Do I have dependents? We always think of the spouse and the children, but very often, one has parents that are also dependent on you. Your parents might be independent now, but if you die before them, who will look after them in their old age? Were they depending on your labour, and now will have to pay for those in-home visits by a professional?
What kind of house do I want to live in? What kind of car do I want to drive? These kind of questions will have an outsized influence on your financial life, and the ability to generate wealth.
Holidays, big and small - Modern life is stressful, and having regular breaks if at all possible, will literally add years to your life.
Children is not only important when it comes to life-insurance should you die, but they also come with huge expenses as they go through life, and the older the child, the bigger the expense. Things like university, trade school, weddings and so on comes to mind.
Early Financial independence. Some people would like to retire early, some would like to retire very early, the so-called F.I.R.E. movement - Financially Independent, Retired Early. In general I like the idea, but many of the people get overzealous in the race towards financial independence.
A year or so after many of these people have achieved their goals, you will hear them sound a little disillusioned. "Ok, I am 40, retired - and what now?"
I prefer a more gradual approach, like growing an orchard....
Community involvement. Some people would like to spend much more of their time involved in their community in some or other way. Consider whether this is for you?
Tools and methods
There are more goal setting tools, methodologies and spreadsheets out there than what there are people on this planet.
There is not a specific tool that I have yet found that works for me that I can recommend. But I have found the Dynamic Living seminar done by Skip Ross to be an excellent methodology. It is a little dated in presentation, having been developed around the '80's I guess.
However, it's message is as enduring as it is simple:
Success is the maintenance, over time, of a balance between the five major areas of importance in life: Social, Religion, Family, Mental Health and Physical Health
You can find out more in his books Say Yes to Your Potential and Daily Disciplines. Both are available for free on Kindle Unlimited. If you want to listen to the original seminar, you should be able to find copies of the 5 CD set on Ebay. It is REALLY worth it.
But again, this is not a once off process, you need to regularly update this:
In Grade 5 I decided to become an accountant, and stuck to that for about 10 years. In the meantime though, computers came to market and gradually took my mind of that goal. Somewhere in that period I wanted to retire by 30, doing something that vaguely involved sub-dividing and developing the family farm in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, RSA.
HOWEVER, I am writing this in Tokyo, Japan, after 20+ years doing SAP implementations in South Africa, The Netherlands, The Philippines, Germany, The USA and Japan. Sometimes our goals are way to small for what God expects of us.
Now I am switching to MONIE Orchards and financial education for "the rest of us" for the next phase of my life.
The rest of the content of this website will focus on the financial components of your goals and dreams, for the soft topics like goal setting, there are better places to research that.