The year was 1991. Big Jim Stynes had just won his Brownlow medal playing for the Melbourne Football Club in the Victorian Football League.

A risky experiment in Gaelic-Australian football collaboration, ruckman Jim became the first foreign import to win the biggest gong in the biggest game in the land. And he did not pick a football up until age 18.

Jim was the guest speaker at a NMLA function, and I rushed from my dreary work as an accountant to hear Jim speak.

I will never forget what he said.

Jim could have spoken of his triumphs. His personal victories. His amazing successes. But he didn’t. Instead Jim spoke of how he felt when he was at the bottom. And what he determined to do about it. The year was 1986, five years earlier, and Melbourne offloaded him to its lowly VFA associate club, Prahran, to get some ground time and re-learn the basics.

It was all about the specificity of goals. The need to identify the detail of what has to be done, and then do it. With focus, passion and energy. To not be distracted, and to do whatever it takes to achieve that goal.

What was the goal, you may imagine?  A best on ground in a game?  A best and fairest in a season? A team captaincy? 200 games in a row? A Brownlow medal? The unanimous respect of millions of fans as a true champion of the game?

It was none of these.

Jim’s goal was much more simple and immediate: to get three kicks in the first quarter of his first game of the next season.

Then he would work out what to do next.

What has this got to do with financial planning? Everything, I think. In fact, it’s got everything to do with life. The immediate specificity of life, and how great people achieve great things

As we call time on season 2018, enjoy a well-earned break, and take time to plan your next season. Think hard about what Jim said back in 1991.

Do what Jim did. Make sure you get three kicks in your first quarter of your first game of your next season. Then work out what to do next.