Long walks and successful long term financial & life goal setting go hand in hand. Lots of people have zero interest in long walks but even a walk to the mailbox can turn into a long walk – so stay with me here. A recent, rather long walk on the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain (pictured) taught me life-changing lessons about goal setting. Namely,
- There is no truly right or wrong way to formulate financial or life goals. Yes, goal setting is easier when pen & paper are involved, but the process is more about quality of thought (meaning being honest and open with oneself) than any set of “rules.”
- There need not be a rush to set financial, business or life goals. Although starting sooner rather than later can help – and momentum will develop on its own. The list of goals may then turn out longer and more exciting than ever imagined! (Dreams can become goals too.)
- Accomplishing goals in a quality way becomes a series of decisions made along the way – seemingly small decisions and larger, more serious-feeling decisions.
Why Is Any of This Important??
Goals create opportunities for growth: personal, financial, and spiritual growth. All three of these things make life richer. For example, making a job change involves courage plus some kind of “Step #1”, “Step #2” and so forth. Lobbying for a raise or retention bonus involves goal setting or plans for conversation starters. Similarly, selling a closely held business or expanding or acquiring a company take goal-setting and careful planning.
Ask most company founders, CEOs, or successful managers: plans and goals do not appear out of thin air. Whether done on one’s own or more likely as part of a team or collaborative process, goal setting takes creativity, courage… and time. Time is something that most people feel they do not have enough of. And that is where the “long walk” comes in.
The walk can be down the street after dinner, in the parking lot at work over lunchtime, or on a “real walk” in the woods or a park. The walk, short or long (the longer the better), can give space for free thought by separating us from the stress of beeping appliances, phones, laptops – even briefly from bosses and colleagues.
Thoughtful goal setting in times like we find ourselves today can be the key to a healthier, happier life – or at least the start of something bigger, richer or more satisfying, however these are defined for you and your family.
Thank you for reading, TGIF and Ultreia!