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Goal Setting Investments

December 26, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured Articles, Front Page, Wright Ideas

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Image by khteWisconsin via Flickr

The goal setting process is about identifying what obstacles are between you and your goal and getting access to the resources needed to bypass those obstacles. Some of the resources we need to reach our goals are time, money, and energy. By focusing on how we can leverage our current time, money, and energy we can create more for when we need them most.

People usually talk about spending money at the store or spending time with their family. The spending mindset is all about the expense in terms of time, money, or energy. When people talk about investing they expect something in return over the long term, not just the momentary pleasure of eating, being entertained, or hanging out. The investment mindset is about the return in terms of time, energy, or money.

When people want to have more money they often start by eliminating excess spending. This is an attempt to reduce the expenses. The trouble with eliminating expenses is that there is a point where no more expenses can be eliminated. If we have a fixed income, there is only so much money we can keep even if we eliminate all our expenses.

The question you should be asking yourself when investing rather than spending is “what is my return on this investment?” Return is profit divided by investment. In other words return is how many more dollars do you get back for every dollar invested.

For example, if I invest $100 in a piece of art and am able to sell it for $100, my return is 0% — I only made back my one dollar for every one dollar I invested. If I am able to sell that piece of art for $150 I made a 50% return — I made back my original $100 plus fifty cents on each dollar I invested. If I decide that I need to be rid of this art piece because it is taking up too much space and I sell it for $50 I had a negative 50% return on that investment — my pay out was $50 less than the original $100 I invested.

Using the principle of return on investment let’s look at typical spending. If I spend $100 on a new TV and get $0 because of it, I have a return of negative 100% — I lost 100% of what I put in. The same applies to our time and energy. The time spent in front of that TV is generating me no pay out and therefore is a 100% loss of that time.

How is this different if rather than spending the time I choose to invest it? I invest the $100 and the several hours a day towards my goals. I may be able to turn that $100 into $200 or $1000. I may turn those few hours into weeks on the beach. I may even notice that my energy level is higher because I’ve invested in something meaningful to myself!

By focusing on investing our time, money, and energy into areas where we will see positive returns, such as our goals, we are able to leverage the original resources and the newly created resources. These resources can now be used to reach other goals more quickly and easily. By choosing to invest, rather than spend, our limited resources we are creating a positive spiral and making our lives match our dreams.

Visit for more on goal setting and more importantly, goal getting and find out how Native American wisdom, good business sense, and NLP are helping more people create the life of their dreams.

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