We all need goals to improve day to day and year to year. The famous quote about overestimating what you can do in a year and overestimating for five or ten years is often attributed to Bill Gates. The quote is actually about change:
We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction. -Bill Gates
I say this is even more a reason to set goals: the world doesn’t stand still for you — or anyone — so you can gain an advantage or sort out any messes you have with the comfort of knowing things will be waiting for you as they were. As a reminder, I looked for a post a couple of years ago when I knew I said something about being beyond where we dreamt of being… but it’s already almost been three years since I wrote this:
Where were you FIVE YEARS ago? THREE YEARS? Are you more or less where you wanted to be “someday?” For me, I’m well beyond where I would be by now. I hit that just TWO YEARS into business when my wife quit her job. I’m actually living well into my fantasyland from five years ago.
Take two minutes and think of how much was different in your life from three years ago.
Did you make any goals or take any actionable steps to get where you are today or did it all just happen with what we call “blind luck?” You don’t need to answer that because we all know the answer to that.
What is a goal?
Goals done properly have 5 properties:
- they are measurable (don’t set a goal you can’t measure)
- they are specific (how much money, how many pounds?)
- they have a start and end time (you should have short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals)
- they are achievable (you can’t set a short-term goal of being CEO at your Fortune 500 job if you just started in the mail room)
- they are realistic (don’t aim to make $10,000/mo more if you don’t change your job or get a new one or start a business)
- take a walk every weekday, weather & health permitting
- include a junior developer into my workflow before the end of summer
- go to Busch Gardens with my wife on a date once per month
- take my boys on an all-guy date once per month
- start building models again – build at least one Mustang of each generation
- release two premium themes and two premium plugins for GenesisThe.me in 2017
- finish my bootstrap business course and release one more course in 2017
- net $60k in client/service work and $50k with GenesisThe.me in 2017 – that’s bottom line
- upgrade the business computer before July
- be 100% in the products space
- figure out the employee/contractor thing to work on the business, not in it
- sell the townhome and get a single-unit home to match this unit: a pond view, cul-de-sac, gated community
- buy a 2-4 year old Mustang GT 5.0 or greater with cash
- see the Grand Canyon via long RV road trip with the family
- celebrate 15 years of marriage, big
- sell the business for enough to live comfortably
- start something new
- buy a Porche 911 – any year, reasonable condition, with cash
- celebrate 20 years of marriage, HUGE