We had a wedding in the family earlier this month and as I signed the guest book, I thought about my marriage and I wondered where life would take my brother in law and his new wife.
My husband, Wes, and I celebrated our 15th anniversary last week, and I’ve been reflecting our our life together.Â It’s been just like the movie Forest Gump. We have drifted through life like a feather in the wind, letting life take us wherever it wants us to go.
We’ve been lucky. Life has given us some challenges, yes, but honestly we know that if a problem can be fixed with money, it’s not really a problem.Â And since we’re both healthy and our 3 kids are healthy, we know we’re blessed.
We celebrated with a delicious Italian dinner and talked about how fast the last 15 years had gone and how many milestones we’d reached together; our 3 happy kids and how different each of them are.Â We talked about the homes we’ve owned, the family dog, vacations we’d taken, our first new cars that are long gone by now, and all the things we’d struggled over and celebrated together.
We’ve always had goals, but they were more just “expectations of normal” as far as what we “should” be doing by a certain age, based on what our piers had done and were doing. We both finished college, we bough houses, we bought cars, we went on vacations, but really, we were not purposeful in how we lived our lives.
That’s changed in the last few years, since I became a network marketer.Â We were introduced to the world of personal development and since then, I’ve drenched myself in personal development books, leadership seminars, home study programs, audios, e-books, etc.Â I know I’ve spent well into the $5 figures on my business and personal development education, and I’ve learned that living life on purpose is the only way to really get the most out of life.
“You just don’t luck into things as much as you’d like to think you do.
You build step by step, whether it’s friendships or opportunities.”
— Barbara Bush, first lady
So, over our anniversary dinner, I asked my husband if he’d be willing toÂ take a trip to the bookstore to buy a journal and a pen.Â After playfully bickering over whether we liked this journal or that journal, and which pen we preferred (he likes gel pens, I like ball point) we sat together, watching the sun set, drinking coffee and writing out a goal and a plan for our next 15 years together.Â It was a powerful experience for both of us, and I thought it would be helpful to you if I shared our process for planning our out lives.
First, we listed off the milestones that we’d be arriving at within the next 15 years.Â On our list were things like seeing the kids go to prom, buying them cars (with their help), college, weddings, and even potentially grandchildren if our 12 year old has babies at 24 and 27 like I did! (That was humbling to say the least!)
Then we broke down the various areas of our life (family, work, health, fun, spiritual, financial, etc.) and dreamed about what we’d like to achieve, see, or experience.Â It took us a couple of hours to work it out, but we felt so connected to each other when we were done.Â We were able to discuss where we are, and where we want to be.Â We talked about what makes us come alive and how we can support each other in reaching our personal goals and how they would benefit each other and the family.
We made sure our goals were stated in the positive, and we followed the SMART goal setting plan that I have successfully used in my network marketing business for years:Â Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Risky, and with a Time deadline. And we broke our list down into 1 year, 5 year, 10 year, and 15 year achievements.
Personally, I know that I tend to dream big for my one year goals, but I have trouble sometimes imagining where I’ll be in 15 years. For me, working through the milestones that we’ll cross in the next 15 years really helped me to see the big picture I wanted to our life to look like.
We also broke each of the one year goals down and we’ve started to take action in each of the areas we set goals around.Â It feels so good to know what we are working toward, and having talked with each other about these goals, Wes and I are able to support each other, and hold each other accountable.
I know that the majority of people in this world don’t set goals, and even fewer write them down and refer to them frequently. Thankfully for the entrepreneurs of this world and network marketers specifically, many of us have seen the power of setting goals, and we’ve surrounded ourselves with leaders who serve as pace-setters naturally causing us to stretch ourselves and work beyond our comfort zones.
But, I ask…what’s the point of building a network marketing internet business (or any business for that matter) if you don’t have a goal and a plan for what it’s going to give you? We’re taught, early on in our network marketing careers,Â to make a list of the reasons why we are building our network marketing business, but I suggest you take that a step beyond your why and create a plan for all the areas of your life.
You can float through life like a feather in the wind, or you turn life into a feather pen and write out a plan and a goal for what you want your life to be.Â You decide, but remember…
“The future depends on what we do in the present.”