It's so easy to get wrapped up in talking about how people can attack their student loan debt or move up in their careers (or even start their own business). I love trying to help people with those goals, and it gets more exciting the larger M$M's reach becomes.
But the unfortunate reality is that the vast majority of people never really get to where they want to be. So many people keep making the minimum payments or stay firmly buckled into the rat race.
Honestly – it's heart breaking because I want people to have an awesome life. Too many times people are held back by either fear or limited thinking, which can both be completely avoided by practicing organization.
Success isn't an accident. It's a product of meeting your goals.
I think one of the biggest challenges facing millennials is the “instant” life that we've grown so accustomed to. The internet has made such drastic influences on our thoughts and behaviors that it's mind-boggling.
When we were young, it was a freaking revelation when phones had the snake game or a colored background (you all remember the snake game on the Nokia phones, right?).
Now we are constantly and instantly connected to essentially whatever we want whenever we want it…except for success. Its frustrating for a lot of young people and a very tough concept to grapple with in our 20's.
Here's the actual way you become successful:
Short term goals
In my opinion, anything that you want to happen one day up to one year from now is a short term goal. Life is long, but at the same time a year can go by so quickly. Your short term goals need to be the foundation that you use to build everything else on.
They need to be things that are truly actionable and you have a shot at accomplishing.
They could be things like:
- Researching and fully understanding every aspect of your student loans
- Sitting down and creating a budget or downloading a free budgeting tool
- Deciding what type of side hustle you'd like to start
Mid term goals
These are the things that are going to take up to five years to accomplish. For me, one of my mid term goals was turning M$M into a viable business that I could actually live on. Fortunately, I've gotten to that point a little earlier than expected but I never thought this would happen quickly.
Here are some possible mid term goals:
- 50-100% reduction in student loan debt or other debt
- Increasing year over year profit with your business
- Creating a strong retirement strategy
Long term goals
All of your short and mid term goals should build to what you eventually want to accomplish in life. For me, paying off my loans and starting this site were just stepping stones to becoming a very wealthy person later on. I have all the confidence in the world that I will have a yacht, house on the lake, and plenty of money when I'm old. 🙂
Long term goals could be:
- Retiring comfortably
- Building a sizable estate to pass to your children
- Achieving happiness over the course of your life (probably the most important one)
How do you stick to your goals?
If you were thinking I'd say “be realistic”, you'd be surprised. While I think that you should always have goals that you know you can achieve, I also think you should have some that you're not too sure about.
I had no idea I would pay off $40,000 of student loans in a year and a half. I had no idea I could turn a little blog into a $12,000/month business that has been on Forbes, Reuters, CNBC, etc. Those were both pipe dreams that many people told me weren't possible. In fact – the reason that they are so unbelievable is probably what landed me the previously mentioned news features.
If I had listened to the critics that told me not to have “unachievable” goals, I'd still be unhappy in my former career. I think every successful person has to have the ability to tune people out when needed.
With that said, you also need to understand what you're actually capable of. I've seen people out there that want to be full-time writers who don't write very well. That's….an issue. But it doesn't mean that they wouldn't be an awesome YouTuber or an incredible salesperson.
Try everything, but understand that when it doesn't actually align with your strengths you may need to change course.