Rest of Your Life Goals

Ed Note: I was reading through old articles, I found this one from an interview with Thomas Leonard about the rest of your life goals and thought you might enjoy doing the exercise. It will definitely give you something to think about.

Interview with Thomas Leonard

“As we all get older, I believe it becomes easier to look at the rest of our lives instead of just the next 12 months. It becomes easier, and even exciting, to embrace the 20, 40 or even 60 years we have left on this earth by asking ourselves ‘Hey, what’s so important to me that I want it for the rest of my life?’ Or, ‘What have I had enough of in my lifetime that I’m ready to move on from, for the rest of my life?'”

“I found myself making a list one day of the 10 elements of my life that I wanted around forever, and the 10 elements of my life that it was time to say goodbye to. Instant life plan. Took me 20 minutes.

“I decided that my work (as a coach and writer) was something that I wanted to do for the rest of my life. And, enjoying my 3 best friends. Having a dog, (currently a Maltese named Fringe). Being a nice person forever, no matter what someone says or does. Constantly experimenting with new ideas and creative mediums. Being nourished by my relationship with God. Waking up each morning with nothing on my to do list. And, maintaining healthy reserve levels of time, money, opportunity and support. Adding value to others just for the joy of it. And finally, to always follow my whims, no matter how little sense they make at the time.”

Aren’t these just examples of goals?

“Not at all. These are life elements and themes that you want with you forever. Specific and changing, goals may well come from these 10 elements. But I believe there is value, and comfort, in knowing what’s going to be with you forever, no matter how life changes. Call it a virtual reality check if you will.”

To help his clients identify these life aspects, Thomas asked them these two questions:

Question #1.

“What are the 10 aspects or elements of you or your life that you want to enjoy for the rest of your life?”

Question #2.

“What are the 10 aspects or elements of you or your life that just don’t fit any longer, for the rest of your life?”

He said that his clients, while at first surprised by the “long term” nature of the exercise, quickly understood the power of the questions because they could look ahead and decide what they most wanted, and equally, if not more telling, what they didn’t want. “This exercise makes prioritizing the rest of your life a breeze because it’s easier to prioritize anything when you take a long term view.”

And what about the “life elements” Thomas said he was ready to let go of?

“Those took a bit more work, because I had to alphabetize them,” he responded. “Seriously, I didn’t think that there was much to let go of in my life but I did come up with 10 valuable ones, including not being consumed by my creativity, not promising something until it’s ready to deliver, not emotionally reacting to any situation and not talking about others, a.k.a. gossiping.”

And how was he doing with these “to let go” items?

“Don’t ask. I’ve got some work to do.”

What “Rest of Life” goals does your list contain?

About Cathy Severson

Cathy Severson helps baby boomers find more meaning and purpose in their lives and work. Get your copy of her complimentary e-book Guide to Retirement Activities a comprehensive look at work, volunteering and leisure based on an individuals’ personalities. Call for a complimentary 20-minute consultation to answer your most pressing concern. 928.775.4949 or email Cathy at

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