Monday, December 30, 2013

Is Goal Setting An Art? Part 3 - Leaving the Comfort Zone

In order to assist me in achieving my goals, I have a dream board: a board with pictures of all the things I would like in my life, the people I would like to meet (yes, George Clooney, I'm coming for you!), charities I would like to support and other bits and pieces I draw inspiration from.  This has extended beyond just the board and now takes over a wall.  The wall also has my list of affirmations...and my son's baseball competition draw! 

I surround myself with these as reminders of the 'why'.  I believe it is one thing to know the 'what' - what am I wanting to achieve?  Understanding my 'why' keeps that fire in my belly alight.  I do all of this for one summed-up reason: options.  Options can give you the choice of many things from time to money.  Having options to me means having freedom to choose.

Having made that profound statement, I was journaling recently about my goals for 2014 and came to realize (why I hadn't before I don't know) that to achieve my goals next year, and I mean really achieve them, will mean leaving a comfort zone that I have known for 25 years.  The security of an industry that I have worked in for a quarter of a century! Put simply, I just don't have a passion for it. I do it and do it well.  Gosh who wouldn't after that long? The first 10 years were great.  After that, I knew I wanted out, I just didn't know where I wanted to go.  More importantly, I didn't know what I was passionate about.  Now I do. The industry has served me well and vice-versa.  It is not that it is time to move on.  That time, as I said, was actually a long time to go.  It is just that now, the comfort of staying there is outweighed by my own desires to go forth and finally achieve what I have been wanting for a long time: to work for myself, in businesses I enjoy, that give me the life that I want for our family.  A life with options.

May the new year bring you many things, all good of course!  I look forward to sharing the journey with you all as we set sail into 2014, leaving the comfort zone of 2013.  For some, it will be great to close the chapter on the year and embark on a fresh start, for others like me, it means getting down to business and turning what's been on paper into my way of life.  Happy New Year everyone!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Is Goal Setting An Art? Part 2: What Myself At 25 Saw For My Life At 40+

OK, so it is a little longer than 10 years since I was 25.  

The fact of the matter is, the age of 25 was a wonderful time in my life. I was together. 

I had moved to New Zealand for work and was absolutely loving it.  I was getting back on my feet financially after an ordinary break up had all but leveled my financial ground.   I was training regularly, I was on track with my money, I was making good use of my time and my life, all around, was just fantastic.  I had used my time in New Zealand to really take stock and think about what I wanted for my life.  I think because I had been so set back financially in the break up and so awakened by it, it became my focus to re-build bigger and better. What I wanted was to set myself up and I thought I had contrived a smart plan to do this.  I was single with no debt. I could pay my credit card off entirely every month. I was budgeting and saving like never before and had planned to purchase an investment property again, learn about the stock market and buy shares.  

Then I returned to Australia.

Rather than commit myself to these projects I had set, I really enjoyed my life to the full. In hindsight, that is not a bad thing.  I don't regret it at all.  I did a lot and did it all paying cash.  My natural short-sightedness (where goals are concerned) took hold and my newly acquired post break up aversion to mortgage commitment reared its ugly head. Yes, that is my technical term for it!  What I should have done though was still aim to achieve the plan I had set for myself whilst back in New Zealand.  Because both living it up and achieving my plan could have been done.  I just couldn't see it at the time.

I did invest whilst in my thirties and was very proud of myself for doing so.  It was very long-sighted of me to plan ahead for my distant future.  However, I stupidly took the advice of a financial advising 'friend' who I trusted and opted for other investments aside from property and shares.  Interestingly he 'retired' at the same time they went belly up but not before lining his own pockets with commissions on my dodgy investments and building a house with them!  To that I say two things a) lesson learned and b) karma takes care of people like that!

Here I am in my forties with young children and can absolutely see the benefits of having an investment property and shares had I executed my master plan at 25 and not been swayed from it.  What I have realised though is that it is never too late to start again. Just because I didn't kick my plan into gear back then, does not mean I can't kick start it  now. It will take a bit more creativity than my straight up original idea now that my situation is different, but it is not impossible.

If I am honest, the life I envisaged for myself in my forties when I was 25 is not the same picture as now.  For a start, I hadn't planned on being financially leveled twice in my life! The picture though is not bad.  At all.  That is not to say I am settling for less.  On the contrary and hence this sequence of posts.  I had contrived, but my drive went off in another direction. Having children has given me the drive and much needed fire in my belly to commit to my plan for setting and following through on my goals for next year.  It is as much for me as it is for them.  I am looking forward to proving to myself (both my present and 25 year old self) that I will do this.

Does your life look like your younger self envisaged?
What did you plan for your life and has it worked out?
How are you at goal setting?  (I am open to any tips anyone can offer)