In his book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” Stephen Covey suggests you “start with the end in mind.” I have found this concept to be a powerful directive, whether it refers to financial planning, achieving particular goals and objectives, or making sure we do the things that are important to us.
Covey suggests an exercise where you envision your own funeral, and what you would like others to say about you. Such an exercise is helpful to zero in on the things that are really important in life and allows us the opportunity, while we are still alive, to make changes so we live our lives consistent with those values.
I would take this a step further. Consider identifying the important things we want to experience before we die. A bucket list, if you will.
The “Bucket List” is not only fun to create, but is also a great way to identify what you want to see, do, or accomplish. There is no right or wrong answer, and no prescribed list to be accomplished in life. This is truly an individual expression of who you are.
My 28-year old daughter has her bucket list conspicuously posted on her bedroom wall for the whole world to see. It is titled ” The 30 things I want to accomplish before I turn 30.” She lists things like sky diving, which is definitely not on my bucket list. However, it’s interesting for me to see what we do have in common on our lists. In particular, we both share an interest in travel and an active lifestyle. Like so many things in life, starting with the end in mind is the most important first step to achieving your goals and objectives.
One of my bucket list items is to take a walking trip in Europe where I would stay at bed and breakfast inns and burn off enough calories each day to enjoy a great meal at night and soothe my aches and pains with a pint at a local pub. After many years of planning and preparation, having walked over 2,200 miles in the past year, I am currently on a three-week journey in Northern England.
I hope to have an experience that helps me grow in important ways and brings me back to my everyday life with a sense of renewal and energy, ready to maximize my effectiveness in both my professional and personal life.
It is this balance between work and play that I refer to as “living life in the middle.” Taking the time to identify and plan for achieving our unique goals and objectives can help us be more productive in other areas of our lives. We help our clients do the same: Plan for the long-term while achieving bucket list dreams along the way.
I am confident my bucket list experience this summer will help me to be a better financial advisor when I return to work in August. What do you want to do?
We hope you’ll contact us to help you get there.