Benefits of Setting Lofty Goals

We all establish goals for next year around this time, through the mid-point in January, typically.  We are motivated, passionate and ready to blaze trails.  I LOVE IT!  I love the energy that a new year brings and the motivation that you get when you start thinking of everything you want to accomplish.  It’s lifting, refreshing and it’s new.  However, it’s also hard!  Of course, goals would not be goals if they were easy to attain.  Hard work is what it’s all about.  At the end of every year, I realize something new about my goals from that year, each time.  I am thankful as hell that I set my goals higher than ever, such as what I did for 2017.  I want to dive in the benefits of setting lofty goals and the impact the goal setting has on more than just yourself.

Silver and Gold Coins

Benefits of lofty goals

1.) Raises the Level of Game You Play – Think about basketball.  If you continue to play with people that are far younger and not athletic, you will not get better.  If your goal is compete with College players, you play with them to build up your skill set.  Even if you cannot score against them, out rebound or drive to the hoop on one of those individuals – playing with them enough allows you to compete and perform very well with those at the “right” playing field.  Further, setting high expectations or lofty goals, allows you to be hungrier than ever and pushes you beyond a limit that you could have mistakenly set for yourself.  Thinking back in 2016, though I missed my dividend income goal that year, I had to get creative in how to push myself to add more than I ever had before.  This caused me to think about my pre-tax investment structure, unlocking more investment potential and pushing my forward income further.  Lofty goal setting raises your game play, easily.

2.) Develops Creativity – Piggy backing off of the last reason, your creativity genes begin to boil and bubble up.  The lofty goal begins to have your mind running a little faster and you are almost “pushed” to figure an almost impossible situation out, or so it feels.  The example of this was when I chose to switch lanes and go pre-tax on my 401k.  Not only did I go pre-tax, unlocking more money to invest, but chose to maximize the 401k due to the future roth conversion ladder potential.  My creative genes didn’t stop there, with my mind pushing me to also maximize my health savings account, maximizing my dollars even further.  This then allowed me to invest portions of my individual IRA into the traditional account, further increasing investment and forward dividend income.  If I had not set these lofty goals, I would not have gone the extra mile to figure out how to reduce taxes and increase investment to the maxim.  Doing this in 2016 set the stage to do it in 2017… and it’s all in part from the goal set in the prior year, therefore, the creativity carries forward.  Higher goals can enhance creativity, by having to push your mind beyond the normal boundary.  I love it.

3.) New Standards – Tagging along with number 2, you set new standards or new baselines.  If you added $1,200 to your forward income last year and it was hard as heck to do, that is your minimum next year.  Last year I added over $1,561 in dividend income to my account.  Guess what?  That was my new standard baseline to add when I considered my goal for 2017.  In fact, I set my dividend income goal for an increase of approximately $2,000 (this year), after realizing what I accomplished in 2016.  When you set and accomplish goals, all of a sudden you feel a little bit taller.  You recognize that you have stretched yourself beyond your expected limits and that everything turned out to be okay.  The amount you learn through this process is insane, not to mention.  You learn about what is painful if your goals are absolutely impossible, say adding 25 pounds of muscle or losing 25% of your body weight.  You may even find out that your health could be at risk with goals as well and realize that you need to edge a little in another direction to make sure you don’t cause risk to yourself.

4.) Betterment – This community, my friends, family, peers are all very important.  When you establish lofty goals, that are difficult to reach but achievable, this impacts those you are surrounded by.  Typically, especially this community, it raises the bar for all of us and allows us all to be more creative.  We are able to share what has worked and what has not worked with the community.  A fun example is our monthly dividend income from the bloggers!  When we read each other’s articles, goals, what they are investing in or staying away from, this all benefits the group in it’s entirety.  New ideas that I wouldn’t have dug as deep into myself, for instance, MadFientist’s pursuit to show you that it’s HIGHLY encouraged to maximize your pre-tax investments to the fullest (especially because they can change the tax-code, as we have recently witnessed; the aforementioned link is to my 3rd party, but has back link references to MadFi’s website).

5.) Contagious Pursuit – The last/big dagger.  The pursuit to lofty goals is contagious!  Another piggy back off of the last benefit, but the betterment goes up an extra notch here, as we all want to do what it takes to reach our goals.  If I see Bert accomplish a difficult milestone, it pushes me to be better and to figure out ways/be creative to get to my goal as well.  When Bert hit a dividend income goal, I had to follow up and invest into a few stocks, stay consistent in order to also crush a goal of my own.  That was the $300,000 threshold I crossed a few months ago.  Needless to say, this is contagious.  Goal setting by others, help us push harder on our goals and better each other along the journey.

