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How Setting Up Goals For The Next Decade Can Make Your Life Projects A Reality

Written by: Sandrine Gelin-Lamrani, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


This story begins in 1998. I am a 23 years old student sitting in a Management class at ESSEC Business school in the distant Paris suburbs, by a winter rainy day. Together with my fellow students – among which sits my boyfriend – I am attending a management class where our professor describes how long-term objectives are key to one’s life path, career, success. This is the first time I hear about life objectives really, as until then, I had made my way to the world with, at best, medium time life goals.

3 years later, here I am a young international consultant, travelling around Europe and the US from one challenging to another “impossible to deliver” assignment for my clients that are among the world’s largest industrial groups. Living in a suitcase, sleeping in hotel rooms, occasionally suffering from persistent jet lag, helping releasing big chunks of cash flow to many corporations that tend to always want more.

At that time, my now fiancé leaves the consulting business to engage in corporate life and I start feeling the urge of knowing what to do next. The urge of finding something that would make me grow professionally and get a new satisfactory balance in terms of professional and personal life. This is where my thoughts had taken me when my fiancé and I, we recalled that Management class we took together a few years before. And we come up with that appealing, yet simple idea to get our objectives right, together. And this is how we did it.

Getting our List right.

  • Each of us took a piece of paper and wrote down his or her 10 objectives for the next decade. This was an individual exercise that each of us did separately, not asking anything to the other (opinion, advice or idea). Now, we did not do it in a row, we had to write things up, let them rest for some days or weeks, get back to it and re-visit the list. This was a process that took back and forth steps for a while.

  • Once each of us was happy with his/her List, we exchanged them among us to discover our long-term goals. This was an intense moment as I recall, because we were eager to know if our own desired outcomes would fit, comply with the other’s objectives. And what if our paths were totally off from each other?

  • What we discovered is that some of our goals were common, some were complementary, some were totally different. The “ground base” was common, the complementary ones were going along well together and those which were totally different were up for exploration. Starting from there, we developed an ongoing conversation about what our goals mean, how they could be targeted, even more, anticipated.

  • Once every 2 years, we would look up at our objective’s list, what we now call “The List”, this becoming a sort of checking habit that helps us assess where we are standing on our decade’s short-, medium- and long-term goals.

As I am writing up about this story, I am actually, literally, looking at “The List” right now and I am doing the math: the majority of our life goals (professional, personal, social, couple wise, family-wise) for the past 2 decades have come to fruition (I’d say around 50%-60%). Some of our desired outcomes were surprisingly easy to achieve, some others took more time than others to get to - and got dragged from one decade to the other - some others got achieved in unsuspected ways. The remaining goals were left aside when they were turning into unpractical wishful thoughts, taking us more energy than empowering us to act positively on them.

What about the next decade’s goals then? Those that are due in 2030? Well, half of our goals are well underway and one includes writing digital meaningful articles… beginning with this one, I hope!

Get a pen, engage with your life – business – team partner if you have one and start writing

Over the years, I have been sharing that story with many people around me and it strikes me to see how they relate to it in a strong manner: many are intrigued and want to give it a try, some start their own list right away, others find it simply “crazy”. One of my friends that has put together her own list for the first time 2 years ago shared her amazement with me when she realized, looking at it again recently, that she had accomplished so much of it already! And the amazing thing is that the more you share your goals, the more likely you are to actually reach them.

So, let me ask you the question: would this “writing my own decade’s objectives list thing” be worth a try for you? What is there for you to lose? What is there for you to gain?

And if you like better to draw, paint, play, construct… your own list, this works too!

The List is maybe your next precious gift

I often say to my close ones that my couple first and my family second have been working as a team over the years: we find a meaningful team purpose, we set a team direction to get to specific destinations, we nourish a team spirit based on our own set of values, we undertake teamwork to make our purpose come to existence. This is how we have humbly achieved our accomplishments or lived through our own challenges over the years.

And when I hear myself talk about our team, I am thinking of “The List”, picturing it in my head and in my heart. Because “The List” has that secret power of unconsciously drawing you towards your own goals over long periods of time. Because “The List” is written and stays your life’s ally at all times. Because “The List” brings you memories of the past, anchors you in the present and offers you a journey into the future, all together.

Follow me on LinkedIn and visit my website for more info!


Sandrine Gelin-Lamrani, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Sandrine is an international serial entrepreneur, a MindsetMaps Certified Coach, an ICF ACC, an NLP and CLEEN practitioner. She is also a certified Innermetrix International Consultant, a member of the ICF Swiss chapter and the International Association for Generative Change. As a communication and management focused writer she has published numerous books dedicated to professional efficiency. Over the past 20 years, she has been developing consulting, training, coaching ventures on 4 continents and 8 different countries. Founder of G&L Shift®, she supports entrepreneurial leaders and their teams in their transition, evolution, innovation journeys. Her passion : Creating, Connecting, Contributing.



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