Posted by Tim Stobbs on December 15, 2011
I have often discussed the concept of retirement planning on this blog, so you actually have an idea of what you are going to do with your time once you retire. Yet the fact is that same planning process can be used right now to start change in your life.
In both cases, the fundamental problem is that of choice. You can literally have anything you want in life if you plan for it. It might end up costing you some of your other dreams or ambitions to do it, but in the end just about anything is possible.
I’m facing that exact problem right now. What do I want to do next year? Should I quit my work at the school board at the end of my term and write a novel instead? Or do I try for a second term to finish some projects I’ve started at the board and accept less time for writing for the next four years? In either case, there really isn’t a right answer, but rather which option do I want to do more.
In either case I need to establish some sub-goals to help support the major ones and then setup some timelines on actually getting the job done. In the novel example, I have to decide approximate length, plot, charters and do research. Then the actual writing and editing of the book and then shopping it around to a publisher. All of this takes time and I have found without a firm plan my general deadlines can slip by months fairly easily.
Thus to support that goal I would set a prep time for the initial stages and then a set word count to complete each day during the writing period. Otherwise, a goal without a plan is really just a dream. Dreams are good, but often don’t see the light of reality because we don’t take the time to plan for them.
This can apply to anything: if you want a new job in a different field, you might need some addition education. Or if you want to move to a different country, you need to do some research on the requirements to either own property or work there. Yes, it does take time and effort, but in the end you have to decide how badly you want something and then go for it.
What do you want most in life right now? More time to do what you love now, or perhaps get to early retirement sooner instead?