With the current state of the world in turbulence, how can you prepare your children for a smooth future?
As a financial strategist for more than 45 years, I’ve helped individuals and families focus on more than their financial assets—I’ve provided practical solutions for enriching the foundational and intellectual assets as well.
THE 3-LEGGED STOOL
The 3 Dimensions of Authentic Wealth (Financial, Foundational, and Intellectual) are like a three-legged stool. A stool with only one or two legs wobbles and falls. The same holds true when we live an unbalanced life.
A lot of people just focus on the money, money, money, while bankrupting the other two areas critical for holistic success.
They’re in danger of accumulating their wealth at the expense of their health. Later in life, they end up spending all their wealth trying to regain their health. That‘a counterproductive, isn’t it?
Or they might be fine in wealth and health, but their relationships have paid the price. They aren’t close to their spouse, their kids, their grandkids, or their God. At the end of the day, they wonder, “What was all that for? I’m not going to take any of this money with me.” There are no luggage racks on hearses, as the song says.
So how do you help those that you care about set 3 Dimensional goals, with a constant, balanced vision for a brighter future?
WHAT MAKES A GOAL “SMART”?
I teach 12 principles all designed to guide parents: How to Prepare Your Children for the Future. In this article we’ll focus on the third principle, which walks children through effective goal-setting in all 3 Dimensions of Authentic Wealth.
So as we talk about preparing children for the future, I’m always shocked how many college graduates have never learned how to effectively set goals and have a vivid vision for a brighter future.
For example, it’s not just any old goal that will motivate us. They need to be SMART goals. Now, SMART is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, in a time-frame.
WHERE ARE YOU AT?
When I do this exercise with our own children and grandchildren (my wife, Sharee, and I have six children and 20 grandchildren), I have them get ready to establish SMART goals by getting clarity on where they currently are in life, before they get clarity on where they want to go.
People often skip that first step of introspection, but it’s critical. It’s like the GPS systems in our phones and cars.
These systems start by assessing where you are at this moment, triangulating your destination with the help of three satellites out of about 30 circling the earth for that very purpose.
Then and only then, the GPS system asks your desired destination and provides options on how to get there.
Just the same, it’s important to assess where you really are in proximity to your goals— even if it’s not a pretty picture—before you can set off on our journey to achieve them.
WRITE IT ALL DOWN
Once that awareness has been established, have your children write down SMART goals in all 3 Dimensions of Authentic Wealth.
It’s also critical to have children give their goals a time frame, such as one year. With my family I have them answer the question: If we were meeting here again in the future, looking back over the last one-year period, what has to have happened in your life for you to be happy with the progress you made in all 3 Dimensions?
I usually have them write that down in past tense as if it’s already happened, because you become what you think about. They write down their financial goals, their foundational goals, and their intellectual goals.
As they do this, I always make sure they have at least three goals in each dimension (but I’ve found that once they get in the flow, they start writing like crazy, adding more goals).
For example, in the Financial Dimension, they may want to save for a new car. Here they would write down what they will do to earn the money, how much they will set aside each month for the down payment, etc.
In the Foundational Dimension, they might want to build a stronger relationship with a specific sibling or parent, so they’ll note what they will do to get there, like scheduling time every Tuesday to hang out, doing something both enjoy.
In the Intellectual Dimension, they might want to add to their knowledge or skills, so they plan to take an online course or attend a class.
Now, when your loved ones start this process, there may be some hesitancy; they may start slow. But as they begin to write down their vision, they tend to gain clarity, and that’s what gives them energy.
I usually give about 15 to 30 minutes for goal setting, then it’s time to move on to the Opportunity BREAKthrough. (As you can tell, I’m an acronym guy.) BREAK stands for:
- B – Barriers that need to be overcome
- R – Resources needed to achieve the goal
- E – Experiences of others you can draw from, or experiences you need to have to progress toward your goal
- A – Action steps you need to take
- K – Knowledge you need to gain
Have your children write down responses to each of these for each goal.
When done, in less than an hour your children will have gained clarity on a vibrant vision for the future, with SMART goals and BREAKthroughs defined for the coming year.
Have them hang what they’ve written in their rooms, encourage them to make any modifications needed over the next year as they make progress.
TOOLS FOR FAMILY SUCCESS
These tools work so well, I’ve developed them into concise forms my family uses each year. They also turn to other tools I’ve created, like The Goal Activator and Better Life Circle.
I share many of these tools in my books, “Entitlement Abolition” and “The 10 Keys Transformation.” They’re also available as downloadable PDFs as part of the accompanying master classes for both books. If you’re interested, I invite you to order the books for free (just pay for shipping and handling), or go even deeper with the on-demand, online master classes.
WANT TO LEARN MORE?
Watch the Video – Watch the related YouTube video to see me explain “How to Prepare Your Children for the Future” (and while you’re there, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you don’t miss a thing!).
Empower Your Family – With the Entitlement Abolition strategies, you’ll discover: 1) how to harness the power of 3 Dimensions of Authentic Wealth; 2) how to make deposits and withdrawals in your family’s Legacy Bank; and 3) how to rethink your thinking—and how to help your children do the same.
- Order the book free (and just pay for shipping & handling) at www.EntitlementAbolitionBook.com
- Explore the concepts in-depth in the online Master Class: www.EntitlementAbolitionBook.com/masterclass
Explore The 10 Keys Transformation for Yourself – In this book and master class, Doug shares ten powerful strategies that can transform not only your work, but your life. This is your invitation for exponential growth, your pathway to a rewarding journey, your steps toward making a lasting difference with your clients, and all those within your sphere of influence.