“To put up with; Capacity to withstand pain or hardship;”

That’s what Webster’s has to say about it.  We only have to examine our daily lives to see what we tolerate and how we feel about it.  If you’ve been able to redefine what you want out of certain circumstances from “expectations” to “preferences” you’ve made great steps to mitigate this tolerance I’m talking about.  If you haven’t, then I suspect life isn’t as much fun as it could be, or should be!

This week’s topic has to do with achieving your goals, living your dreams, and fulfilling your purpose in life.

Goal setting and goal achieving are not skills we as a society have mastered.  Before you condemn my statement let’s review some statistics.  Department of Commerce findings indicate that 3-5% of retirees have sufficient resources to maintain the lifestyles they had before retiring.  Several college studies prove time and again that those who make a habit of writing out their goals achieve significantly more than those who don’t.  Indicating most people don’t write out their goals.  All goals aren’t necessarily financial but between financial and weight I’d venture to say they comprise the vast majority of goals set by Americans.  Newspapers recently have decried the state of American’s weight indicating we are the most overweight nation in the World.  Our government studies indicate the average Net Worth of American’s who reach age 65 is less than $ 45,000 and that includes the equity in their homes.  The same sources state the average American worker earns approximately $ 44,011 … let’s assume the number is

$ 40,000 and that a typical worker works from age 25-65 (40 years) … the total income is

$ 1,600,000.  If one would only save  $ 100 per month (or 3%) of their gross and do so for those 40 years they would have saved $ 48,000 and if they would have invested wisely in a mutual fund that sought long term gains from growth and income-oriented stocks, like The Investment Company of America ( an American Funds Group of Funds) that $ 48,000 would be worth $ 1,108,921.  The period would span April 1, 1965 – March 31, 2005; this hypothetical assumes the highest commissions and fees are paid; there have been no allowances for taxes (State or Federal) (see attachment for complete details of this hypothetical plan)  This is not a recommendation, I am not a licensed securities advisor, but I was one for over 29 years spanning 1973 – 2002 and many of my clients have investments in that very fund as do I.  The point is that saving only 3% of one’s gross salary for 40 years can add up to a meaningful amount of money.  If we reduced the final total by 38% to allow for taxes along the way there would still be $ 687,531 left to augment retirement.  The difference between being 65 years old and having a Net Worth of $ 45,000 and having $ 687,531 is 15.28 times as much.

SO … What’s the answer? 

What prevents us from achieving our goals?  Could we tolerate too much?  What can I do?

Here at Rezults Group, we advocate setting goals and achieving goals.  We say goals should be W.H.Y.S.M.A.R.T. goals. [ Written Harmonious Yours Specific Measurable Attainable Realistically high Time specific ]  To get to the point where we actually write out our goals we first go through an exercise where we identify and write out our Dreams.  We take a very in-depth look at our lives from several perspectives. We look at our Mental, Social, Physical, Financial, Family, and Moral lives.  We discover who we are, who we were and who we want to be.  The process is very defined, we meet weekly and facilitate these and other topics.  Probing and deep questions are covered to allow us to discover ourselves.  We balance this aspect of our selves with our professional side.  Doing similar exercises in that area of our lives.  We balance professional and personal goals throughout the process.  Individuals are held accountable and report progress weekly.  The initial 12 week process is followed up by monthly and finally quarterly meetings to ensure maximum growth is achieved … and most importantly the growth achieved is that which has been mapped out by you!  The goals are your goals.

So what does TOLERANCE have to do with the process?   We ask our clients to write out all the things they are currently tolerating in their professional and personal lives.  We ask them to look at those items, issues, etc., and see if they can quantify what emotional, physical, financial or spiritual costs they are paying because of the tolerances in their lives.  We suggest they eliminate the things they are currently tolerating … if they can’t totally eliminate them then convert them to preferences vs. expectations. Take responsibility for themselves, their lives and set goals that will ultimately eliminate them for good.  These goals would be classified as “Becoming goals” … as opposed to the typical “acquiring things goals.”

Set and achieve W.H.Y.S.M.A.R.T. goals … start today.  Stop tolerating!

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