What Do You Want to Accomplish With Your Life?

Feb
01
2013

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It’s incredibly important to take a little time and reflect on what you truly want to accomplish in life. We all have busy lives, and much of our free time is spent in front of the TV or on the internet if we are not careful.  If you have not done so recently, I highly recommend you start with this crucial question:

Thirty years from now, what do you want to have accomplished in your life?

Sit down and ask this question to yourself now. This reflection does not need to take long, and it could be a huge game changer for you.

You probably already have a good idea of what your goals are, but you may not have them written down. Before I started walking around everywhere with a notebook, my goals would flash through my mind all day long, then disappear.  Life would simply get in the way; our “busy work” chips away at the bigger things we want to accomplish.  So sit down and reflect.  Maybe you just need to update your goals, or maybe you need to honestly revisit your life plan. You absolutely do not want to find yourself at the end of your life having done nothing but busy work in your day job.  Now is the time!

Once you are sitting down, here are your next steps:

1. Think about what you’d like people to say about you at your funeral. Steven Covey wrote about this in his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” — the habit called “Begin with the end in mind.”  Educational leaders call this “Understanding By Design”.  Imagine you are at the end of your life, looking back. What would you like to have accomplished? What kind of person would you like to have been?  What are the tangible and intangible legacies you want to leave on this Earth?

Ask yourself: Are you doing this with your life right now?

2. Now jot down some ideas for life goals you’d like to achieve before you die.  What do you want to accomplish professionally? Do you want to start a non-profit?  How about your own business?  Do you want to build your own home?   Where in the world do you want to travel?  What is your “bucket list”? There is more to think about than this, and of course you don’t need to have goals in all of these areas. This type of ‘mind mapping’ will definitely get you started, though.  Don’t write with any rules or formatting; just empty your brain onto paper.  One subject will lead to two others, and on and on.  Trust me, once you start writing it will all flow out.  You may be surprised (and even excited) about what you see in front of you.  Seeing it on paper is very different than daydreaming in the car once in awhile.

3. Expand or Refine your list. After your initial mind map, you may want to trim it down or even expand it.  Remember, this is a time to “get it all out”.  Perhaps you want to start a business, but in order to do that you must create professional connections with people that have always been on your “to call” list.  You also may want to divide the goals up at this point.  If you have 3-4 of them, I recommend you expand them into detail to the best of your ability.  If you have a ton of goals, make sure you create separate columns for each one and begin to flesh them out.  Keep writing your ideas down!

4. Break it down. Now take each one of your goals and, one at a time, begin to break them down in chunks.  What should you accomplish in the next 10 years for each of these goals? How about 5 years? How about two years? One year? This month? Once you’ve planned out each goal for 10-year, 5-year, 2-year, 1-year and 1-month periods, you’ve probably written a bunch.  What you have in front of you now will look like a pretty do-able plan.  I remember a few years ago I decided in 10 years I wanted to start my own school.  At the time I was a teacher.  After going through these steps, it became very clear to me that I needed to immediately sign up to take college credits in administration.  It was a small step, but one year later I had the degree, and four years later I was a school district leader; well on my way to learning how to open my own school!  The small steps add up very quickly.

5. Just do it. Take your monthly goals and make a to-do list for the coming week. What is one actionable step you can take today to further your goals?  Make sure you make time for that step.  Imagine taking 365 of these small steps over the course of the next year?  Your life could be forever changed, and it won’t have been an overwhelming life overhaul.

Take a step towards your dreams today by writing them down and making a plan.  It’s never too late!

 

Here are some other great posts from around the “sphere” this week:

The Truth About Simplicity on Be More With Less

So the World Didn’t End.  Now What? on Reach Financial Independence

Pension, Schmension!  Retire on Your Own Terms on Mr. Money Mustache

7 perks of being a full time employee with benefits on Young Adult Money

Why I chose the debt avalanche method to pay my debt on Work Save Live, guest post from Grayson at Debt Roundup

Reformed spenders adjust to life on a budget on Eyes on the Dollar

The Ultimate Secret to Discovering Your Passion on Brazen Careerist

Time to Establish Financial and Savings Goals on Broke-Ass Mommy

Ahh..First Paycheck Memories on Budgeting in the Fun Stuff

How to Pay Little or No Taxes for the Rest of Your Life on Financial Samurai

Blogging and Writing Full Time on Frugal Confessions

The side effects of staying in budget On Budget and the Beach

Is a penny saved a penny earned? On Edward Antrobus

Try adding a survey to your blog or website On Digital Personal Finance

Grocery Game challenge, will you target your budget On Canadian Budget Binder

Why I’m not killing our mortgage On Master the art of saving

Saving to rebuild out emergency fund on Plunged in Debt

Your savings plan for 2013 On Modest Money

Will you be my frugal Valentine? On One Smart Dollar

How much does it cost to have a baby? On Monster Piggy Bank

7 steps to debt busting on Money Principle

Being an effective public speaker on Outlier Model

A man’s credit: taking responsibility for your financial life On Frugal Rules guest post from John at Fearless Men.

Have a great weekend!

 

Comments

  1. Thanks for the mention Tony and I’ll go check out your post. Have a great weekend. Mr.CBB
    Canadian Budget Binder recently posted…Financial Advisors: 101~Get The Inside Scoop!My Profile

  2. Hi Tony,

    Thank you for including my post. Yesterday was my last day at my day job! I am taking a day off as it was mentally exhausting to go through the process of quitting my job.

    Have a great weekend!
    Amanda L Grossman recently posted…I Have Chosen to Chance the Rapids: Taking My Writing Full-TimeMy Profile

  3. Thanks a lot for the mention. Have a great weekend.
    Sean @ One Smart Dollar recently posted…What is a Currency War?My Profile

  4. Thanks so much for including my post! I hope you have a great weekend!!
    Catherine recently posted…Saving To Rebuild Our Emergency FundMy Profile

  5. Thanks for the mention. I’m pretty psyched about this weekend, because I’m finally moving into my new place.
    Edward Antrobus recently posted…Using Dedicated Income Streams for Debt PaymentsMy Profile

  6. Thank you so much for the blog mention! Hope you have a great weekend!
    Budget and the Beach recently posted…Link Love/Week in Review 2/1/13My Profile

  7. Thanks for including us, I’m heading over to check out your guest post now!
    Berian recently posted…Video conferencing on the riseMy Profile

  8. Thanks for the mention. I’ll go check out that post.
    Kim@Eyesonthedollar recently posted…6 Months of Blogging!My Profile

  9. Thanks for mentioning John’s post Tony! I’ll head on over to read your guest post. Have a great weekend!
    John S @ Frugal Rules recently posted…Frugal Friday: Blog Posts That Ruled This Week, How Can it Be February Edition?My Profile

  10. Tony – thank you for the mention!
    DPF recently posted…Thinking Like an Entrepreneur While Being An EmployeeMy Profile

  11. I want to return to Zimbabwe and not be persecuted!! One day it will happen!!

  12. Hi Tony, do you have a transcript of your guest post, or an updated link? I think the link you’ve posted to “change your life” may have changed as it’s not working for me?

    Thanks
    Perry
    Perry at FinancialFreedomUK recently posted…I’d better get to the point. How am I going to retire early?My Profile

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