These are, in order, the top 10 goals among more than 50,000 submitted by thousands of Americans 50 and over logging in at the month-and-a-half-old www.Eons.com Web site.
“Our goal is to build the largest collection of dreams and adventures on the planet,” said Jeff Taylor, founder of Eons.com. He also founded the popular job site Monster.com. “We are living 20 years longer than our grandparents and one of my questions is, what are your plans for the rest of your life?’'
Part online social network for the 50-plus crowd and part database, Eons.com is at heart an inspiration and advice center, supported by advertising for products or services targeted to this age group, or geared to particular goals. Visitors are invited to submit up to 100 goals they want to accomplish in their lifetimes, and they can join groups that share similar interests.
“Already people are starting to plan trips with other people,” Taylor said. Through the site, visitors can also search for how to climb Machu Picchu or have a more engaging relationship with grandkids.
As a big believer in the value of goal-setting - writing down well-defined goals with a deadline - I was intrigued by the Eons.com concept when Taylor launched the new-media company July 31. And now I am pleased to discover that between us, Georgina and I have accomplished all top-10 listed goals.
Georgina wrote the book, about cruises, in 2003. She has never had to lose weight, but I, as a grossly overweight teen-ager, shed 40 pounds in six months in 1963.
Since Georgina is a travel writer, meeting the travel-related goals has been admittedly easier for us. And while we take care of ourselves, we recognize that staying healthy can also be a matter of luck.
Still, having accomplished all these popular goals got us thinking about the subject.
To be truly meaningful, a goal has to be personal. Among those that caught our eye on the Eons.com site were “take care of Mom the way she took care of me” and “finish knitting Christmas stockings for all 17 of my grandchildren.”
Other goals reflect a personal passion - for example, play blues harp in a band or on stage - or a desire to help others, such as “make sure every child in our community has books, school and art supplies.”
Taylor, whose own goals include following up on his parents’ volunteer work and helping build a high school in a jungle village in Guatemala, said the site plans to add a “giving back” section next year.
Goal-setting is only the first step, though. You have to get it done. When I lost the 40 pounds, goal-setting meant writing down how many pounds I wanted to lose every week until I reached my desired weight. And “goal-getting” meant adhering to a low-fat balanced diet and exercising vigorously at least 30 minutes every day - a discipline easier to maintain if you track your progress and keep a mental picture of your eventual goal, in this case a slimmer, healthier me.
Goals can also change. I used to want a high-end music system. Now I realize the music from my computer digital files and speakers satisfies all my needs. We’ve scuttled for now plans for a world cruise - it would take too long and we’ve seen most of the places where the cruise goes.
Now we enjoy sharing shorter trips and experiences with our family, including the grandchildren. Georgina has had her travel stories published throughout Central and South America, and I’ve been teaching a growing class of chess students. Our goals now?
Just to do more of the same and keep having fun.
Humberto and Georgina Cruz are a husband-and-wife writing team who work together in this column. Send questions and comments to AskHumberto@aol.com or GVCruz@aol.com.