Life-Long Goals - Retirement Net by Dee Cascio, LPC, LMFT, ACC

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Life-Long Goals

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How to get what you want, when you want it

Posted June 20, 2011

I am always fascinated by people who make New Year’s resolutions. I find this interesting because it benefits us, as well as our communities, if we set goals and move forward throughout all of our lives instead of solely at the beginning of a new year. In this article, I would like to explore the importance of setting realistic goals throughout all life stages.

The Profile of a Boomer

"Each of our acts makes a statement as to our purpose." —Leo Buscaglia

As Boomers, we have watched our parents struggle and strive for a better life for themselves and their families. The things that the "Greatest Generation" achieved are phenomenal. As we observed, we learned that it was our responsibility to work hard, continuing the progress our parents started. Most of us are willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. A successful career has become a staple of our identity. For many of us, our legacy has been leading changes in the civil rights movement, a desire for world peace, ecological shifts and raising profound awareness regarding feminism and multicultural diversity. For many Boomers, turning 50 and 60 wasn’t a downer but a positive milestone about what was next.

It is up to us, once again, to set the trend for this next phase of our lives so that it will be much more fulfilling than we’ve seen in past generations. We will have 20 to 30 more years to shakeup, change and infuse energy into our generation’s legacy, which will be left for future generations. What is the best way that you can succeed in harnessing a new retirement model just as you have succeeded in transforming other life-changing movements?

A New Trend

"20 years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the things that you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, dream, discover." —Mark Twain

I found this Twain quote while reading Creating Your Best Life: The Ultimate Life List Guide by C. A. Miller and M. B. Frisch. Their research shows that those who continue to set goals for themselves in all of their life stages are happier, more hopeful, more satisfied and experience more meaning in their lives.

I encourage you to set goals in each of the following Life Arenas:

  • Career/Work
  • Health and Wellness
  • Finances
  • Family Relationships/Friendships
  • Leisure and Social
  • Personal/Spiritual Development

As you set goals in each of these arenas, you are creating balance and building a happier and more satisfying Retirement Lifestyle Portfolio.


You may be familiar with the SMART model for goal setting—Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-sensitive. Although this is a very effective model, Miller and Frisch have added some extra components to this model to help us set goals for all life stages, especially in planning for our retirement. Here are some additional characteristics for goal setting.

Goals should be:

  • Challenging—making you stretch and grow
  • Exciting and magnetic—drawing you to what you feel passionate about
  • Value driven—reflecting what is important to you
  • Creating feelings of independence, connectedness, and competence
  • Intrinsic and purposeful—motivating from within, and giving life meaning
  • Written down—putting it in black and white and keeping it visible
  • Reflecting commitment and accountability—commitment to yourself and others

Goals help us to stay engaged in life and connected with others. Discover what you feel drawn to and pursue it.

So go ahead and set some goals within each life arena and in that process, make the best of your life for the rest of your life!

Dee Cascio is a Licensed Professional Counslor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice, helping individuals and couples live healthier lives for 22 years. She is also a Certified Life and Retirement Coach, and enjoys helping people create the life they desire in both the challenges of daily living and in the exciting transition to the retirement of their dreams. Her website is


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