In a previous post I laid out a few simple steps to put together a vision for your life. I’d highly recommend taking a look at that post as this post should follow that one up nicely.
I don’t know about you but it seems there are those few people everyone knows that seem to have it all together. The family, marriage, job, side hustle, blah blah blah and it all seems to be going perfectly, right?
You can get there too! Its going to take consistent effort and it won’t be easy. While it won’t be easy it will be simple. Start with putting together a vision for your life. This post will help you take that vision for your life and help you to start gaining clarity on how to make that vision a reality.
The basis is to start taking that vision that exists 25-30 years out into the future and chunking it down into more near term chunks.
Chunk One: 3-7 years into the future
This seems doable right? Think about a specific area of your vision, think a few years down the road and plant a flag in the ground on where you need to be to be headed in the right direction for your vision.
This is a big step into gaining clarity. Here’s an example.
If your vision is to have 10 rental properties 25 years from now, a good goal for a few years down the road will be to buy one. Or maybe to just save the down payment.
See where I’m going?
The idea isn’t to have some master plan from day one.
This is kind of life golfing (even though you don’t want to see me on the golf course). Imagine you are on a long par 5 and you take out your 6 iron (go with me on this). The idea with your 6 iron is to get you ~100 yards closer to your goal.
Its not about chipping onto the green. Its not about sinking the putt. Just get closer.
So with your goal of 10 rental properties. Just buy one.
How do I choose how long this time frame should be?
This is a personal choice. I recommend making this somewhere between 3 and 7 years into the future.
Maybe you are 32 and maybe setting a goal for 35 is what you want to do. Or maybe it will take you 6 years of diligent saving to save that first down payment. Choose a number thats right for you.
Again, this will probably change. I think its better to plant a flag in the ground than never plant a flag at all and just hope you’ll achieve your life’s vision with no plan.
Hope is not a strategy.
Choose a time point. For each area of your life, plant a flag. Set a goal.
Chunk two: 6-12 months into the future
See how this is getting easier? We’ve already taken our big lofty vision from 30 years down to 4. Now we just need to take that 4 years and decide where we need to be in 6-12 months.
Same routine as before. Choose a time point, say 12 months. Decide where you need to be 12 months from now to be on the right path.
For our rental house example, maybe its to save 1,000 for the down payment. Maybe its to have a plan in place to save for the first 4 years.
The most important part of this short term game plan is that it needs to be measurable. You need to always know if you are on track or not. You can’t guess and say your progress is good enough.
It needs to be clear (are you getting the pattern here) whether you are falling behind or right on track.
A couple things to keep in mind
- this is a living document. Just like your vision it will change. Thats ok. It’d be best if your 6-12 month goals didn’t change. You need to get used to setting and hitting goals on a shorter term basis.
- like anything in life, you won’t get this perfect. Its better to be headed in the direction of your goals than to be standing still.
The most important thing
The most important thing you need to keep in mind is to set a low bar. What?
I know what you’re thinking, isn’t the idea to shoot for the moon and achieve everything I want in life?
Of course it is.
But if you set perfect goals for the perfect year and then you get off track for a month, you know what happens? You decide the rest of the year is out the window and you give up.
Think about it, if you have 6 areas you’ve broken your life into its going to be quite a few goals to be moving towards. Lower the bar. Give yourself some wins.
Gain some momentum on your goals. In an ideal world you’d have $5,000 saved for your first down payment, make it $3,500.
There is certainly a tricky balance between making it too difficult and too easy. Trust me though. Its better to set some easier goals (I mean you’d still have 3,500 in the bank) than to set something that will take perfect consistency to obtain.
- Choose a time frame 3-7 years into the future. Set a goal for each area of your life
- Choose a shorter time frame like 6-12 months. Set a quantifiable goal for each area of your life
- Set a lower bar for yourself than you think you need. Trust me