This summer I’m reading The Bridge of San Luis Rey, by Thornton Wilder. One endorsement touts the book as “…a towering achievement in American fiction and a novel read throughout the world!” So, I figured I can self-label my blog post the “best ever.”
If you’ve traditionally made resolutions and set goals on January 1st, then the midpoint of the year is a great time to check in on your progress. If you didn’t set goals this year or have lost track of them, this is the next best time to establish them. Not New Year’s resolutions, but Mid-Year resolutions.
The midpoint of 2022, July 1st, coincides nicely with the approaching long holiday weekend for most people. It’s a great time to think about your goals for your retirement and your life.
Most approaches to goal-setting are too ambitious, but I’ve got a no-nonsense system that’s sure to work for you.
Typically the process will have you craft multiple goals over the coming months or even years. Setting goals in areas of family, career, health, finances, spirituality, etc. can be exhilarating – but after about two weeks of distractions most people never review the list, let alone monitor detailed plans to achieve their goals.
From a phased retirement perspective, having a vision and the goals to support the vision are doubly important. Going through defined stages of retirement has many benefits, but it’s not the traditional approach. In all likelihood you’re going to have to design your own path.
So, on a sheet of paper (not high-tech, I know, but it’s easy and portable and those are the two key criteria here) write out the following:
- My goal: __________
- By when? __________
- Achieved on: __________
Yes, just ONE goal for the first week of the second half of 2022!
Perhaps you’ll schedule a meeting with your financial planner. Or plan a lunch with a retired friend whose approach you admire. Maybe sketch out your idea of what a phased approach to retirement could look like – no matter if it’s next year or 20 years away.
Now write down the date you’ll achieve it: July 8, 2022 for the first week.
At the end of the week, note when your goal was achieved, write a new goal and date, and repeat the process every week.
By the end of December, you’ll achieve 26 meaningful goals – and you’ll improve your goal-setting and achievement ability. You may find yourself achieving goals more quickly and adding others, or perhaps you’ll find a better system than pen and paper that works for you.
Regardless, you’ll start small, get that wonderful feeling of achievement, and be more focused on your goals than ever.
Finish 2022 strong and you’ll have something to toast on December 31st!