Last updated: Monday, August 18, 2008

Lessons in Goal Setting

We have used goal setting for over 20 years to help us identify and achieve those things which we want, which improve and broaden our lives. We, Chau and I, each enjoyed 25 year careers in technology and corporate management and then retired, more or less, from daily "going to the office" at age 52. In the years since then we have spent our days as we wish; about 5-10% of our time making sure we have something to live on and the rest...whatever. We have been married for 35+ years and raised two daughters who are adults now. We live a simple life in a prosperous community, we feel personally and financially secure, we continue to follow the tips I list below. We believe goal setting is an important tool for achieving good things life and for continuing to move forward happily toward the next thing.

This list is here for younger friends, smart people, who we hope think about what is important, what is the plan for life and will want to use this "how to" information for Goal Setting.

Tips for setting goals.
(We know to write goals down, right? And review them every quarter?)

1. What 5 items are most important to me in my life? Work on these things.

2. What are my 3 most important goals? Refer to item 1 above if you are not yet clear on this. Smile.

3. What changes would I make if I were given $1million? Work on these things and make sure you consider them when thinking about item 1 above.

4. What things do I do that make me feel great or at least better? Daily. Weekly. Monthly. Annually.

5. What changes would I make if I thought I had 6 months to live? (This is just a crazy example...OK?) Sit and imagine my 100 year old birthday party - what amazing things would I have done in life? Add anything new to your item 1 list.

6. What have I avoided doing because of fear? Or what have I avoided doing that I want to do? Stick to good and positive things here! Set the fear aside, and think if this isn't something you want to do. (Again, not talking about dangerous things here. Learn to tell the difference.)

7. If there were one great thing I wanted to do, what is it? What steps would I take to move toward this?

8. Set goals in each of 4 areas - use the 4 sides of a "Peace of Mind" square: emotions, wealth, spiritual, physical, as a guide. Aim for a balance in each of the 4 areas; aim for balance in your life. Then expand each side ten times - see a larger future - and think about things again.

9. Plan for wealth goals of lifetime assets and lifetime income; also think beyond today or this year.

10. Write down your goals on paper and maintain a goal book - a private personal blog is OK.. Maybe this should be item 1 - in terms of importance. Edit, edit again, and edit again.

11. Who do I talk to and what do I do to move forward? Who would I talk to if I could? What would I do if I could? (Now write it down.) My friends are one big thing to indicate where I am  probably going with my life.

12. Review your goal book and results regularly - 3 months, 6 months, annually.

13. Set deadlines. Write them in the Goal Book. Do I even need to explain why deadlines are good?

14. Practice good habits: who are my friends - good or bad, what is my weight, health and appearance, how are my finances, how is my education, where do I live, what have I learned, who have I helped, what is already on my life list...things done and thing yet to do, think big.

15. Describe the "ultimate ME" - at least think about it - and how can that continue to change and get even better and more fun? Check against my item 1 list

16. Put a POST-IT on the frig or mirror to remind me to write these down and help to remind me where I keep the binder!