In our series on transitions, we’ve been using the acrostic “SAIL” to define our process to help clients smoothly get through these periods. Below, we will address what the “I” in “SAIL”. The “I” stands for “Identify”, and is one of the more crucial components of navigating a successful life.
As you go on your life journey, there will likely be many transitions. They may be job or family- related. It might be moving from one season of life to the next, or moving into or out of employment. Whatever the case, there are always lots of moving parts and it’s important that you come prepared. For the most part, it’s not that difficult to do so, but the key to success is being able to identify the resources needed and understanding where they can be found.
Likely, in the identifying stage, the process takes more time than expected and will require a clear written plan. We tend to forget what’s most important on our own list when we don’t have a written plan. When a colleague gets a new boat, or our neighbor adds an addition to their house… without a plan, we’re off “googling” for boats, or interviewing contractors. Some of us are even guilty of doing both! We all want those things: they’re great, but don’t let them distract you if they aren’t in line with your true desires.
IDENTIFY WHAT IT IS THAT YOU WANT.
Once you are clear on what you really want, it is time build habits and put in repetitions that will help you get there. Be specific, and keep in mind that it will take time to reach your ultimate goal.
To help you get a specific picture in your mind’s eye of your destination, consider asking these questions: What is your job description? How much savings and income is required for that lifestyle? What does your family life look like? What does your bank account look like?
Don’t forget: you will need more than questions. Identify the mindset you need. What are the positive thoughts that will drive you toward that goal? And, what are the negative thoughts that will keep you from that goal? Our mental state is the key to most of our lives: Where we are and what we have is driven by our thoughts. So, identify the thoughts you need and those will be the keys to living out your plan and arriving at the destination you choose.
In doing this deep dive, your answers will likely be harder than what they seem on the surface. But, keep asking, “Why?” until you’ve identified exactly what it is you are looking for. Let’s be real… most of us want to be a CEO with a $5 million dollar a year salary and the perfect family of four, right? While it sounds good, it’s just not what we’re all meant to do, and that’s the importance of identifying what it is YOU truly want to do.
Once you’ve identified the destination. Take a second to give yourself a pat on the back. Write down exactly what it is and review that daily. Keep it where you can see it and don’t be afraid to let others know. This is what I want to do ______________. Take a little more time and work backwards from your destination point to where you are. Continue this process identifying exactly what you need to do each step of the way until you arrive at where you are today.
Now that you’ve identified the main target, you can easily define a path to pursue. From now on, spend every day pursuing the goal you desire most. Going forward, be sure to organize and create a system that will keep you working toward your target on a daily basis. Do so with the understanding that you can experience success in almost any endeavor by being persistent, maintaining determination, and being organized with your thoughts and actions toward your defined target.
THINK OF IT THIS WAY: THOUGHTS > TARGET > ACTION
I’ll leave you with this: it’s important to identify exactly what you want. It’s crucial to have a defined purpose. If you haven’t determined a defined outcome, then you will likely spread your time, effort, and energy on too many different things. At this point, you’ll likely achieve the opposite of success.
Be intentional. Identify what you want and train your thoughts and actions to lean in that direction.
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Kane McGukin serves as Senior Data Strategist for Archetype Wealth Partners. He is passionate about technology, financial markets, and helping people progress. Archetype exists to help families thrive across generations by connecting their money with their purpose.
Disclaimer: Our intent in providing this material is purely for informational purposes, as of the date hereof, and may be subject to change without notice. This article does not intend to constitute accounting, legal, tax, or other professional advice. Visitors and readers should not act upon the content or information found here without first seeking appropriate advice from a trusted accountant, financial planner, lawyer or other professional.