And, if that’s what you want to do, Caprica conveniently points us to Tim Ferris’ goal-setting process:
Tim Ferris, in his interesting book called the “Four Hour Workweek” – although, I can’t figure why anybody would want to work that much 😉 – introduces an interesting exercise called ‘Dreamlining’; he says:
Create two timelines–6 months and 12 months—and list up to 5 things you dream of having (including, but not limited to, material wants: house, car, clothing, etc.), being (be a great cook, be fluent in Chinese, etc.), and doing (visiting Thailand, tracing your roots overseas, racing ostriches, etc.) in that order. If you have difficulty identifying what you want in some categories, as most will, consider what you hate or fear in each and write down the opposite. Do not limit yourself, and do not concern yourself with how these things will be accomplished…This is an exercise in reversing repression.
Now, Tim’s worksheets are great, but when you write your Rear Deck Speech properly (from my 7 Millionaires … In Training! ‘grand experiment’), you will find that it encapsulates the true ‘being goals’ that Tim talks about, and it does it in a really powerful way: by ‘forcing’ you to look back on your life after it is (almost) done.
If you really think deeply about this, the most important aspects of your life are all about ‘being’, not ‘having’, a least not in a purely materialistic sense …
As to the ‘having’ goals, they are important too, and this process and worksheet should help you to think through this.
Here is the way that I think about it:
To start any journey, you need a Destination and then you need to decide when you intend to get there and choose your mode of transport accordingly. You also need to ensure that you have enough money to buy the gas or tickets.
Financially speaking, your ‘destination’ – or the only one that really counts – is your Life’s Purpose … it’s your final stop, after all!
But, the real purpose of this exercise, from a financial perspective, is that it helps you to find you Number (the ‘fuel’ that you need to get there), your Date ( the ‘when’ you want to be ‘financially free’), and the method that you will use to get there (saving, business, investing – real estate, stocks, options, etc.).
Now, some people then like to sit down with a map and travel guide and plan every stop and way-point along the road (a.k.a. ‘intermediate goal-setting’) … for others just traveling the road and taking whatever stops that seem interesting/necessary along the way is good enough.
So, if you then want to do some serious goal-setting of the MoneyMonk kind, don’t let me stop you … it’s probably a very good thing to do!
… but, whenever I try that, I am always painfully aware of how difficult life is to plan.
Who was it who first said: “When Man plans, God laughs?”