Changes Step by Step

Sometimes we put living on automatic pilot; acting without thinking, not having a plan, not considering the long term consequences, and eventually the consequences catch up with us.  For some people that may mean going from one relationship to another watching things get worse every time instead of better.  For other people it may mean falling out of healthy habits and getting stuck in a rut of unhealthy habits.  For others it may mean being stuck at a job or career and not being able to move forward.  And for others yet, it may mean being in a rut of not being able to save money to get ahead. We all have our vices.  We all have our challenges, our struggles, and our issues.  Well, I have mine too.

I am writing this blog for a small number of reasons:  1) I have goals that I want to achieve by making small changes one step at a time and blogging may be one way to hold myself more accountable, 2) as I do succeed and document how I came to succeed, hopefully that can positively influence others to find and work towards their dreams, and 3) to document all of the successes and failures along the way as an experiment and learning tool – as I would suggest for anyone striving to make changes for his/her future.   So, I am writing this blog for myself first and for anyone and everyone else after that whom it might help.  It all begins with the first step and following a sequence of steps after that regardless of what life throws your way.

As I am writing this, I realize that I have been working fairly consistently for the past 31 years towards these goals, but was lacking any real long term direction or insight as to where I was going.  I have always had the short term goals, but have finally developed the ultimate long term goals needed to plan that path.

There was a lot to learn to get here and there is a lot more to learn to get to the next level.  But, the first step (somewhere during my college career) was learning about my own values.   While I currently have long term goals developed, those goals may change.  What I do what to know is that those goals are based upon MY values.

My values: God, family, freedom, flexibility, health, financial independence, education, money, simple living, love, sharing, caring, respect, trustworthiness, honor, honesty and so on. . .  That is a good list to begin with.  This gives me a basis for my life goals and a strong foundation and center for decision making.

The greatest want I have ever had was to spend as much time with those I love and care about as possible.  However, I have spent much of my youth working two and three jobs trying to get my financial head above water.  So, basically I have spent my life treading and sinking in the financial waters of the world.  And, all that I accomplished was to work through my youthful energy to focus on barely making a living.  Had that energy been more focused and disciplined, much more could have been accomplished.  In time, I would like to rewrite all of this, research various successful people’s paths, and understand the thought processes of those who continually struggle in order to help some people move forward – once I get a handle on it all.

With that all being said, the way I am going to move forward is by deciding what I want to achieve – regardless how simple or complicated.  So, first a description of the overall picture:

I want to build a career that can accomplish the following:

  1. I need to create enough of an income to pay down and off debt, making a decent living, and save for retirement.
  2. I need to be able to work and travel between our kids simultaneously while still having part of the year at home to “live off of the land”.  Freedom and flexibility are the key words.
  3. I need to move work towards more physical activities or at least a balance between physical activities and sit down activities in order to live a healthier lifestyle.  I also need time to work out/get more exercise, create healthier eating and sleeping habits, and relaxation.
  4. I need to develop at least two different forms, if not more, of residual income.
  5. I need to be able to “give back” to society whether in the form of free services, money to donate, or find other ways to give back.  But, in order to give, one must get above their own circumstances and that takes time, effort, and planning.

When I consider what values of mine these ideals encompass, I am looking at the value of God/faith, being financially independent, family, freedom and flexibility, health, education, simplicity in living, loving, sharing, caring, respect, trustworthiness, honor and charity (though this list could go on).  So, I believe I am on a decent path.

For other people, the goals will be different.  I know people who are happy working 40 hours a week and living life around that.  There is nothing wrong with this at all. That is their way of living, this is mine.

But, how does these goals get accomplished. . . especially at my age?  We will begin to identify this in the next post.

This blog will ideally have new posts on Wednesdays and Sundays of every week.  This first post identified the overall life goal(s).  The next set of posts will break down this goal into smaller goals and objectives that cover a 5 year plan, a 1 year plan, a monthly plan, and a daily/weekly plan of items to accomplish to build towards the life goal.  Following that will be the successes and failures of working to accomplish these plans. This will offer information on identifying personal strengths and weaknesses and how to work with, over, and around the strengths and weaknesses.

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