If you’re reading this, then you probably want to know what a goal-oriented lifestyle is and how you can incorporate it into your life to achieve your goals. If that’s not what you want, then I’m not really sure what you expected from this post, but keep reading anyway because it might interest you.
Photos of me at my university orientation and then one of my graduation photos by @johnathan_tsunami on Instagram.
There’s a difference between having goals and living a goal-oriented lifestyle. Why does it matter? Well, simply having goals is a good step, but having them doesn’t mean you will achieve them. It’s pretty much just the difference between being passive and active in your pursuits. This post is not one of those social media posts meant to shame people for not trying or not reaching their goals. I’m just here to talk about how a goal-oriented lifestyle can help you achieve your goals and outline what we mean by goal-oriented lifestyle.
In essence, our goal-oriented lifestyle boils down to what this whole blog is about. We want to be healthy, happy, and financially free. So within all of those things, we set goals. I know everyone is going to have different goals, but I think those three broad terms are pretty universal.
Make Long-Term and Short-Term Goals
The first step to living a goal-oriented lifestyle is well to create goals. I know, super insightful. I don’t know how you would have gotten this far in the process without my help (sarcasm).
But you do have to put some effort into developing your goals. I think we’ve discussed the goals enough that they just kind of formed themselves. You need both long-term and short-term goals. Long-term to know where you’re headed and short-term on how to get there.
For example, one of our long term goals is to be semi-retired (only doing work that we want to do like trading and the blog) by 30. So, some of our short term goals are for Evan to develop successful trading strategies this year, for me to keep posting regularly and work on monetization more. Those alone are fine goals, but the long-term goal gives it a little more direction.
Write Goals Down and/or Discuss Them
I’ve been seeing this trend of “motivating” posts on social media, particularly Instagram, that encourages people not to say what they want to do, but to just do it and show everyone at the end. If you’re only trying to reach these goals to prove something to others, which I think those posts imply, then I guess it makes sense to keep everything to yourself and let people just see what you’ve accomplished.
However, I don’t think that is the most helpful or healthy mindset. Sure, it would be nice to prove to doubters that we can become successful, but that’s not why we all set goals. That’s not why we want to become successful. For us personally, our goals, which you can read more about in this post, are for the two of us. Just to be happy. Not to be better than anyone else. I think that’s how it is for most people too, so I’m not sure why those social media posts are floating around everywhere.
There are a couple of major things you miss out on if you choose to hide your goals from others until you’ve accomplished them.
- You don’t get help from others. I know you may not want direct assistance in reaching your goals because you may want to do it on your own, but even just having mental support from someone can be good. If you don’t write down your goals or don’t talk about them, then they may change or you might lose sight of them because they’re not resting in the back of your mind at all times.
- If you do want to reach your goals to prove yourself to others, they’re not going to know how much time and hard work you put in unless you talk about it. So let’s say you become a millionaire entrepreneur. You never told anyone your big plans or anything, so they just see you at the top and probably assume you cut corners to get there.
Quick rant here, have you read those “how this millennial couple became millionaires by 30” posts? I hateeee those. They’re never about people who legitimately started at the bottom. It’ll be like “oh yeah, so I got out of college with a bunch of student loan debt, but I got a a job making 80k a year and my parents gave me a loan for 300k to start my business. Talk about privilege. Except the people never even acknowledge how much of a leg up they started with. They act as if they’ve had the roughest life. Seriously annoying to me. Feature some start ups who really had it rough, ya know? Ok, rant over.
Life happens. You change your goals. You make new ones. That’s just how it works. You don’t have to be absolutely stuck to your goals.
My goals have changed a lot over the past few years. For years my goals were within the typical academic rat race. I wanted to go to grad school or a law school to become a lawyer or psychologist or something along those lines. Now my goals are most definitely not in that direction. Going back to school is more of a back up plan for me now. That’s ok. It doesn’t mean I’m not working towards something. My goals are just different now.
Evan is the same way. His goals have changed over the years too, but he’s still just as determined.
We anticipate that we will have new and different goals in the future. This may be due to unexpected changes in life, meeting our previous goals, or just finding different interests. It’s perfectly normal. Goal-oriented lifestyle doesn’t mean lifestyle surrounding one exact goal for the rest of your life. It just means that you’re always working towards something, even if it changes.
Don’t Forget to Enjoy the Present
This is probably one of our biggest struggles. In a goal-oriented lifestyle, it’s easy to get wrapped up and focus more on the goal than about living life. Or once you achieve the goal, it can be hard to remember that that was your goal at one time and not just keep moving on towards the next. Remembering to enjoy your achievements and everything else in life is important because otherwise there is really no point. If you meet your goals, but don’t care about it, then what was it for? If you do everything you set your mind to, but are miserable, then why bother? There has to be a balance between working towards your goals and just simply being present and enjoying where you’re at.
This is one of those do as I say, not as I do sections. I suppose one of our more loosely defined goals is to start enjoying the present more. Mainly me. Evan does ok at that. We’re both pretty driven, so we just kind of have tunnel vision for whatever it is we’re trying to do. Evan works on improving his strategies until he gets them to the best possible position. I’m usually over here stressing out about work because I want to do a good job. We’re also perfectionists, if you couldn’t tell. One example of our struggle with appreciating what we’ve accomplished is where we’re living and what we’re doing currently. In California, our goals were to:
- Move to a completely different state where we didn’t have family to rely on (independence thing I guess?) because that would make it too easy;
- Evan would finish his school at a university;
- I would get a job as a legal assistant; and
- We would get our own apartment without roommates
We’re doing all that. This is what we wanted and now we’re both busy trying to think and plan out how to reach the next goals in our life. So, we’re still working on this one
The takeaway points from this is 1. make multiple goals, 2. discuss them, 3. allow them to change as necessary, 4. don’t let them completely dominate your life.