Prior to starting the new year, many of us sat down with a pen and paper to develop our desired goals for 2023. Well, some of us did. Gallup, a national polling organization, studied goal setting by U.S. citizens and the results are encouraging. The findings were that 79% of adults age 18 – 34 and 72% of adults age 35 – 54 are most likely set new goals for 2023.
Based on the annual study, more Americans are setting goals for improvement of life in 2023 than in prior years. Why is it important to set goals for your life? Because it is very difficult, if not impossible, to hit a target you do not set. In other words, you will become a wandering generality rather than a meaningful specific to use the phrase of the late Zig Ziglar. I often hear people complain about life but do nothing to improve their quality of life.
Goals are far more than simply writing down aspirations and unattainable ideas. To be successful in goal achievement, you must become effective in goal setting. One of my annual tasks is to take time in November each year to evaluate my progress on current year goals and set the new year’s goals. The outcomes in life have been phenomenal! For example, I address goals in all the aspects of my life – financial, educational, spiritual, vocational, physical and familial. To gain a better understanding of this process, an example of one of my “go up” goals may be “To read and implement the learning from twelve books on my reading list by reading one per month.”
Setting goals is only one step in the process. To monitor my progress, I perform a weekly review and check on various projects, activities and appointments for each week. If I haven’t made progress on a goal, say the monthly book reading one, I can quickly correct my course and spend time reading to catch up on this important goal. This process each week takes less than fifteen minutes. Generally, I will perform such review on Friday afternoon (unless it is a beautiful day and the golf course is open, but I digress).
When you analyze your ambitions and desires in life, your goals will rise from your thoughts and inspire you to grow as a person. Success is the accomplishment of your goals but more than a checkmark beside a written statement it is the person you are becoming that you desire to see in the mirror. I am often asked what the definition of success is to me. My reply is a consistent one. Success is the freedom to live where you wish, to control your time as you desire and to live a life of abundance. Nowhere in my statement do I mention wealth or money as a definitional term for success.
Standard of living and quality of life are two different statements. Most people who chase only after a standard of living (i.e., money and wealth) do not experience a quality of life. However, with certainty, the people who seek a better quality of life achieve a better standard of living. Attitude is critical to achieve success. Gratitude is the fuel of passion that empowers you to achieve the proper attitude to reach success.
If you feel you are not making the progress you desire in life, it’s time you made a new plan. Seek out a Certified Financial Planner™ professional to assist you in forming a new plan in life that accomplishes your definition of success. At the end of life’s journey you will be more happy to say “I’m glad I did” rather than “I wish I had”.