Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Dream or a Wish?

Welcome back to the New Year's series.  This week I'm blogging about wrapping up the old year and bringing in the new year with resolutions and goals.  Here are the posts so far:

A week of endings and beginnings
2013 Accomplishments page and video
New Year's Resolutions

A few years ago, I took a job in sales.  Unfortunately, of the many things I inherited from my father, the ability to sell was not one of them.  I did however work for a great boss, mentor and friend.  He always had advise and 'sayings' to go with it.  His name was Plato - seriously, his given name was Plato.  I don't know how many of his sayings were original but they were always helpful.  This is one of my favorites:

"A dream without a plan is just a wish."

So today I want to talk about what makes a plan or more specifically, goals and objectives.  Sounds like a really heavy topic, I know.  In my corporate life, I did objectives every quarter of every year for 14 years.  I had a lot of different managers in that life (that wasn't where I worked for Plato) and they all required we do objectives. It became a habit that I've continued.  I do them once a year now.  It is a great way to keep on track.

So what is the difference between a goal and an objective?  A goal is like a destination.  It is the thing you want to achieve.  When you get there, you will know it. Objectives are what help you get there.

Let me share with you a goal I had years ago.  I suppose because I grew up in a family business related to the home building industry, I developed a desire to own my own home really early.  We often spent Sundays walking through the new houses my parents were going to be working in.  I learned to walk the gangplank which goes into a new house in lieu of steps at an early age. I can remember drawing house plans on the back of invoices when I was hanging around my parent's business.

In high school, my main goal was to get through college, get a job and build a house.  That goal persisted into my 20's.  I was always focused on saving money for a house.  So the goal was a custom home of my own design.  I was fairly specific with when I would have the house built and paid for.

To get to the goal, I had to do a lot of things that became my objectives.  I wanted to design the house myself so I spent a lot of time going through house plans and magazines for ideas and drawing draft after draft of various plans.  I did get an architect to draw the house up for me.  Of course, he put in all kinds of things I didn't account for like where the heat ducts would go.  (I never said I really knew how to design a house. :-)  Anyway, I had financial objectives to save so much each year.  There were many steps to home ownership and I was very proud of the day I moved into the house we now live in.  That was 20 years ago.

I use this as an example of a goal and its objectives because it was successful but also because life has changed and now we can talk about a new goal.  When I planned this house, I thought I'd live here forever.  Apparently, I also completely ignored my own and all my family medical history and forgot about how climbing stairs gets to be a problem for everyone in my family eventually.  Oh well, I don't suppose anyone in their 20's thinks of things like that.  I also didn't think I'd ever lose enthusiasm for gardening or yard work - ha!  Oh, that makes me laugh.  I lose enthusiasm every spring when the mosquitoes and the humidity arrive.  I'm not the only one in this household getting older with creakier joints.  We have 7 acres of land here and it can be a real challenge.

And back when I designed and built this house, I had a corporate life which gave me contact with so many people. Home was a refuge way out here in the country (or the suburbs as my husband who truly grew up in rural America likes to remind me.) Either way, we are a good drive from restaurants, shopping and a social life.

So I see my needs changing and this probably won't be our home forever.  I don't anticipate selling out and moving any time soon.  My parents still live nearby and depend on us.  Eventually though we will be looking for a new place to retire.  And that brings me to a new goal.

One of my goals is to move to a new community to retire.  And there are many objectives to make that happen.  I don't know when it will happen but I can get ready. One way to get ready is to make home improvements that will improve resale value.

So this year, I have this as one of my objectives...

To select and install siding and trim for our home to provide the best resale value by the end of June.

One of the other things I learned and taught others to do in my corporate days was to create objectives that were specific, attainable and measurable.

My objective is specific in that I know the home improvement will be both siding and trim (but not windows - I've already ruled out upgrading the windows).

It is something we can get done this spring. I have some ballpark idea of the cost and am prepared (I hope!)

And it is easily measurable.  Either we will have the work finished by the end of June or not.

So this is one of my objectives.  I've found that having 4-6 objectives for the year works for me.  I usually have one or two in each of the key areas of my life - career, marriage, family, home, personal health.

Last year I had an objective to increase my YouTube subscribers to 1000 by the end of the year as part of a goal to turn my scrapbooking hobby into a career.  I am happy to report that I reached 1000 in August!  So this year, I'm making more objectives around my career goal.

Do you make long term goals?

I hope you are finding this series helpful.  I know that accomplishments, resolutions, goals and objectives sounds like a lot of stuff.  Think of them as tools.  You can pick out which ones work for you and your life.

Tomorrow or Saturday, I'll have a new scrapbook page up to wrap up this series.  It will share how I scrapbook my New Year's goals and objectives.

Today I have short video on how I've scrapped these kinds of things in the past few years.

Watch at YouTube

Thanks for stopping by!  Oh and I know with the Internet at my fingertips I could look up Plato's quote and see who really said it but as far as I'm concerned, it was my dear friend's wisdom.


  1. I'm going to write that quote in the wonderful book Alexa made for me. I love it! Such a wonderful idea for a post, Lisa. I really enjoyed reading it. Happy New Year!

  2. Lisa, I so admire your ability to set goals and then follow them through to completion. Wish I'd started that 30-40 years ago...but since I didn't, I'm starting this year! Thanks for sharing your considerable wisdom. Happy New Year!

  3. Lisa, I so admire your ability to set goals and then follow them through to completion. Wish I'd started that 30-40 years ago...but since I didn't, I'm starting this year! Thanks for sharing your considerable wisdom. Happy New Year!

  4. Thanks. This was really interesting and I enjoyed to read it !


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