts of the journey.

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