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7 Goals Worth Pursuing

Before a commercial airplane takes off, the pilot has a very clear destination in mind, and a flight plan to get there. The plane leaves at a specific time, and takes off toward a specific destination. The plane is off track, though, at least 90% of the time. Weather conditions, turbulence and other factors cause this.

However, feedback is given to the pilot constantly. The inertial guidance system of the aircraft continually helps the pilot evaluate and revise the plane’s position to reach the expected destination on time. The plane takes off on time, arrives on time, and yet is off course 90% of the time.

Now imagine you are the plane. What is your destination? And do you have a flight plan to get there?

One of the common characteristics of highly successful people is that they are intensely goal-oriented. Successful people know where it is that they want to go in life, and they have a clear plan to get there. Their “destination” is the list of goals that they have written down, and their “flight plan” is the action plan around those goals.

I do a lot of work with my clients around goal-setting, and often solicit feedback regarding the successes and challenges in setting and achieving goals. The question that I am most often asked in this area is “How do I set goals if I don’t know what I want to do?”

In response to this question, and as a conclusion to our series on goal-setting, here are seven goals worth pursuing:

1. Satisfying work or career. As Marsha Sinetar suggests in her bestselling book, Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow. We all want a career that is fulfilling and nourishing, not draining. Ideally, you are positioned on a positive career path, leading to increased opportunities and raises. Hopefully, you also look forward to going to work virtually every day, and your earnings are commensurate with the effort you put into your job. You invest a lot of our hours into your work, so it’s important that you are doing something you enjoy.

2. Personal development. The world is changing and, in order to succeed, we must change with it. The way to do this is by growing personally. First, read every day in your chosen field. Next, listen to audio tapes during your commute to work. Take classes or attend workshops. Finally, establish a support structure to hold you accountable for the results that you are committed to achieving in your life. Hiring a personal coach is a great way to do this.

3. Financial freedom. In its simplest form, financial freedom means having no financial stress of any kind in your life. Practical ways to get to this point, if you aren’t there already, include saving 10% of your income, having a reserve of six months living expenses in the bank (or a money-market account) and having no credit card or installment debt (other than a mortgage). A big challenge for some, but a worthy goal nonetheless.

4. Great relationships. How are your relationships with your family (children, spouse, parents, siblings)? Do you have a close circle of personal friends? Don’t forget relationships within your professional network (attorney, accountant and yes, it’s nice to know a plumber, too). All these relationships are important, and we can’t spend too much time nurturing them.

5. Health/Physical fitness. Health is extremely important, and yet we often take it for granted until we are affected by ill health. Be proactive in this area. Eat fresh, healthful foods. Drink 8 glasses of water per day. Limit your intake of caffeine, sugar and alcohol. Exercise at least 3 times per week, even if that means walking for 15 or 20 minutes. Finally, get plenty of sleep each night.

6. Spiritual peace. There is no substitute for peace of mind, and the way to obtain this is through a relationship with God, or the spiritual equivalent for you. Be involved in ongoing spiritual growth. Contribute both time and money to charitable organizations and/or your formal place of worship.

7. Fun/Pleasure. This is about taking time for yourself, enjoying whatever it is that you like to do. Consistently take evenings, weekends and holidays off. Take at least two weeks of vacation per year, to refresh/energize/nourish yourself. Be 100% committed to relaxation. While this time may seem unproductive to some, it will lead to greater productivity in the long run. And it will be more fun, too!

In the real estate business, they say that the best time to buy real estate was 10 years ago, and the second best time is NOW. The same goes for moving toward these “worthy goals.” The important thing is not where you stand today in each of these areas; it’s the direction in which you are moving. Enjoy the journey as you pursue (and attract) each of these elements into your life!

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