March 22, 2024
Dean Blair
Financial Planning and Investment
All Blogs

What's your Whaka? A nudge to hit your goals this year


As this goes to air, we are three days away from being a quarter of the way through the year. In just over a week, we will roll our clocks back an hour and prepare for those darker evenings. This year is in full swing already.

As I reflect on the last three months, it got me thinking about what I wanted to achieve this year, both professionally and personally. I’m not big on “New Year's Resolutions,” but I do like to set goals and achieve them. So lately, I have been working on what I would like to accomplish in 2024.

A Clear Goal

In 2023, I had one clear goal. At the prime age of 57, I wanted to complete the Whaka 100, which some consider the toughest, most satisfying one-day MTB marathon you’ll ever do. It combines endless single-track, relentless climbs, and descents, with 100km and 3000 vertical meters of climbing.

On the Whaka

Having Something to Aim For

The Whaka 100 was a core focus for me in 2023, and at times, a distraction. To accomplish this goal, I knew I needed extra to achieve it. Previously, it was just train, put in the km’s, and ‘she'll be right’. But not for this event, not for this goal.

I broke the year down, put in a weekly training program, recovery days, and took advice on hydration and how to fuel. I was fortunate to have a close friend who competes as an elite athlete. Her knowledge of nutrition, recovery, hydration, and fuel was invaluable. I had competed in many mountain bike and open water swimming events, but I had never considered all the other factors, and it was those factors that make a break an endurance event.

Without this planning in place, there was a risk I’d blow it, and it meant too much to me for that.

A Bit About Planning

As a financial adviser and planner, the type of clients I work with have typically done well to get to where they are, but as they move through their 50’s and beyond, they start to question if they have done enough. The years feel like they disappear faster. Have the right decisions been made, and how do they know they are making the right ones for the future? This is usually the point when they would engage my services.

Much like an athlete, natural talent and skill can get you so far, however it’s the extra 20, 30, 40% that makes the real difference to the outcome and whether or not the ultimate goal is achieved.

By having a training or game plan and a coach to hold us accountable, we can get to optimal performance. In my experience, this applies in most situations where the stakes are high.

In my financial planning work, I work as the coach. I help clients (Aka. My money athletes) be 30, 40, or even 50% better. We map out a plan, measure the progress, adjust where needed, and they can sit back, sleep soundly, knowing they are where they want to be or on the right path. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.

My Whaka

Back to my own Whaka. Over the 10 months leading into the event, my training rides went from 20km to 30km, to 40km, and built up to 75km each Saturday. Over that time, I rode (on the trails) 2,622km and ascended 64,000 accumulative vertical meters. I completed the Whaka in 9 hours.

Crossing the finish line was euphoric.

All the planning, training and preparation had paid off. I consumed 6 litres of water, and according to my Garmin watch, I sweat out 6 litres of moisture. The average temperature on the day was 25 degrees, with a high of 32 degrees. At the 80km mark, you have the longest, highest climb. As you ride through the inflatable arch warning you of what is to come, it becomes a matter of my mind and body working together and trusting in the plan I had worked hard to put in place.

Trusting the plan

Looking Ahead to 2024

As I look towards the rest of 2024, I’m taking a moment to reassess my goals, celebrate the progress I’ve made, and identify areas where I need to refocus my efforts and I would encourage you to do the same. Whether it's a physical challenge like the Whaka 100, a professional milestone, or a personal growth objective, the principles you've shared apply universally. What did you set out to achieve this year? How is your 2024 shaping up, and are you on track for the things you set out to achieve? Maybe it's time to sit down, share your dreams and aspirations, and work together to put a plan in place and cross the 2024 finish line euphoric.


Hi everyone! My name is Dean, and I am Financial Adviser and coach. I work with people to help them to achieve their financial goals and assist them to make smarter financial decisions. Drop me a line for a chat and to work through your goals. I work with you to become financially fit and together we create a game plan for your financial future. D.

Disclaimer: Dean Blair (FSP87402) is a Financial Adviser with Velocity Financial (FSP95466). No investment decision should be taken based on the information in this blog alone. Please see Dean’s disclosure statement on our website.

Always get professional advice

The information shared in this post is meant to be general guide to support you on your journey. When making important decisions about your finances, we encourage you to seek independent financial advice first, tailored to your unique situation.  As well as talking with a financial adviser, make sure you talk to your lawyer and accountant too – together they'll help you find the best solution for your specific situation. Our knowledgeable financial advisers are here to help. Check out our website for the details about our financial advisory services in our disclosures

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