Upon arriving home the other other day, I stepped onto our front deck on the way into the house. My three-year old boy was playing there.
I greeted him, and he looked me right in the eye and said: “Dad, I need a million dollars”.
Aside from the obvious questions (“where did he hear that?”, “does he know what a million is?”, and “does he even know what a dollar is?”)
… it made me ponder the question of what I want, and why. And the likelihood of actually achieving those goals.
Here’s what I’ve learned about achieving goals:
Setting vague or non-specific goals is problematic. How do you know when you’ve actually achieved the goal is become “rich” or “happy”? (Short answer: you don’t.) If you want a shot at getting what you want, make it something that can actually be measured.
By giving yourself good reasons for achieving the goals you’ve selected, you’ll have the impetus to keep slogging away when you may begin feeling overwhelmed or discouraged.
Remind yourself why you want to earn the amount of money you’ve selected, or what you’ll do with the free time you seek. Perhaps you want more time to invest in your family. Maybe you want to fund orphanages in a third world country.
It’s ok to periodically review and revise your goals. Don’t feel like you have to keep the same goal forever if it no longer aligns with your values.
When my son is a little older, I’ll give him the same advice. And also tell him that if he “needs” a million bucks, there’s nothing stopping him from going out and earning it!