Ah.. the candles are burning, the coffee is brewing and the mind is turning. This is typically the time of year when we start thinking, writing down and developing the upcoming year goals and what is needed to be done in order to reach those goals. As we start to write them down, one can literally write anything as their goal, such as, jump three inches higher, have the greenest grass, make the best bologna sandwich, write an article about the best bacon; you get the drift. This article is really to hone in on not just establishing goals and the stones to walk on to get there, but the “why” to your goal, the “purpose” to what you are setting out to accomplish. This is very important and a great time to take time to search for that purpose for what you are setting out to do.
Starting from the Finish and Working backwards
Yes, you read the title of this section correctly. I believe you should start at a finish line and work backwards when establishing goals, as it will help define the purpose. A solid example is that I would like to be financially free within the next 10 years, say age 35. That is the ultimate destination, to be free of having to do and work for things that do not make you happy, being in control of your time, to spend that time with loved ones when you’d like. So that is the ultimate destination on this flight or the purpose of doing what you are doing.
Once you find the purpose of all of the actions that you take, it helps defining what goals you would need to accomplish in order to reach this destination. Doing this, now gives your goals a purpose. You aren’t aimlessly making bologna sandwiches because it was a goal you established and that you think they taste bland. Instead, you are now investing $45,000 in 2016, because the purpose is to reach financial freedom! Making sense? Figure out the purpose! I write on this blog – not to target 5 blog articles every two weeks for the heck of it. I write because I enjoy it but part of my purpose to share knowledge, help those with their finances and to build/be a part of a great community with like-minded individuals! Purpose first!
defining the goal
Once you have your purpose identified, or the true destination of where you want to be, then defining the goals would be the next big step. If I want to be financially free within a 10 year span of today, then I need to know what I need to do in the next year, 3 years, 5 years, etc.. These are going to be the goals in order to get to your destination, which happens to also cultivate the purpose of getting there.
My 2016 goals are examples of what is helping me achieve/reach my final destination I break them down in one year increments, but I actually have a spreadsheet of goals for the next 3 years, which I tweak every few months pending the outcome of my current progress on the current year goals. An example I will use is the achievement of “crushing” over $8,000 in projected dividend income goal (still can’t believe it, by the way). I set an difficult but attainable goal in stone at this time last year. I set this as a goal, because this is one building step to get to my destination of financial freedom for the purpose of having less stress and more time to spend doing what I love with those that I love. $8,000 was determined based on what I think I could invest and where it puts me into the 2017 from the dividend growth and dividend reinvestment that stems from that. I had a reason or a purpose for the goal, due to the connection it has with the next step I need to take to reach the carrot!
Are you getting confused yet? Haha. I re-read that and you may see me building in a lot of repeat items to bring it all together throughout this post.
Building the habit
Now that we have found our final destination, the purpose of reaching that point and the goals needing to be accomplished to stay on the path there, it takes a very disciplined habit or habits in order to accomplish your goals. Yep – you better believe it, we are starting to come full circle here. Another example of building the habit, could be me striving to save 60% of my income, each and every month. The “purpose” of me doing that and building this savings habit is two fold – I am able to discover what my expenses are like to live the life that I want, but also the savings habit helps in my achievement of having more capital to invest in order to achieve the goals I have sent.
Now, in doing this, I then am able to achieve those goals, which places and keeps me on the path in order to reach that final point (but is it ever really final? Trust me, I won’t go down that path in this article haha). Other examples are the watch lists that we have on a routine basis, in order to find the right stock to invest with the capital (building this habit helps you achieve the investment goals, etc.) or even when I negotiate or kick out AT&T (T) from being my internet provider and instead switching to a low-cost/better quality/smaller brand company as it open more cash to invest and is an expense in my life that doesn’t make me “truly” happy (as in – it doesn’t matter who provides my internet, as long as it’s the best quality with the best price).
Building the habits are the “every day” tasks/things that snowball easily into achieving your goals. Work hard everyday in order to put yourself in the best position you need to be in, Lord knows if I didn’t save as much as I had that I wouldn’t be anywhere close to breaking over $8k in forward income! I wouldn’t stand a chance. However, it was building those habits that helped me get there, no fricken doubt.
conclusion on habits, goals and Purpose
Bringing it all in together, a lot of passion comes in to play. This is where you really focus and get excited about what you are currently doing! Life is exciting, heck it’s scary even – given you never know what can happen in the next minute, day or week. That’s what makes life absolutely incredible. However, the hard part is finding the quiet and peaceful time to truly think about what the heck you are doing every single day. With all of the social media, entertainment and means of communication – it is so hard to find that small state of solitude to do what I have now found out to be – one of the most important things ever – finding the purpose in the things we do.
Damn, I sound intense, right? I actually hope I do this time!! You saw glimpses of it in my article that Every Dollar Counts, as well as way back in my emotional memoir in staying hungry and staying foolish, but it has dawned on me how important this really is, in finding the purpose in the things I, you and we do. With taking the time to really discover who you are and why you do the things in your day – you have a new focus on life! You’ll have a new focus on what makes you happy and begin to shift your time in doing those things that helps you reach your final destination. If you’re not pumped right now – message me so I can motivate even further!
To truly conclude – I appreciate the community and everything out here. This blog and writing with Bert has truly helped define more of what I’d like to do with my time and finding out my purpose with investing, with saving, with actually writing, etc.. However, I would be lost doing things, accomplishing goals, if I didn’t know the “why” in what I was doing. It takes time, I know, heck it’s taken me forever, and I still am not fully there yet in defining the purpose; but every little bit of figuring it out helps tremendously. Thank you for reading the post, I hope it has you motivated in a way and I would love any feedback, comments, suggestions or just plain thoughts on the topic. Thanks again and talk soon! Purpose first.