I fell in love with Herb and Dorothy Vogel at about the same time I fell in love with the man I was later to marry. Herb and Dorothy were not my family, friends, or even acquaintances, but the story of their lives resonates with me. It epitomizes:
“Someone to love
Something to do
Something to look forward to”
Setting goals can be an uninspiring task on your to-do list, but personalizing the process and giving it meaning makes setting goals more enticing. This is what I have learned from Herb and Dorothy about setting goals and celebrating a life well lived.
SOMEONE TO LOVE
When you watch the touching documentary Herb & Dorothy, you see the dedication and love between the couple. The second documentary Herb & Dorothy 50×50 that premiered last month, almost a year after Herb passed away at the age of eighty-nine, reveals that “it’s the portrait of their marriage in Sasaki’s films that is most enduring.”
What have I learned? Establish a network of friends and family who care about you and support your goals and dreams. They may be your biggest critics, but they will also be your most loyal supporters.
SOMETHING TO DO
According to Sol LeWitt, the Vogels were “the guardians of a period of art that would have been lost if they hadn’t had the obsessive drive to understand and collect it.” 
Herb and Dorothy’s goal was to spend one-half of their annual income from their jobs as city librarian (Dorothy) and postal clerk (Herb) to acquire art. They lived on less than fifty thousand dollars a year, in a one-bedroom New York apartment, and amassed a collection of more than four thousand works of contemporary art.
What have I learned? Break each goal into smaller steps to achieve the end result. Had the Vogels said, “Let’s buy four thousand works of art over thirty years and donate them to the National Gallery,” they may have stopped halfway through as the goal may have seemed unrealistic.
SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO
In 1992, Herb and Dorothy pledged two thousand works by two hundred artists from the 1960s through the 1990s to the National Gallery. And immediately started all over again. They had something to look forward to.
What have I learned? Having something to look forward to keeps you motivated. Once a year I take out my copy of At Home with Art and reread the excerpt about Herb and Dorothy titled “Insight, Persistence and Daring.” Their enchanting story reminds me of what’s important in life. It reminds me about my priorities and makes me reevaluate my goals. Reminders are good when things may seem a little off track. Take time to reevaluate your goals and priorities regularly.
- What/Who inspires you?
- How do you go about setting your goals?
- How often to your reevaluate your goals and priorities?
 At Home with Art, page 82.