“Where am I sleep walking?”
Well, there’s an interesting thought…
As the tweet pictured above states, we tend to look at what we think is good and what we think is bad and go about keeping the good and improving on (or getting rid of) the bad. I’ve recently decided what to do in terms of 2021 goals, carrying several over from the pandemic-impacted 2020, and it was just a few months ago I was looking for something financial to do.
But, what about the middle stuff?
It’s those things that we do that don’t stand out as necessarily bad, but don’t add a whole lot of value either, that can keep us from attaining many of our goals.
When it comes to money, the main thing I’ve left unattended is my long-term goals, which I hadn’t really looked at in around four years. When I talk about goals, I don’t mean just some big dollar amount, though that is part of it. I am referring more to the images that dance in our heads when we think about a workplace-optional life.
The way I go about building the dreams of my future is based on chapter 3 of Money: Master the Game by Tony Robbins, where you start with something resembling mere existence (you have food and shelter, but don’t really enjoy even an occasional meal out) and step up to, eventually, the ridiculously extravagant. When I look over those more extravagant items I came up with in 2017, I wonder if I still want all of those things. It might be the pandemic talking, but I’m not sure I REALLY want to travel with as much luxury as I once dreamed.
Why is This Important?
Investing for our future requires some sacrifices today. And, how we envision our future serves as motivation to forego certain expenses today to enjoy different ones tomorrow. The more we want a potential future, the easier it will be to pass on splurging in the present. If I don’t care if I ever fly first class during my retirement anymore, I’m more likely to buy a newer, higher end car before I need to.
Different Doesn’t Mean Less; More Desirable Doesn’t Mean More Expensive
When I sit down to remap my long-term goals, I just need to make sure that the new images are a better fit to my wants. At the peak of my dreams, I could describe the dollar amount that goes with those visions as possibly being unattainable; that may not change after I’m done with the new plan. I think the ultimate among our goals should be a stretch. The plan just needs to include things that are important for me to do for myself and the impact I want to make on this world.
The other side of the coin is important, as well. I can’t use the fact that I have made progress with my money over the course of almost four years to ramp up the cost of my ideal future “just because”. The key is that what I write down reflects what I REALLY want out of my life…today, tomorrow, and beyond.
While I don’t think long-term goals need to be constantly revisited and revised, I feel like I’ve been asleep at the spreadsheet for a bit too long in this area. The alarm has been set. Let’s go!
Thank you for reading.