I’ve been struggling lately with my goals motivation. I have always been a goals and dreams guy and the problem I have now with my motivation is I am running out of goals and dreams. I got the motorcycle I wanted in my childhood. I traveled to Europe with my family and with just my wife. I have the dream house, and the perfect job for accomplishing my goals and dreams. I have created a pretty drama less environment where my biggest issues are kids not turning in projects on time at school, or my own kids fighting over the Xbox and Fortnite. So, now the question is where do I go for the next 10 years with my kids at home, and where do I want to be in the next 50 years near the end of my life. I need my goals and dreams to change, but the struggle is how do I want them to change now.
Goals do change over time. As I kid I dreamed of being a trash man because I wanted to hang off the truck driving around the neighborhood. I also wanted a motorcycle for the wind in my hair and the freedom it represented. So, one day in college I got to hang on the back of the trash truck for a few blocks after talking with the trash guys. It was fun, stinky, and I felt gross at the end. So, no sanitation engineer career for me. I also got a free motorcycle that I fixed up and rode around for about a year. It was fun, dangerous, and not worth it if I did crash with my children still being so young. So I sold it and got the family a basketball hoop, which has been very popular lately with my two boys. I even got the hoop I dreamed about as a child, the amazing “Goalrilla!” Glass backboard, break away rim, full adjustable, and indestructible. My friend still has his Goalrilla from his childhood and it survived a tornado, while his house was fully destroyed! This was another childhood dream realized for me and we enjoy playing half court games and H-O-R-S-E. So, dreams can change once you experience them a decide that is not for you.
I wanted to travel the world and I have been out of the country a dozen times to many locations. Thailand and Asia in general are still on the list to be done, and maybe Cape Town to dive with Great White sharks in a cage might be in my future dream trips. But, I have gone on month-long road trips, climbed mountains, tubed and rafted rivers, swam in every body of water, eaten amazing foods, and checked off almost all of the U.S.’s major cities that I wanted to visit. I’m going to Portland, Maine in October and all I have left is Philadelphia and Washington D.C. on the list I made 15 years ago. I do want to turn a van into a camper and travel around in retirement for months, so maybe I’ll find some of the best small towns around and make a new list to one day visit after my van conversion is done in retirement.
As a teacher and coach I always wanted to be a head basketball coach or maybe a principal one day. The longer I stay in the profession the more I realize that I don’t want those jobs. It would mean just dealing with more problems. You are doing more politics, dealing with parents, and it is taking me away from what I love most and that is watching kids get better, improving, learning, and interacting with them in a positive manner. As an assistant coach I get to be seen as less of an authority figure and this opens up the players to me. They will express themselves to me over a head coach who they might fear a little more with the truth. I get to know what makes them tick which I can use to motivate. I also relay all this information to our head coach, so he has these tools to use in practice and games, but my relationship is different and I enjoy that. So, the dream has changed and being content in my job is the dream job I was looking for.
So, what about finances? Well, that goal is changing with time as my kids are growing and the youngest is leaving the house in 10 years. I got 5 years left with my oldest, so our super frugal ways are slowing down a little bit. We are still maxing out our Roth IRA’s and saving into our teacher retirement accounts, but we are not saving 50% or more and it’s around 30% for our savings rate. We are on pace to pay off the house in 6-7 years which is perfect for a ten-year plan. We are still on pace to retire millionaires, but it will come later in our lives, in our late 40’s in about 10-15 years. I can still retire with full teacher pension in 15 years and if I live to be 85 it will have paid out over 3.2 million over that time period. We will have healthy Roth accounts, and 403b’s with our paid off house hopefully growing in more value. So, the stress of always saving and getting ahead is not there like it was before when we had very little omney to go around and we lived on one pay check. So, we are spending more money to have experiences with our kids. We are looking at getting all of us to Asia for a culture shock adventure. We are looking at more experiences around the U.S. that would benefit our children’s growth and knowledge. We are looking at charity work with our children, so they can experience empathy toward others. We are still investing the money, just in a different fund that grows over time and that is our family relationship and developing our childrens overall growth.
So, now that we are changing from selfish me and my goals and dreams into family goals and dreams I am finding it hard to come up with new goals and dreams. Before it was me saying, “I’m going to do this!” Then going and doing this. Now it is more, “We have to think of something that can change and bond our family for the better.” This is proving to be difficult. Sometimes, we just freeze and do nothing, but we come back to it later. So, it’s alright to change your goals and dreams and think bigger picture. It’s alright to save less, to have more later. It’s alright if your goals and dreams continue to change and develop over time as you have different seasons in your life. So, keep creating goals and dreams and keep changing those dreams to go along with your life changes. Think long term and what is best for you and your situation.