This week, we celebrated a milestone birthday in the office. Brooke Clark turned 21. If you haven’t met Brooke, her smile welcomes you when you visit our office, and her voice greets you when you call. Her birthday started me thinking about other noteworthy points in our life. Perhaps, we look forward to a particular birthday: 16, 18, 21, and many others that follow. Or perhaps we look forward to a lofty goal: moving for college, a new job or promotion, marriage, starting a business, retirement, or leaving a legacy for our families.
Sometimes, we look forward to better days or a brighter future, especially if times seem difficult. Regardless, we should make each day count. How do we do that? Goal Setting and “Bucket Lists” can help. I’ve seen firsthand the importance of goal setting in the estate planning and elder law work that I do for people of all ages.
Goal Setting, Bucket Lists, And Taking Steps.
Do you have a bucket list? What are your goals? Each is a destination. It may be years away or merely days. But whether just a few days or many years into the future, you must map out how you are going to reach the destination. I realize that figuring out how we’re going to achieve our goals seems easier said than done. It is. We don’t have a crystal ball. We don’t know the future or what exactly the best path will be. And there may be some detours, roadblocks, and speed bumps along the way. But if you set the goal and create a map for getting to it, each step you take will bring you one step closer to reaching it. Your bucket list items are a prime example.
Vicki Gibson is another valuable team member in the office. We work side-by-side quite a bit, and, if Brooke isn’t here, it’s Vicki’s warm smile and pleasant voice that makes you feel comfortable when you visit or call.
Vicki recently returned from her own bucket list experience: an Alaskan Cruise. Wow! Hearing about the trip and seeing the beautiful pictures made me long for a similar trip. Yet Vicki admitted that her description and pictures failed to capture the feeling of the experience. The exhilaration. The breathtaking views. The crisp, sweet air. The flowing rivers, snowcapped mountains, whales, glaciers, and so many other things that words or pictures can’t fairly describe. If words can’t describe it, how do we understand what Vicki experienced? We must experience it, too.
Whether an Alaskan Cruise is on our list doesn’t really matter. The point is that much in our life is like Vicki’s experience on the Alaskan Cruise. We can’t understand what it is like without experiencing it ourselves. So what are we doing to experience the things that interest us and take us closer to achieving our goals?
There Will Be Obstacles To Overcome.
There will always be obstacles. Part of every experience and achievement is the journey. Very little good is experienced without some challenges along the way. And the obstacles or challenges can take many forms. Sometimes we may view our age as an obstacle, saying we’re too old or too young to have a particular goal or interest. But is that right or does our age simply add to the challenge?
Is it simply another obstacle to overcome in our journey to experiencing something special? Don’t let the challenges and obstacles keep you from working toward your goals. They merely make the path look more difficult, but you shouldn’t let them stop you from beginning your journey. The first step is the hardest. We all have reasons (obstacles and challenges) why we wait to take the first step. But we must take that step, or we’ll fail to make the most out of our days.
Maybe your goal is to start a business. Starting a business isn’t easy. It takes guts, vision, and the willingness to accept the outcome. Not all businesses succeed. But those who know success and have experienced the triumph of trying something new and special have also had to embrace the uncertainty of the future. They had to overcome the fear of what might go wrong. They had to boldly refuse to let the fear of those things stand in their way from trying something big, making something special, and seeing just how successful they could be. I’ve been there myself when I decided to start my law office. And I have been honored to help many clients with the legal aspects of beginning their new ventures.
We don’t have to look far to see others who are venturing out to realize a dream. Jessica Beaven and her husband are a perfect example. They’ve laid out the vision for a senior-living community, called Homeplace of Henderson, and they’ve taken steps to make the vision a reality. Of course, they could have simply kept their vision quiet and done nothing, always wondering what would have come of their dream if they had tried. Instead, they embraced the challenge of making something new and boldly forged ahead. Doing nothing may have seemed easier at the time, but the sting of regret from not trying would have been much worse. They are making their days count.
Make The Most Out Of Your Days.
While we may not have Alaskan Cruises in mind or a large-scale residential and commercial development as part of our goals, we have goals. What are they? Make a list of them. Then, write the steps or milestones to achieving the goals. But don’t stop there! Take the first step. It’s normal to be scared and to see the challenges instead of the opportunities that accompany them. Do it anyway. Don’t hold back. Whether you are just turning 21 or you are shopping for a senior-living community, make the most of your days.