If you don’t have a Sustainability target…
I need targets in my life. I may be a mediocre cyclist who has no ambitions for any kind of glory, but every year I set myself a challenging target event/route. This year it was the Sandstone Way – a mainly off road route from Berwick-upon-Tweed to Hexham. The route planners recommend that all but the fittest cyclists should aim for 3 days, so I decided to do it in 2. And I did it – see above!
Knowing that I would really suffer if I wasn’t prepared for my target pushed me out in all conditions to ride the toughest tracks around, getting wet, cold and muddy. Otherwise I’d just toodle to a café for some cake once a week at best. I rely on cycling to keep me physically and mentally fit, so it is important to keep getting out on a regular basis.
In last week’s rant, I mentioned a Sustainability-related ‘strategy’ that had no meaningful targets. Of course, this is a contradiction in terms – a plan to “do better” at anything is a tactic, not a strategy, and a weak tactic at that. I know lots of people whose personal goal is to “exercise more” or “lose weight” and they inevitably fail.
If you don’t have a target, how do you know the scale of the change required? How do you know whether progress is good or bad? How do you know that an apparent improvement isn’t leading you up a deadend? How do you rally others to the cause if you can’t define that cause?
Sustainability won’t happen by chance. It is all about strategy and strategy means stretch targets. No target, no strategy, no chance.