I don’t know about you but I’ve been steadily working toward my goals this year. With a series of fiction books published to Amazon, and an upcoming nonfiction book, I feel I’m well on my way to achieving my long-term goals.
What is most important in your life? What do you want to accomplish most? The ideas are endless, really.
Don’t know yet? How about setting aside a day or weekend to think about it. After all, goals are more attainable when you know what you want and have an idea about how to get there.
I like to do things in a colorful, creative way, so I have a notebook with goals and such in it. (See photograph.) You can follow suit, or keep it simple. Whatever makes you happy. Feel free to decorate the first page any way you wish. Draw and color it, scrap it, whatever makes you happy.
Title the next page Goals in 20 Years, or something like that. Then list the things you want to be seeing in your life at that time. For me, those goals look something like this:
- Have debts paid off.
- Have enough in savings to last two years.
- Have a retirement account.
- Have unlimited time to spend with my daughters and grandchildren.
- Be creating.
- Have my small home, and be homesteading.
- Be helping others in a big way.
I have some lofty goals. There are more, but you get the idea.
Once you know what you ultimately want, you can break things down. Think about the things that will need to be done in order to meet those goals. On the next page write a title such as Goals in 10 Years. At this point, you should be about half way to your ultimate 20 year goals. Mine look a little like this:
- Have debts at least half paid, if not more. Pay off any that are low enough to handle all at once. Then reassess anything that is left and try to make payments in bigger chunks.
- My savings will be enough to live off for at least one year.
- My retirement account will be double that of five years ago.
- At this point, if my children still live away, I’ll be spending at least two weeks a year with them at their places. If not, now is the time to up our visits.
- I’ll be getting creative whenever possible, hopefully as a full-time career. If not, then what can I do now to push me to that point?
- I’ll have my land, and be working toward getting my small home built. I may already have started the homesteading process by this point as well.
- I’ll be helping to fund research for Lupus, Osteoporosis, Abdominal Epilepsy, and Breast Cancer. Not to just anywhere. I’ll have searched out places that will actually use all or most of my money for research, rather than administrative costs. At this point, I want to be working toward helping the hungry in our own country.
As you can see, I want to be well along my way to my 20 year goals by now. I’m really hoping to have all debt paid off, but am not setting myself up for disappointment in case I can’t reach that goal by the ten-year mark. That kind of blow would not help me in reaching the rest of my goals. Medical related debt can seem crippling.
The next page can be titled Goals in 5 years, and the goals that are listed here will be the ones we notice first. They are stepping-stones to the 10 year goals. Here are some of mine:
- Have at least 20 stories published.
- Have at least 15 nonfiction books published.
- Have a slew of podcasts published.
- Have videos published, especially for the food blog.
- My savings will be enough to live off for six months.
- Start a retirement account, if I haven’t done so already.
- Have at least 1/4th of my debts paid off.
- Be sure I’m spending at last 10 days per year with each of my daughters at their places, if they are still living away.
- Have at least half the money for my land.
- Choose one charity to donate to for research, where most if not all the money will go toward that research and not administrative costs. Lupus, Osteoporosis, Abdominal Epilepsy, or Breast Cancer.
By the 5 year mark, I expect to be on my way to financial freedom. I know it’ll be a lot of work, and I’m willing to put in the effort. This is where the happiness factor comes in. From following our dreams. From realizing them.
How about you? Are your long-term goals worth working toward? Feel free to go further with this activity? Where will you be in three years? Two? How about in 30 years? Now is the time to start working on our goals, if we aren’t there already. Please comment on this post, or email me personally at email@example.com. I always answer, and I love hearing from readers.
Shannon L. Buck
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