Saturday, June 13, 2009

Tomorrow Comes Quicker Than You Think

I've been in the Air Force now for 19 1/2 years.

I won't be retiring next year.

"Tomorrow" got here much more quickly than I expected
.

tomorrow

You see, back when I first started my home business, I had a plan. It was a long-range plan. In 9 years, I was going to make sure that I had no debt, and was consistently earning enough Extra money every month that I could truly "retire" from the military; as opposed to simply moving on to another job.

It was a great long-term goal. I wrote it down, I visualized it, I could actually "see" it happening.

Unfortunately, I didn't feel the need to also build short-term goals that would provide a road-map for getting to that destination that I visualized.

... after all, I had plenty of time. The "details" would take care of themselves.

Well, after a divorce, remarriage, and a few kids I didn't have at the beginning of my journey, there have been "several" more "details" than I expected. Wouldn't you know it ...

Today is Yesterday's (actually 9 years ago's) Tomorrow.

... and I'm not ready.

Instead of preparing to "retire to the golf course", I am instead preparing to spend another Christmas away from my family, on the other side of the world.

No biggie, that's my job. But sometimes I can't help thinking "what might have been".

Lest you think I'm feeling sorry for myself ... not to worry.

Like many lessons in my life, this is just one that needed some harsh reality to implant itself in my thick head.

As of today, I'll be reworking my dream board.

I still have a long-range goal (5-6 years) of retiring to the golf course (no looking for a new job). However, I now realize the importance of also setting myself realistic short-term benchmarks.

Intend to be fully prepared the next time tomorrow tries to sneak up on me.

Todd

11 comments:

  1. First of all Todd, I find that it is very brave to admit what you just did. Just like you I am not where I want to be and it is not that I didn't create the dreamboards and all the other stuff.

    I think you're right that you will not only need to create the plan with the long term goal but also create a plan will all the small day to day things, set weekly goals, monthly goals etc. and then most importantly of all is to NOT miss out on what you had planned to do for that day.

    If your planned daily task comes before everything else so that you will always get the job done I can't see how you would ever not reach your goal (that is unless you suck at planning naturally) :)

    Thank you for the gentle wakeup call.
    /Mikael
    .-= Mikael @ Retire Rich´s last blog ..Article Marketing Research – Marketing Online Articles Effectively =-.

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  2. Hi Mikael,

    I think the main reason to have good solid short term goals, is that it's easier to recover and get back on track when the inevitable distractions, detours and roadblocks come along. I am very much a "no worries" kind of guy ... set backs don't generally stress me out ... but at some point, there is such a think as being "too laid back". And with a goal 5-10 years in the future, it's VERY easy to become complacent. lol, on the flip side, when you start missing too many daily or weekly goals, it quickly becomes obvious that something needs adjusting ... even for us "glass 3/4 full" type people.

    Thanks for your thoughts ... much appreciated.
    Todd

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  3. Todd,
    You may wanna get out of the AF and come to Chicago and forecast weather here. If you could get it right just 25% of the time, you'd be 10x better than these guys on TV here... you'd be rich! LOL
    On a serious note, man I totally get what you are saying. My long term plans have changed several times in the last 10 years (and I am much younger than you ;) ) and during all those changes, I often forgot to live "for the now."
    I think you may find that outside of the AF is so different too. I only did 4 years but when I got out, I found it hard to adjust to the real world.
    AL
    .-= Allyn´s last blog ..Video Reviews Are Better Than Written Reviews =-.

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  4. Hey AL,

    Believe it or not, I don't really want a weather job when I'm done with the Air Force ... I like weather, but when I retire from the military I intend for my life to sound something like:

    - Get up, check email help get kids to school
    - Go to the golf course
    - "Work" business for an hour or two
    - Hang out with kids after school
    - Eat dinner, watch tv/movie with Ana
    - "Work" business again for another hour or two before bed.

    The main setback to my plan (and I'm sure I'm not alone) is trying to live the life I envision just a little too soon.

    I'm all about having fun, I think it's a Very important aspect of a balanced successful life. But ...

    Gotta sacrifice a little bit now, to get the rewards I want in a year or two, or five.

    ... and more importantly, gotta be constantly evaluating the type of sacrifices I'm making to ensure that the return on the investment of my time/effort is actually commensurate with the progress I'm making towards my goals.

    As for life being different outside the military ... I know for a fact I am in for some culture shock ... I enlisted 6 months after my dad retired ... I've Never not been "in" the military ... in my entire life.

    Todd

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  5. That's why don't give excuses. Do what you need to do as soon as possible. You'll not feel the time passing by until it's gone.

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  6. Hey Todd,
    As my wife reminds me, we only get one life. And when each day is done... it's done, never to be seen again. That's why it's important to live each day to it's fullest, something I'm better at saying than doing... :) One has to balance planning for the future (long and short term) with living and enjoying each day. It can be a tough balance.
    Anyway, I haven't been by in a while. Where's "the other side of the world" where you'll be spending Christmas, and how long will you be there? ~ Steve, the trade show guru

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  7. [quote]Anyway, I haven't been by in a while. Where's "the other side of the world" where you'll be spending Christmas, and how long will you be there? ~ Steve, the trade show guru[/quote]

    Hi Steve,

    Back to Iraq again ... just for 6 months ... I'm a "fobbit" (which means we don't leave the base) when I'm over there, so it's really not that bad. Sucks to be away from Ana and the kids. But hey, it's the career I chose.

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  8. hey Todd,
    Stay safe. Being away from family sucks. Especially for that long.
    Is fobbit derived from Forward Operating Base?
    And why did you decide to go with this DISQUS commenting system. Maybe I should register with it. Is is a way to fight spam comments?
    ~ Steve, the trade show guru

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  9. Hi Steve,

    Yes, Fobbit is derived from Forward Operatating Base ... and actually it's a bit of a derogatory term mainly used by those who operate "outside the wire" to refer to those of us who live in the comfort and relative safety of the FOB. It's all good though, I understand where they're coming from ... but still wouldn't want to trade places with them.

    As for DISQUS, I installed it after reading this article: http://andybeard.eu/1904/disqus-why-95-of-blogg...

    A few of the reasons just made sense. I particularly like the idea that people can log in with Twitter or Facebook. I have my doubts that anybody ever clicks those silly little "share" icons that people put at the bottom of their posts. But if you're already logged in with Twitter or Facebook anyway, it's just a check in a box to share your comment with your followers.

    In addition, I was getting really tired of the whole "dofollow" vs "nofollow" thing. This way, I have a comment system set up, installed one plugin, and I don't worry about it beyond that. If someone figures out how to "game" DISQUS for followed links, more power too em ... but I won't have to worry about who I'm linking to from MY domain.

    lol, a little longer explanation than I'd intended ... hope it answers your question ;-)

    Todd

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  10. Great article, very thought provoking. Your words make me realize that you can never be complacent in life and that we should always be planning for the future in life and business.

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  11. Whatever you can do today, do it now. Don't wait for tomorrow coz' you'll never know tomorrow might not come.

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