What Phineas and Ferb Can Teach Us About Our 2012 Goals

As a stay-at-home mother of 5, I hear a LOT of kids’ TV shows. I could probably write an entire book on children’s shows on television: The Good, The Bad, and the Just Plain Stupid.  My kids’ favorite cartoon fortunately falls into the “Good” category: Phineas and Ferb.

Just in case you don’t watch children’s television, here’s the show: Phineas and Ferb are two young boys who are always planning…something.  Candace, their older sister, tries to catch them in the act to get them into trouble.  See, these boys don’t plan how to terrorize the neighborhood girls, shoot bb guns, or get into normal “little boy” trouble. When they plan, they plan BIG: building roller coasters, time machines, unintentionally foiling plots by evil geniuses.  So while Candace plays childish games trying to get her brothers in trouble, they spend their time accomplishing big things.

I’m thinking a lot about our family’s goals for 2012, and I realized there’s a lot I can learn from Phineas and Ferb.

“I Know What We’re Going to Do Today”

Phineas says this in every episode.  Phineas gets an idea, and they have a plan.  They don’t deviate from that plan once it’s set in their minds.  They’re focused, intense, and oblivious to anything else going on around them.

Our family has major goals for 2012, but I’m finding it’s very easy to get distracted.

There are so many fun things to do









So many cute shoes 











So many things we want to buy








In other words, there’s so many different things we could spend our money, time, and passion on that don’t fit into our plan.  We should learn from Phineas and Ferb and be a little bit more oblivious to the things that aren’t part of the plan.


“Aren’t You a Little Young To…?”

Ferb is constantly being asked this question.  He is too young to be buying blueprints for a roller coaster.  Or ordering supplies for a rocket ship. But his answer is always the same:

“Yes, yes I am.”

And then he does it anyway.


What are YOU to young to do? Or too old? Or too busy? If it’s important enough to you, you’ll press on no matter what excuse you have.


“One-Hit Wonder”

Phineas and Ferb are successful at whatever they do.  When they build a beach in their backyard, the whole neighborhood comes to play.  When they build a time machine, it works. When they form a band, they’re sensational and get a record contract.

But when the day is over,  they’re done. On to the next thing. And they never feel regret over what else they could have done. They had done what they set out to do, and they were satisfied.


I’m not saying we should move from one thing to another every day.  Being successful in real life takes more dedication and time than that.  But I think there’s an important lesson we can learn from this: At the end of the day, if you’ve given it your best shot, you’ve been successful. Don’t waste time feeling regret over what else you could have done.  Focus on your goal, work towards that, and then feel good about what you’ve accomplished.


One final note: Phineas always says, “I know what we’re going to do today.” Not “this summer” or “this week,” but today.

Even when your goal is bigger than “today,” you still need to break it up into smaller, bite-sized, 24-hour bits. That’s the only way you’re going to accomplish anything. And it’s the only way to know if you’re succeeding.


Your turn – What kind of lessons do you learn from TV characters? What are your financial goals for 2012? And most importantly, what are you going to do today?

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