Compare the Desired State to the Current State

What is wanted? What is happening now? What is the difference?

Before strategies can be formulated to achieve goals one needs to identify the starting point and the destination. By comparing a desired goal to the present state the amount of effort, time and resources required to complete the goal can be calculated. The previously completed exercises should provide answers as to where you currently are and your visualization of your goal as to where you want to be. Calculate the difference. You can now evaluate the resources and skills you possess to help you achieve the goal. The information will assist you in determining your strategies and timetable.

Continuing with the example of planning a trip. If the starting point and destination are identified, the distance, time, and mode of transportation necessary to complete the trip can be determined.

A trip from New York to California involves a goal of traveling a distance of approximately 3,000 miles. If an individual wants to complete the trip in one day, flying is the required mode of transportation. If the individual has an aversion to flying and prefers to drive, then a strategy of completing the trip over a time span of three to four days must be considered. Smaller, more manageable, daily travel goals of 750 miles are planned including actual driving, eating and rest stops, i.e.:

  • New York City, NY to Indianapolis, IN (701 miles)
  • Indianapolis, IN to Grand Island, NE (731 miles)
  • Grand Island, NE to Salt Lake City, UT (798 miles)
  • Salt Lake City, UT to Los Angeles, CA (688 miles)

Similarly, if a dentist’s goal to retire at age 60 with $4,000,000 of accumulated wealth and currently has loans of $400,000, a goal of accumulating $4,400,000 in savings and loan payoff over 30 years is established. The dentist’s blueprint (see Figure 2) breaks down the 30 year major goal into more manageable 5 year minor goals. The first five year goal is to accumulate $500,000 of which $400,000 will be used to satisfy the loan and to establish savings of $100,000. Subsequent five year goals are formulated to accumulate the remaining $3,900,000 through increased earnings from an increasingly profitable practice, savings, investments and compounded interest.