Back in 2001, I was finishing school with a BA in Art Studio(which my 'rents were livid over since the swtich from CompSci). My uncle asked me a couple of questions: Where do you see yourself when you are 35 and what goals have you set? So I joked, "I will have a million dollars in assests by then time I am 35, but probably will have as much in debt." After that conversation, I had not really thought about the goal. I figured, I'll just focus on getting a good job as a graphics designer and see where life takes me.
I wasn't very worried about my finances at the time. I paid off my student loan within the grace period so I paid only $20 in interest total(more on that later). I bought a car when they were offering 0% financing. I didn't really want to travel as I needed to look for more projects to develop my portfolio.
Fast forward to May 2011. Not quite 35. I have $1 million in assests, close as much in debt. I have reached my goal, though it stressed me a quite a bit. I was trying very hard to persue this goal. I thought little about it, but kept it in the back of my mind. Everytime then some opportunity came up, we always thought about how our decisions will effect us immediately and in the long term future. Does this opportunity contribute to the wellbeing of the marriage, family life, financial happiness? Will this opportunity give cost too much stress or time for the great paid off? My million dollar goal was never a factor in the decisions. I confess that I have thought about how our decision will add toward or take from that goal, but the dicisions were never base on that goal. My focus was not on that.
Now I realized that even though what I thought once was a whimsy/joke, I really did consider it more seriously than I expected. The power of setting a goal, no matter how big or small, long or short will have an impact.
As for my next goal? Simplify. I would like to simplify my life. Is that too vague? I think it can apply to all areas in my life. Hopefully, it will take less than 10 years.