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Dream big, you crazy Emu farmer

I was supposed to be running 100 miles for the first time tomorrow.

After making my ultra running debut last year with a 50km race in the New Forest and then a 50 mile jaunt along the North Downs Way, I had set my sights on the South Downs Way 100 as my big scary goal for 2015. Becoming a ‘centurion’ is what defines real ultra runners. It separates the men from the boys.

Except this boy was jogging along the pavement in the village last November, skipped around a sinister looking puddle and ruptured a ligament in his ankle. Running hasn’t quite been the same ever since.

After a few months of enforced rest, I hobbled around a trail marathon in January, which firmly put me out of contention for another month or two. This caused me to defer my place in the London Marathon in April and withdraw my entry from the South Downs Way 100 shortly after that.

As several of my ultra distance running pals toe the start line in Winchester tomorrow morning, I’ll be mournfully watching their progress on Twitter instead.

On the plus side, I won’t be dealing with the crippling pain, upset stomach and hallucinations which inevitably come from running 100 miles in anything up to 30 hours. As comforting as that thought is, I would still rather be up there on the South Downs with them all, experiencing the extreme highs and lows only ultra running (and possibly certain Class A substances) can deliver.

Life has a habit of getting in the way. Goals change. Woody Allen once said, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.”

As Financial Planners, making plans is what we do. Increasingly these plans are about establishing goals in life and then making sure the money side of things can back them up.

Want to spend a year trekking in the Amazon? Get a Financial Plan. Always dreamed of opening an Emu farm in the deepest depths of the Australian outback? You’ll need this Financial Plan. Want to try out for the US Navy Seals in time for your 70th birthday? Financial Plan me up!

Without making the plans designed to make God laugh, Financial Planning has little real purpose. Sure, we can still build Financial Plans for the clients who dream of never running out of Rich Tea biscuits in later life. But where’s the job satisfaction in that?!

As I reconsider my own big personal goals (I probably can’t run 100 miles on this ankle, but I might be able to paddle 125 miles in my kayak over the course of four days in the toughest canoe race in the world) it’s a good time to think about how we facilitate goal setting for our clients. Not just the tea and biscuit affordability type goals, but the truly epic shizzle. How do you help clients paint a vivid picture of those dreams?

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