When we set our long term goals, we can often run into one of these two problems:
- We only focus on the short term.
- Our goals are too vague.
We often confuse the difference between a to-do and a goal. A to-do list is something you create weekly or daily for routine tasks. These tasks help you “keep the lights on”, so to speak. A goal is something very different. A goal is what we strive to achieve or accomplish. In other words, it’s what we call “the bigger picture”. Where do you want to be 5 years from now? Or ten years from now?
Long term goals are much bigger and require much more effort and strategy. With this in mind, people can often create goals that are either much too vague or much too tactical. While that may be fine for shorter term goals, it’s takes a lot more thought and effort to create long terms goals that lead to success.
1) Think far, far ahead.
A common problem people have is not being able to think too far ahead. We like to live in the moment and while it’s fine to be a little spontaneous once in awhile, we have to think about our future. What are you going to do today that will help you years down the road? Even though 10 years may seem like a long time, it can go by much faster than you think. You want to start building a solid foundation for your future now.
2) Use your short terms goals to help with your long term ones.
Long term goals can seem like a giant, unbeatable challenge. The best way to inch closer to your long term goals is through your short term goals. Your short term and long term goals go hand in hand. They should complement each other. For instance, if you want to become small business owner in 5 years, perhaps you want to start freelancing on the side in the meantime to gain experience.
3) Check on your progress.
The biggest mistake people make when working towards their long term goals is not checking in on their progress. They set it and forget it. To really make progress on your goals, you should create checkpoints or milestones for yourself. Also figure out the length of time appropriate for each checkpoint. Remember to challenge yourself and not give yourself too much time. Your checkpoints will be something you constantly review and revise over time so don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time around.