Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Planning Ahead - How to make goals for your future - Pt 1.

Jack, I'm trying to get my life in order, but I'm not making any progress!
How do you get to your dreams?

I'm not very good at planning, but I am quite good at making (and reaching) goals.


Take a long look at that word - It's going to give you bulls-eyes on the wall to aim for. Without these targets, much of your efforts will simply not move you any closer to where you want to be (your 'dreams').

I personally imagine 5 main levels of goals:

Daily Goals.

These goals are very simply, easily attainable goals that you can accomplish in about a day.
Examples would be:
  • Cutting the lawn.
  • Browsing over your investments.
  • Rolling some coins to deposit in the bank.
  • Reading a self-help book.
  • Learn a basic part of a new skill.
  • Clean the house.
  • Write a few pages for a book

Short-Term Goals

These goals are a little more involved, as you have to start to apply some concerted effort to complete them. They should span about one week.

  • Get through the work-week.
  • Search for & research a new car.
  • Clean up a storage unit & dispose/donate old items.
  • Prepare for a large social gathering.
  • Research and Invest some money in an equity.

Medium-Term Goals

These goals are those that you will have to revisit quite a bit over a longer period of time to complete. These will generally take you approximately one to three months.

  • Search for / inspect a new home.
  • Earn a paycheque.
  • Write a few chapters for a book.
  • Pay off a small portion of debt.
  • Teach someone else one of your skills.

Long-Term Goals

These are goals that will need to have a large amount of additional effort put towards them for a long time in order to be fulfilled. This group is where you place any goals that you have a decent idea of the completion time, but will take over three months.

  • Paying off a house.
  • Paying off a large debt.
  • Living off passive income

Lifetime Goals

This is where goals that are not 'explicitly plan-able' go. That is, you are not able to make an decent, short-term estimate about how this is going to happen yet. When you do have the means to make a fairly accurate estimate of when this goal will be fulfilled, then move it into the 'long-term' goals.

  • Live off passive income.
  • Find a life-long partner & raise a family.
  • Travel or move someplace far away.
  • Purchase a large piece of property in the country.

But Jack, all of my goals will take over a year to complete!
I don't have any shorter term goals at all!

Make some.

By not having any easily attainable goals, you miss out on feeling the rush of accomplishment that comes with meeting and exceeding those goals!

Next day, I'll talk about some strategies for breaking down your larger goal into smaller goals that are more easily accomplished.


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