Follow me on Twitter (@successprof)
As I mentioned in the last article, there were many reasons why I went so long without posting to this blog. Many of them would be just simply excuses and I won’t share those with you. The fact is that I could have kept up with my normal blogging routine if I had been more persistent and focused. I didn’t. What I do want to share with you are some of the exciting life events that have happened in the last four months. In many ways, the last four months has seen the accomplishment of a number of significant goals in my life.
Back in the late 1990s I set a goal of going to every Olympic Games starting in 2002. I took the goal, wrote it down, and worked toward achieving it. The Olympics in 2002 were in Salt Lake City. The fact that it was only a long day driving from where I lived (western Canada) made me believe that I would achieve it. I took photos of Salt Lake City and the Olympic logos and put it up on my goals poster board. I focused on achieving that goal.
And I made it. I went to the Olympics in Salt Lake City and had a great experience. As I mentioned, my goal was to go to every Olympics, so I continued on and went to Athens (2004), Torino (2006), and Beijing (2008). While my goals have changed and I no longer feel I need to go to EVERY Olympics, the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver were extra important. I really wanted to experience the Olympics in my home country.
As a professor, the Winter Olympics are a little harder to make work. It is in the middle of the semester. In order to go I needed permission from my Dean, and I needed to arrange for guest speakers to teach the class. Thankfully all of that worked out and I was able to be at the Olympics for 8 days in February. One unique thing this year is that I stayed in Whistler, the mountain host venue for the Olympics. That meant a different atmosphere than I was used to, but also a few different events. Tickets were a little harder to come by than in past Olympics, however I was able to attend Cross Country Skiing and the two days of competition for Skeleton. It was great to be at a home Olympics, and especially to witness a gold medal for Canada on home soil!
Another goal of mine has been to get my PhD. You may recall that last summer I focused in on writing the GMAT. The GMAT is the entrance exam required for graduate studies in most business schools. I scored very well on my GMAT, and spent the fall applying to different schools. In the end I was accepted and offered funding at three top schools. The month of March involved trips to visit each of the schools as I worked through my decision making process. It was challenging as I was choosing between good options and looking to make a choice for where we would live for the next four to five years.
In the end I choose Michigan State University. I am very excited about this opportunity. I will begin studies in September, but we will be moving at the end of June. (If you live in Michigan let me know, I look forward to connecting with more readers!) Over the last two months we have sold our house in Canada, and purchased a house in Michigan. Thankfully this is allowing us to achieve another goal.
As a result of this move we are going to be completely debt free. Over the past few years we had aggressively paid off our debts and for some time now have been down to only owing our mortgage. We had even been paying off large chunks of our mortgage. (Read about how we paid of 15% extra on our mortgage here.) On top of this, we are selling our home in a great housing market and moving to a market where prices are low. Because of these two reasons we are purchasing our new home with cash. It is going to be a great relief to be a student and have no housing payments aside from property tax and insurance.
So there you have an update on my life. Three big goals; three exciting accomplishments. We feel very blessed and are excited as we move to this next phase of life.
What are your goals? Remember, everything starts with a goal. Determine what you want and go for it.
My recommendation: Set the goal of getting debt free. This is a goal for everyone. Not everyone wants to go to the Olympics. Even fewer people want to do their PhD. But everyone can and should work towards being debt free – more on this next article!