I try to live life with no regrets. However, it’s hard to accomplish because I make mistakes (a lot). I can’t know with confidence that a decision that I made when I was in my late-10s were sound decisions nor do I know the decisions I make today are sound. I haven’t experienced a lot yet so I have no idea if I made or am making the correct choices. Reflecting back, I had a couple of decisions that I wished I had done differently. I will lay out life goals to achieve in my 20s to build wealth and not have regrets in my late 20’s or 30s. Here are goals to accomplish so in 5 years, you don’t feel the painful feeling of regret. Do something TODAY so five years out, you don’t have the same regrets THEN.
Life Goals are Timeless
First, I want to say that it’s never too late to start working on your life goals. Look at them long-term that you can implement TODAY, little by little, then in 5 years you will be able to look back and thank yourself for achieving and working towards these goals.
Goal #1 Look for Ways to Earn More
Money is not the end goal in life but it sure can bring happiness and comfort at times. I’m looking for ways to earn more income, whether it’s just 10, 20, 50 dollars more a month. It may not sound like a lot, $50 a year. However, I like looking at income and/or expenses over a year out to be able to feel the true effects of a financial decision better.
50 dollars a month is 600 dollars a year, which can buy a lot of things that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. If I put those 600 dollars to work in the stock market until I’m 65, with a 7% return assumption, it’s worth $11,385. Now, $11,385 when I’m 65 is going to be worth less than $11,385 today but I can assure you it’s still going to be a lot of money 43.5 years out.
That is also just saving $600 ONE year. What if I save $600 the next year? Another 5 figure increase in my retirement. Then next year? Then next year? It’s not that little amounts add up to a huge amount, it’s that little amounts will GROW to a big amount. It’s like a baby, after decades and decades of taking care of him or her, the baby will grow and be self-sustaining.
Goal #2 Keep That Body Healthy
I work out 4x a week for about 45 minutes to an hour. It’s not intense work outs because I don’t have a gym membership. I just run, do push ups, and squat outside. I may spend 45 minutes – 1 hour working out but I gain about an extra 1.5 hours of productivity. Why? Working out makes me have more intense sleep cycles. Because the intensity of my sleep is up, I need less sleep to feel refreshed. I still sleep the same amount because I love sleeping, but when I wake up, I feel more energized than before.
As an estimate, I probably need to sleep 30 minutes to an hour less than if I hadn’t worked out. Furthermore, when I come home and get on the computer, I don’t feel as tired. Therefore, I don’t get sucked into a trap known as instant gratification. Being tired can get you to stay looking at your computer surfing the web for hours at a time.
Goal #3 Build Better Relationships
I LOVE taking to people. People know or do at least one thing that you can learn from. If you look at it in the world, that’s 7 billion+ unique things that you can learn. Fantastic! They have their unique interests that give them a fresh new perspective and by taking an interest in their interests, you could learn something new that changes behavior, gain their “like,” and have a pleasant conversation.
Right now, my plan is to meet at least one new person a week within the company that I work for. I’ve been able to meet amazing people and learned so much. The world is such a complex web it’s nice to have someone guide me through it. I also keep in touch with a lot of them by sending periodic emails to see how they’ve been doing. I call my friends periodically as well (not text them, call them).
One thing that I want to clarify is that I don’t talk to people because I want something out of them. I talk to people because I have a genuine interest in learning more about the person. I never judge. There’s a girl in my work class that the majority do not like. However, I saw a positive in her and ignored the negative. She is great at putting presentations together and is very organizational. I am none of those things so I talked to her about it to learn and she was happy to talk.
Goal #4 Read a New Book Per Month
I enjoy reading. It hasn’t happened a lot these days because of this blog and work, but I’m 33% through with Blink. I wasn’t always enthusiastic about reading. In middle school, high school, and sometimes even in college, I read assigned readings and would force myself to do extra readings. I say forced because a lot of other books that I picked up didn’t interest me.
This was the misconception that I needed to correct. I read books because I thought it was good for me. I didn’t read books because I WANTED to. Now, I research books and look for subjects that I want to learn more about. Things that I want to learn more about in the next couple of months is decision making processes, negotiation, and how to play office politics.
I look for continuous ways to learn and improve because I believe it will give me an edge over someone who doesn’t. It’s not by accident that business leaders read at least 3 hours a day. Warren buffet reads probably closer to 10 hours a day. It’s a game of competition and I believe preparation is what gets you there. Reading can be a significant differentiator.
Goal #5 NO TELEVISION
Watching the Olympics are great and all and I love cheering on countries. However, I watch the Olympics on occasion through TVs in restaurants or bars. I do not own a TV (I used to own a brand new, not opened TV but donated it to my brother). Television just ruins you. Your eyes get more strained, it gets you more lethargic, and it wastes time.
It’s hard to get used to not having a television, I understand. That’s why it’s just better to own no television whatsoever. I use my computer for entertainment purposes (Youtube, news articles, Facebook, etc). I don’t waste any time turning on the television that gets me sucked in to watch it after work. Instant gratification sucks you in without you even realizing it.
Give Yourself a Slight Edge
In the end, setting goals to achieve in the next 5 years will help you successful. I outlined 5 that I know will get you richer in 5 years if done little by little and consistently over time. Little by little means giving yourself a slight edge by improving 0.27% (1 / 365 days) every day. Improving yourself by this much every day gets you to be 100% better by year-end.
Isn’t that amazing? You will double yourself by year-end if you follow goals to be successful. You can’t get that returns in the stock market! By end of year 2, you will have quadrupled yourself, By end of year 3, you will have 8x’d yourself! Holy cow!
Readers, what are your goals to be more successful? The life goals I outlined above will guarantee success if you practice them consistently over the next 5 years!
My goal is to enable your success in personal finance so that you can realize the American dream. The first step is starting today!
Read more about me here.
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