Goal Scheduling – 5 Years (1 -2 hrs)


The Goal Scheduling exercise is designed to further refine your understanding of the scope and magnitude of the goals that you are undertaking.  You have already put yourself ahead of 90% of people who haven’t taken the time to think about how much it will take to achieve their goals. The next step will be similarly difficult.  You will be faced with the reality that the amount of time needed for each goal or the sequence that things need to be completed may cause a rewrite of your action plan.  This is perfectly normal and expected.

The purpose of this exercise is to identify these conflicts in advance so that you don’t get surprised by delays.  It gives you the opportunity to build your network or obtain resources needed in advance to keep your plan on the path.  You will find that over time, the act of taking these steps, even if they cause you to rethink, reorder or reevaluate will make you successful.  This is because the time you spend planning will save you from spending much more time chasing dead ends that could delay pursuit of your passion for years.

The instructions here are simple.  Transfer your goals from the Goal Assessment sheet to the 5 Year Goal Scheduling sheet.  Start plotting the start and end time for each activity in the applicable quarters for each year.  If the goal exceeds the 5-year time horizon, simply extend the activity to the end.  If it doesn’t start within the 5 Year time horizon, just leave the line to the right of the goal description blank.  Each year that you conduct your goal planning, more of your long-term goals will enter the 5-Year horizon.

Consider the duration of each event and the sequence they are completed.  This is where you are going to optimize the schedule to minimize the amount of time taken to achieve your goals.  Due to how you completed the Goal Assessment exercise, the action items should be in relatively sequential order.  Here you have a choice.  You can either start at the bottom of your goal list and build out in time, or you can start at the top of your goal list and work backward in time.  The benefit of working forward in time is that you can easily determine durations and set the start date of sequential items at the end of the previous step.  This however, may result in a timeframe that exceeds the target of your ultimate passion goal because the bias is towards providing a buffer for each step.

I generally prefer to start at the top and work my way backward in time.  The downside of this option is that you may still have tasks to do when you run out of time.  The bias here though is that time is inflexible, and you must analyze each of the goals in turn to come up with creative solutions for accelerating each step through delegation or other resource allocation methods.

You may find in this process that some of your goals may not be as important (personally) relative to others and some may be abandoned or heavily modified to keep the timeline on the most important outcome.  Since this is a Wealth Building Strategy, it is appropriate during this phase to consider if each goal contributes or detracts from your net worth goal.  Also, it is reasonable during this stage to look at how your Wealth Building Strategy relates to your other personal goals.

Given the amount of activity scheduled for building the wealth you desire, does it leave sufficient time for other activities you consider critical?    The person in our example of becoming a doctor and creating a net worth of $10 Million in 20 years might determine that becoming a nurse practitioner and developing a net worth of $5 Million in 20 years is more applicable.   Everything here is fluid.  The most important thing is that you are intentional so that you can rationally and realistically approach the future with confidence.