Retrospect carries within it a powerful dynamic toward clarification and refinement, separating “true gold” goals from those made of fool’s gold.

We’ve all looked back over time and experiences and what we thought we wanted at the time and asked ourselves, “Why did I think I wanted that?” There is definitely room for whimsy to slip into the goals dialogue and we must find ways to separate real goals from frothy ones.

One way of doing this is asking clients if they had ever set a goal in the past and found out later that maybe “that wasn’t what they really wanted.” There’s no shortage of boat or second home owners who have tales to tell along these lines. There are plenty of business and family stories as well. Help your clients reflect upon the decisions they’ve made in the past and it might help equip them to make better decisions in their future.