Ask the Pros by Angela Grace


During the holidays, my wife and I went to dinner with our niece, her husband and their three beautiful, smart, teenage kids. We visit, in person, with this family every few years due to distance.  To break the ice and calm some jitters, we created a quiz/game with questions to answer.  The questions were about each other. They would write their answers on a card and, on the count of three, hold up their answers. “Which one of you is the funniest? Whose playlist would you pick if you had to listen to only one for a year? If one of you had to go down a dark, scary alley in the middle of the night, who would you take with you who could kick the bad guy’s butt?” etc. They then explained their answers with a heated or humorous debate between them.

We had our doubts that the kids would be into this, but actually, it turned out to be fun. They were hilarious, lighthearted and insightful. Each took it quite seriously and seem to offer really thoughtful answers. We learned a lot about them and they learned about each other.

For the last question we gave each person a big 2020 sign and asked them to split the sheet down the middle. On one side they wrote  three things they want to accomplish during 2020 and on the other side wrote three things they want to accomplish in the next 10 years, by year 2030. The youngest of the kids is 15.  It was fun to watch him think 10 years out.  Most of them had a very difficult time figuring out what they want. Except for our niece (age 45), the other four were at a loss. Her husband could only come up with two vague ideas. What they said is that they never really thought about what they want or wanted to do. They have little vision. Obviously, they didn’t have a thought-out plan.  As they struggled, it became more and more evident (to them) that they were missing out on their own lives.

Our niece wrote her plans down immediately; run a marathon at Disney World, visit Europe, create a new guest room space in her house. Bam! She also wrote down some things she knew she wanted to do as steps for each goal.  She  knew exactly what she wants, is ambitious, motivated and optimistic. My speculation is she will get it done because she has a vision, a commitment, and a plan which is solid, specific and not vague. These are  three steps for anyone to accomplish anything.  Vision, Commitment, Specific steps to achieve the goal.

Same question goes to you: what do you want to accomplish this year? What do you want to accomplish in the next 10 years? Will you write it down? If you write it down, I will connect with you next year to see how you have done.

Angela Grace  (yes Ashley Bartlett, Aol is a “thing”).







One comment

  1. This is great! Growing up, my dad would always ask my sisters and me what our Five Year Plan was. We groaned and grumbled about being asked such a thing while out to dinner as a family, but, as the years passed, I understood the lesson(s) he was trying to teach. As adults, he even inquired to our significant others what their long-term goals were/are. Forethought, as you write, is important!


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