When creating your retirement plan (and getting the life you've always dreamed) it seems most corporate executives and solo entrepreneurs hope for the best. You keep doing what you've always been doing and don't have a strategy for creating the life you'd truly be deeply happy with. This is a big mistake in my opinion, and just doesn't make sense. Think about it, you've been planning your entire lives, that's what made you so good at what you do. So why is it that when you retire you think you don't need a plan?
I have tried writing out my goals, breaking them down into what I was going to do today, this week, this month, this year, but it never really worked for me. I could get the plans on paper, but I found it difficult to stay on track, felt like I was being micro-managed -- by myself! It just didn't excited me enough to stay on track to be able to achieve my new goals, I'd get bogged down in the process. They didn't catapult me into motion and so I kind of viewed them as being useless, eventually abandoning even the attempt at setting goals. By not seeing the millions of tiny plans move into accomplishments (and feeling like there was wayyy too many to even begin to attempt accomplishing), I never really paid much attention to them.
One day, while I was tossing out some papers, I looked at some of the goals I'd set during one of my visioning exercises I'd been instructed to do. Much to my surprise, although I hadn't accomplished each individual tiny goal, the big goals had almost all been achieved!
That's when I came across the concept of creating yearly visions that spanned the next few years, instead of a list of what seemed like millions of goals for the upcoming year. I'd read somewhere that goals are not what's unachievable, its just unrealistic timelines. Ah-ha! I thought I was on to something useful! I discovered that visioning wasn't just about life and retirement goals, but also family, financial, spiritual and relationship goals. It became an "all-encompassing" way of looking at what you wanted in your life. All the pieces looked like they would work together, but only because I was forced to make it all work together for an extended period of time, which was the first time I'd done that in such a way. I didn't need to pore over each minute little detail. I just needed to set my big picture goals, including as much detail as I saw at the time, and keep focusing on them, visualizing that they'd already happened, and what my life would be like and how I'd feel when I had ‘arrived' at that future point.
The best part of doing the exercise this way, my subconscious was continually working on arranging things to make it work. Cool! What I found starting to happen, was that the goals I'd set for further down the road, began to happen more quickly. Things I'd thought would take 3 years, took half that time or less! So I began to wonder, what would happen if I intentionally set goals that I really didn't think was possible within a year, since there was so much detail to accomplish to get to that point (from my limited view)? What if I knew they could happen, but it was the timeline I was unsure of? This way of visioning really got me excited and I began to REALLY think BIG.
Inhibitions disappeared. My creative side started working in overdrive and I really took the time to see the possibilities. AWESOME! I began to see thing happen, and money materialize in my life in places I totally didn't expect it to!
This process of visioning was a way for me to create something to work towards, to strive for, that didn't bog me down in all of the little details. I realized that I could stop worrying about the HOW and focus solely on the WHAT and WHY. Once I had a persuasive reason to progress towards the goal, I found myself becoming unstoppable!
So each year, a couple of times throughout the year, I tweak my vision for what I want in my life. And at the beginning of the year, I write new yearly visions for the next few years. I do write it in the present tense, as if it already happened, but I don't put dates on points within it, to help me allow it to happen when it was meant to. That helps me so I don't get bogged down like I used to with "but HOW am I going to do that?" and feel frustrated before I even get started. I don't always accomplish all of my goals within the year (remember, I'm so excited that it actually works that I now have A LOT of goals!), but I do know that if it was meant to be, it will be since I am continually taking action towards them. Similar to the famous quote:
"Do not ask God to guide your footsteps if you are not willing to move your feet." -Unknown
Such a valuable exercise! And it really gets you thinking and excited when you read it back to yourself. And when you review it to see how much has been accomplished – ASTONISHING!
"When you can clearly see yourself being there, you can see much more clearly how to get there. You can imagine the path to your dreams, then start to actually walk it. Play an active role in your own future. Imagine with passion and detail how you'd most like it to be." --Ralph Marston, http://greatday.com--
YOUR RETIREMENT ASSIGNMENT:
Take a few minutes right now. Create your yearly vision for the next few years. Don't worry about the ‘how'. It must be one that will literally PULL you into your future, might even scare you just a little, and make your heart sing in anticipation of what you are about to do.
Be sure your vision is very specific, realistic and a big STRETCH (that's what's going to move you forward quicker than you would if you didn't have it.) You can use bullet points for categories such as these:
Family and Friends
(that's what I do)
If you prefer, write freely but remember to keep it all focused on the specific, make it SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-Sensitive. Make sure you track your progress over the next few years.
Either way, allow your creativity and dreams to come to life.
And don't forget to write in the present tense as if it has already happened. If it doesn't excite you, it's probably not BIG enough.
Oh ya, one more thing. I just looked back to my last vision and I was pleasantly SURPRISED to see most of the goals have already been achieved in just a little over a few months! This stuff really works!!
Once you've done your yearly visioning, it's time to get moving in a big way for 2009. You'll want to call me to investigate private coaching, or pick up your copy of the Secrets to Retirement Success Home Study System™ for attracting all the things into your life that you've ever imagined. You need proven, systematic processes that help move you into your new life quickly and consistently, guaranteed. The time is NOW. Are you ready? Here's where you can get a copy: www.NewFaceOfRetirement.com.
About the Author:
Tracey Fieber, The Retirement Transition Expert, is founder of the Secrets to Retirement Success System™ and www.NewFaceOfRetirement.com, the proven step-by-step program to create the retirement of your dreams, have fun with more friends, make more impact with your life, while having more time off to enjoy it all. To receive your F.R.E.E. Audio CD by mail and get weekly how-to articles on attracting the life you want to live, visit www.NewFaceOfRetirement.com.