The difference between a wish and a goal is a plan! About thirty-six (36) years ago, I created my plan to achieve financial independence. I set my goals to reach them in about nine (9) years and I beat it by two (2)! I was laser focused on my goals to the point of having daily tasks and monitoring them weekly/monthly. Life is complicated, but I tried to simplify it so I could achieve my goal.
My focus was completely on financial independence, but I also had career, family, physical, public service and pleasure goals. There were additional circumstances that made me think about my particular choice because there were no retirement savings accounts when I started. I did have a profit sharing plan through my employer, but I knew I was not going to be there forever. My goal was always to eventually start a business or do something for myself.
I think it all starts with goals and a plan! Too often, people think that is all they need to achieve their goals. Just setting a goal does not automatically mean you will achieve it. You still need to work at it and monitor your progress. I learned a long time ago that you have to break down your goals into daily tasks in order to achieve them. It reminds me of weight loss programs. A goal of losing twenty-five (25) pounds is not enough to make it happen.
You have to eat less and increase your activity! I know about this personally because I lost thirty-five (35) to forty (40) pounds thirty –five years ago and kept it off. How did I do it? I reduced what I ate by cutting out some of the really bad foods and replaced it with better choices. The number of calories was reduced and my activity level was increased. I weighed myself everyday to monitor my progress. I ate when I was hungry, but stuck with my plan. I lost the weight and learned a lot from the experience.
It all starts with goals and monitoring your progress. I would change my efforts based on the progress and the results prove it was worthwhile. I may attribute it to determination, discipline or whatever, it worked and I thought I would share some of my tricks. My current goals include career, family, financial, physical, public service, pleasure and business goals. I need to perform daily tasks, some direct and other indirect to achieve these goals.
I am near the end of my career, but there are still a few things I need to do to reach my goal of retirement in three or four years. I am looking for a permanent assignment. I perform my job as a Pool Teacher to the best of my ability to get references or Principals helping me find the permanent assignment. In addition, I am learning first hand which schools are better work places for me and making more connections for networking. In addition, I check job postings daily.
No matter how busy I am, I consider family as my number one priority. My wife is always supportive and a great sounding board for new ideas. My children are always important to me. They are successful adults, but they need emotional support or feedback at one time or another. It is also important to make time to see or call them. They routinely call us and I try to push everything aside to be a good listener. I think it is important to spend time with family because it is why I do everything else.
Although I already achieved financial independence, I still have additional financial goals. I am constantly monitoring my stock portfolio value and real estate investments. I know that I will eventually need to move to a single story residence, but the time frame is unknown. I am always thinking when will the best time to do it? One of my other financial goals is to replace my wife’s seventeen (17) year old car before I retire in three-four years. There are many financial goals or issues , I deal with on a daily basis because I monitor my expenses as I pay my bills.
As I stated, I lost some weight and kept it off for thirty-five years! I need to eat well and keep up my physical activity. I always exercise on the weekends and vacations, but it is much harder during the week. I try to walk with my wife after dinner for thirty minutes, but that is not always possible. One way to keep up my activity is to walk around the classroom. It satisfies two goals. I maintain my weight and classroom management by walking around the classroom. I helps my physical goals and my career goals.
Last summer, I started to volunteer at a nonprofit once a month. Part of my daily routine is looking for opportunities for donations to the nonprofit. It is not something I can do every day, but I am thinking about it. It is the best way to keep the goal actively in front of me. Last year, I was able to volunteer with another nonprofit at school. It made me realize that I wanted to contribute in a different capacity, but you have to try to learn how you like it.
I established pleasure goals this year because I tend to overlook things like time off. I am starting to think about vacations for next summer too. Smaller things like getting together with friends or a weekend a way is important too. My wife is better at planning these things, but I add to the situation too. There are other pleasurable things I do on a daily basis such as reading mysteries, magazines, newspapers, and online articles. I read a lot on a daily basis for pleasure and for my blog. It is funny how it helps me perform better.
I try to save some time every day to think about my business goals for my blog and other interests. The daily tasks that help me focus on my goals also helps me in my business goals! Reading mysteries or newspapers/periodicals gives me ideas and helps me relax too. I am always working on various goals. I am trying to increase readership by writing better and more controversial articles. Just working on my business goals keeps them in front of me which helps me accomplish more of them.
The only way to achieve more in your life is to set a goal and work toward it. Just setting goals is never enough! You have to work on them and monitor your progress too. The most import part of monitoring is to make changes to reach your goals. You may even modify your goals too. It reminds me of game strategy whether it was Monopoly, board or card games, It starts with a goal, then a plan or strategy. Par tof my strategy is a check list which keeps the goals or daily tasks in front of me everyday! Do you have a plan for your goal(s)?
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