Time and Goals

Time and Goals

Chia-Li Chien, PhD, CFP®, PMP®, Dec. 28, 2018

Every year, we as a family plan for our vacation trips. Our guideline has always been one domestic trip and one international trip per year. We went to Taiwan in May 2018. But because I was relocated to California, we had a short trip there in Aug 2018. The amount of time that we spend to plan our trips is limited. I make sure that our vacation trips fit into our overall family budget.

Time is an abstract concept. Many of us either take advantage of the time by doing something important or we just let time go by without doing anything. Take this Christmas holiday as an example. We as a family decided to lay low and to relax at home instead of taking a long trip. We will visit my in-laws in DC before the New Year, but not during Christmas. The relaxing at home is very much needed as all of us are very stressed with work. We need the time to take care of ourselves by doing nothing.

I was accepted into a Ph.D. program right after I received my second master’s degree in financial services in Spring 2014. The journey of the Ph.D. program started in June 2014. There were 18 of us in the cohort when we first met on the PA campus. Five of us quickly formed a study group to hold each other accountable to get through the program. When we finished our first year, only 12 of us were left in the program. After our comprehensive exam in February 2017, three of us passed the first time, and six had to re-take the comprehensive exam; eventually, everyone passed. I passed my defense of dissertation in early December 2018. The Ph.D. degree will be awarded in February 2019. I am incredibly blessed to be the first in my cohort that got to the finish line.

It took me four and a half years of time to accomplish a significant milestone in my life at 51.5 years young. My mom always encourages me to set goals and achieve them timely. Her motto has always been “time moves on with or without your actions regardless of your intentions.” She helps shape my attitude toward time and to make the best of my life.

What’s next for me? Well, I have another 5.5 years as a college professor to be considered tenured; therefore, the publication of academic research is on my list of goals to accomplish. Besides that, I mentor three women that I am counseling to be successful in the financial planning industry as well as guiding through passing the CFP exam. Yes, I have annual goals to which I hold myself accountable. These goals could be professional, family and spiritual related.

As for time on family vacation, we are planning a trip to Sydney, Australia, possibly in June 2019, while we are merely binge-watching Netflix this Christmas. Time is a funny abstract, and some can accomplish a lot in a lifetime, while some just let time pass by. No one is judging or keeping score, but each of us receives the same amount of time each day. How you spend it is entirely up to you. It took me a while to get a terminal degree, but it is something worthwhile for me.

I am blessed to have worked with many extremely successful privately-held business owners over the years. They, too, leverage their time well in life. Whatever is worthwhile for you, remember, time moves on with or without your intentional actions. You hold the key to your success. Have a prosperous 2019!

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