Jun 9, 2005


One of my cousins is graduating from college this year and isn't sure what he wants to do, so he's going back to school for two years to get his teaching credential because he can't think of anything else to do. Among other ideas, I suggested the following, which I was taught by my dad and has served me well:

Set aside some time and decide what you want out of life and set some long-term goals. Some universal ones that come to mind are have a family, go to Italy/Paris/etc., save X amount of money, etc. Then set some intermediate term goals, about 10-15 years from now. Examples are own a house, pay off student loans, keep baseball/politics/friends a part of my life, run a marathon, be involved in charity work, etc.

Next, look at your intermediate goals and decide what will get you there. For example, to save $50,000 in 10 years, that's an average of $5,000 per year, so you would have to save about $400 per month. That might be a little steep right now, but you'll be able to save more as you earn more. Right now, maybe you can afford to save $100 per month and still pay all your bills, eat, and have a little fun.

Another example: if your goal is keep baseball a part of your life (my cousin was a really good pitcher in high school), you might say to yourself, My dream would be to play pro ball, but that's not realistic. So, what would still make me feel fulfilled? Do I need to keep playing or will I be just as happy or happier coaching? If I need to keep playing, I could look into adult leagues at the local parks, etc. Or if I want to coach, I'll decide what age, if I want to coach school or in a park league, and find out what I would have to do to become a coach. Or maybe I'd be perfectly happy to just be fan - I could see how much season tickets are and save up for that. Or, maybe I want to work for a team as a scout, so I'll contact my high school coach and see if he knows anyone who can give me advice. I can contact the Angels and Dodgers too, and find out if they have any openings or someone I can interview.

Once you set your goals and know what steps you need to achieve them, the only thing left is to take the first step. Remember to look them over regularly to check your progress and reassess whether you still want to achieve them. Good luck!

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