What To Do When You’ve Reached The End Of Your 20 Mile March?

The 20 mile march is all about taking consistent action so we can reach a specific goal. For Roald Amundsen it was trudging 20 miles every day until he and his team reached the South Pole. For you it may be completing your book manuscript. Helping your team reach record sales. Or getting into shape.

Image By Darcy McCarty

Image By Darcy McCarty

But what happens once you reach the finish line of your 20 mile march? What happens then?

It’s a great question to ask yourself. You need to have an idea of what you’ll do after accomplishing your current goal.

I have a few suggestions on what to do after completing the journey of the 20 mile march:

Take A Break: It takes a lot of work to go 20 miles every day. Day after day. You’ve exerted a lot of effort to get to the end. There needs to be a time of rest.

Make sure you’re at the end and you’ve done what you set out. Then take a break. Rest and recuperate from the journey. You’ll need it for what’s ahead.

Plot A New Course: You’ve finished your strenuous journey. Congratulations! You did quite the job. You’ve also taken the time to relax and recuperate from the struggles you’ve faced. You’re ready to go again.

You’re now faced with plotting a new course of action and a new mountain to conquer. Sit down with your team and decide where you’re headed next. Think about the next major project and how you’ll take on the challenge. Realize this new journey will require 20 mile marches every day. Plot the course so you know what you’ll be facing.

Get Back To The March: You’re now ready to get back to marching. You’ve rested. You’ve plotted out the next action steps and know the course you’ll take. Begin marching again.

Take the daily steps necessary to reach your new goal on time. You’ll have to be consistent. You’ll have to be resilient. You’ll have to know where you’re going. But you’re ready for that.

Head out on the new journey and tackle the next 20 mile march challenge.

The 20 mile march principle is a great method to follow as a leader. It sets you up for success as you’re being consistent and going forward towards the goal. You also know what is required to reach the destination.

And the great thing is the 20 mile march works time after time. I’ve shown you how you can implement it again once you’ve tackled the task. You can do it. You just need to get back out there!

Question: What do you do when you reach the end of a journey? Do you rest, evaluate, and then get back to the march or is your path different? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • DS

    Joe this reminds me of a conversation I heard on a Success magazine cd. It was related to focus time and how actors worked. The main point was that they have periods of super focus time, and they have periods of rest. We run the risk of becoming marathon runners who can never really go all out. I’m still trying to learn and implement celebrating victories (big & small), as well as resting.

    • Sounds like great audio from the Success CD. Keep on working out the kinks in implementing the rest times David. You’ll be thankful you did.

  • One of my favorite books – great post.

    • It is a great book Michael. I’m thinking it’s time for a re-read.

  • Carol Peterson

    Hmmm…interesting question.

    I’m so left brained that when it comes to writing at least, I’ve got such a detailed written plan that although it may consist of 20-mile marches, there are a whole lot of them moving out in all directions–different book and article projects; submissions, marketing, promotion, platform building. So I supposed I’d answer “get back to the march” whether the march heads the same direction or skips happily from one mountain top to another.

    • Interesting answer Carol! I can see that being a choice when there’s so much going on.

  • Good to stop and think about this – my natural response is pausing long enough to put a checkmark in the box, then on to the next thing.
    As a leader, it is important to remember that not everyone fuctions the same way, and others may need rest. Sometimes leaders can chase their vision so far, only to turn around and realize that they left everyone elase behind. And if there is no one following you, who are you really leading?

    • That’s one of the difficulties of leading. And one of the major frustrations. So many leaders are at full speed while their tribe is going at a different pace. Be mindful of their pace Jonathan and you can lead well!

  • Joe,

    Today I graduate with my BS-Information Systems Technology (Information Systems Security). I was able to achieve this goal in 2.5 years. I sometimes doubled up classes while working full time, deployed to a foreign country, and while working on the personnel staff of a very busy senior leader.

    I have promised myself a break from school (starting my masters) until September; although I am preparing for the CISSP exam in September.

  • I tend to set a new goal when I start getting close to the finish line of the current one – otherwise I get bored. I’m currently on a long term plan to focus on career coaching full time – it feels really far away (and it probably is) but every day I ask myself if I am getting closer or further away.

    • Tom, that’s a great way to make sure you’re moving forward towards new and exciting goals. I hope you do well as you move towards the goal of full-time career coaching. That’s exciting!

  • Practical and encouraging. Thanks Joe.

    Also, I was really motivated by the linked post on getting fit. Thanks for sharing your story. I noticed that post was about a year old. How’s the 20 mile fitness march going for you in 2013?

    • So glad you enjoyed this post and was motivated by the fitness post Sean. I think it’s something everyone needs to keep in mind.

      The journey is still happening. I reached a low weight of approximately 180 but have put back on a few pounds. That allowed me to fill out a bit more and actually look healthier. I’m still running but I’ve slacked on doing strength training. Your comment has encouraged me to get back on the horse and do more work in that area.

  • These are really some great and inspirational thoughts but what i would feel at the end of 20 mile march is a sense of joy and accomplishment which is a feeling that no other feeling can counter.

    • I’m sure you’re right. It’s like any journey, there’s a reward at the end.

  • What a great post Joe! I’ve never thought about what we should do after a 20 Mile March. I think it’s important to reflect and think about the journey we have taken. This can allow us to see what worked and what did not. Rest is a must if we expect to do something else great!

  • I’ve run 3 marathons (and several half marathons) which I imagine to be somewhat like a 20 Mile March. After each of these events, I’ve had to rest and recover. The challenge I have faced is to get back on the horse and keep running afterwards. Setting the next goal whether it be running or something else is so important so we don’t fall into the trap of complacency.

    • It always amazes me how many marathons you’ve run Jon. They take quite an effort to build up the stamina to run.