Lofty Goals Conclusion

When I look back at my 2017 goals, I pause to think, “Will I hit these, truly?”.  The answer could more than likely be, “No”, straight up.  That’s okay, I know I do everything I fricken can to reach those heights.  If I fail – I am better off than if I were to set a low hurdle, just to feel good about myself.  Goal setting is fun, especially at this time of the year.  Dig deep, devise a plan and add a little “extra” on top of what you think you can do.  Setting lofty goals raises the level of “game” you are playing with, increases creativity, establishes new standards, adds value to the group and is contagious among the community.

Question is – What are you still doing reading this article?  Click ‘X’ and go establish those goals for the upcoming time period and don’t go easy on yourself, you and the community are dependent on it : )

-Lanny

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20 thoughts on “Benefits of Setting Lofty Goals

  1. Great post, Lanny – thanks.

    Item #2 stuck out to me. Being creative and trying new things can offer a number of potential opportunities. Good example is the HSA that you mentioned.

    Also, I actually meant to ask last month: how does one go about contributing to the monthly income report from the bloggers?

    Thanks again for the post.

    • Mike –

      Appreciate it and yes the creativity is one that flies under the radar – pushing yourself to different heights requires extreme focus and occasionally thinking outside the box.

      And loving that you posted your Div income article for December, you’ll be on there my man!!!!

      -Lanny

  2. I agree that goals should be reasonable but not exactly easy. If you hit all them with no work then what’s the point? I personally set up different levels of goals for myself so I can have multiple tiers to try to hit with the highest(gold) being super super hard to reach.

    • Time –

      Exactly, what would be the point? Levels/tiers are interesting, I do like that and know that is the way you like to stack up. I saw you just released your article that I am excited to read/check out. GO FOR GOLD BABY!!!!

      Appreciate the comment, 2018, HERE WE GO!

      -Lanny

  3. I’m kind of an odd duck when it comes to goals. I have visions of what I’m trying to achieve and several goals on my mind at all times, but I rarely document them or quantify them. It works for me. I think your approach/thought process is better, but too many years as a CFO setting and pursuing business goals has left me to a softer approach in my personal life. Thanks for letting me pontificate. Happy New Year! Tom

  4. Excellent article Lanny. I completely agree with what you’ve outlined here. And, I have experienced the power of goal-setting many times in my own life, so this is great stuff you’ve shared. I also really agree with the line: “Dig deep, devise a plan and add a little “extra” on top of what you think you can do.” Wise advice!

    Thanks for sharing and best of luck in 2018! I’ll be pushing hard myself. – Passive Income Dude

    • Dan –

      Exactly. It’s funny, I am in the stages of setting 2018 goals and I thought – oh that can probably be easily attainable, need to add just a little extra filling on top. It’s amazing what can happen. That’s part of the reason why our side hustles continued to add more and more income for both Bert and I – we needed more capital to deploy to achieve other goals we set. It’s wild how one can push oneself, and that’s just a tiny tip of the iceberg.

      -Lanny

  5. Fun post. I really set some high goals (well, what I thought were high goals) in 2017. The great thing about setting goals is that it allows you to have a target and it meet that target. I also allows you to grow in confidence, opens new doors you didn’t realize were there, and grow your expectations for the future. Fortunately, I was blessed enough last year to meet and exceeded my financial goals last year. Last year was a bit of an experiment so I’m still formulating my goals for this year. There are some things I’m looking to tweak but I’ll definitely have a list for 2018.

    • Gabe –

      Nice! And you are exactly write, have a target, aim and shoot! You do feel a little more satisfied when you set out to do X and you do X, or even X, Y and Z! It’s a great feeling, no doubt.

      Excited to read what you have in store, keep us updated! Appreciate the comment.

      -Lanny

  6. Great article Lanny! I just recently set up some goals for myself for the new year. I never set goals before. I tried to keep them both reasonable and yet challenging. 2018 will be an exciting year. Happy New Year! 🙂

  7. I completely agree. I want to highlight how true number 3 is. So, last year, I contributed $790 per month to my portfolio. Guess what? This year, that number will be higher. Just like how companies raise their dividends frequently, so too will the standards I’ve set for myself be raised. So, I couldn’t agree more with this post Lanny.

    Happy New Year.

  8. I like the idea of lofty goals as long as there is some follow up with *how* it is going to be followed through with, or at the very least the bite sized ways to get you to the finish line. Saying I am going to have $250k in passive income is worthless without at least a thoughtful break down of how to get there.

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