Do you have a life goal list? You should. It will remind you of things to live for! For a good part of my life, I’ve had a set of personal goals. In the beginning, my goals were simple and in my head. After reading, Wealth Without Risk by Charles Givens, I committed my goals to writing because of a suggestion in the book. He advocated writing out a statement that said: “If I had unlimited time, talent, money, ability, self-confidence and support of family, here’s what I would do.” After that, he suggested listing everything that you would even remotely think about doing if you had that freedom and will.
My original list had 65 items. Some goals were serious – achieve a professional position that I desired – done. Find a life partner – done. Some were travel related with specific places that I wanted to visit. I haven’t been to all of the places yet, but a good many have been visited. Some goals were crossed-off because I no longer desired to pursue that particular goal. As an example, I had a goal to play golf at Pebble Beach and I did – what a blast! Along that same line, I had a goal to play golf in all fifty states. That one got nixed because I lost my passion for golf. I enjoyed the first 75 pages of Melville’s Moby Dick, but then became bored and it fell from my list.
Life goals don’t have to be set in concrete. You can change them as you go.
Givens’ premise was to get everything you want to do in life in front of you so it remains in your regular consciousness. Because of Givens’ suggestion my life has been much richer. Reviewing the goals from time to time helps to sort the goals you truly want to chase from the ones you merely romanticized and thought you wanted to pursue. I carry my list in my briefcase (I guess it is time to digitize it to my smart phone). I review the list about once per month and it reenergizes me.
One of Merriam-Webster’s definitions for the word goal is, “the terminal point of a race.” While that may be true for a singular goal, life goals have little to do with being in a race. In pursuit of the life of our dreams, we are racing no one. When we hit one mark, we should continue on to another, another and another…
So far, I’ve accomplished about half of my goals and expect I will never reach the end of the race. I don’t own a Porsche (yet), but have raced them in various racing schools. Sometimes you have to improvise. I want to see Mount Everest. I don’t want to climb it, but would love to see it from a plane. I came close as I flew from Hong Kong to Rome, Italy, but couldn’t see it as it was a cloudy moonless night when we flew by.
If I continue working on my life goals and still leave some of them unfinished, I will have won the race. In the end, I hope to leave my list and some of the means ($$) for someone else to continue my journey. Life goals can help us stay engaged, vital and healthy. What’s on your life goal list?