I recently started writing out my life goals.  I wrote them out like I would write an outline for a book.  If you think about it, that’s exactly what it is: an outline for my life.  I keep this running to-do list in a Microsoft Word file, and I keep it open all of the time, mostly so I can jot down a note if I become inspired by something that I see.I have the obvious things on my list.  You know, save money, buy a bigger house, put the kids through college, and make a big nest egg for retirement.  There are also some other goals, like getting my Master’s degree and writing a novel.

Interestingly enough, many of my goals conflict with each other.  This is what Robert Frost meant by ‘the road not taken.’  For instance, I’d really like to go to law school, but I’d also like to be a writer.  Now, nothing says that I couldn’t go to law school, write and possibly publish some books, and then not be a lawyer.  The pragmatist in me, however, won’t let that happen.  All that money to waste.  So, at some point, I have to decide if I want to be a lawyer or to be a novelist.  Fortunately, neither road is open to me yet, so I don’t have to decide yet.

I think that writing out your life goals is important, and reviewing them at regular intervals – like once per year – is even more important.  How are you supposed to know how to get somewhere if you don’t know where you are going?

My reasoning is that writing out your goals helps you define what you really want.  And then, knowing what you want will make it happen.  This helps serve as motivation for the times when, say, you are stuck in the middle of a chapter and you can’t figure out how it is going to end.

So tell me, what do you really want?