If you have a desire to improve your life situations and want to enhance your life quality, then having a long term vision is essential, not only for creating goals for yourself, but also for maintaining the goals and being passionate about what you are doing. Here are some ways to get you where you want to be:
Have a long term vision: When you have a long term vision, then you can create small goals along the way to get to your long term vision. Your long term vision should be what you really love to do, what you really want to accomplish and how you want to see yourself 5, 10 or 20 years from now. What does that look like to you? How do you want to feel? Who do you want to be around? What would you like to be doing more of? What would you like to be doing less of?
Set challenging goals: I love the quote by Antoine De Saint-Exupery, “A goal without a plan is just a wish”. We all need goals in order to enhance our life situations. Without goals, we lack vision and can remain stagnant in our life. Goals need to be realistic, achievable and challenging, yet not overwhelming. They should be relevant to your long term vision and it’s important that you are passionate about the goal. If you lack passion with your goal, then it’s going to be hard to achieve it. Remember, you can always add on to the goal later or adjust it as needed. If it is unrealistic for you, then you are setting yourself up for disappointment and possibly giving up. So, if your goal is to run 10 Ks and you have never run before, a realistic goal may be to join a walking or hiking group, or to build up your running gradually. An unrealistic goal is to start trying to run 3 miles a day. Remember, this is a gradual process and journey, so be gentle with yourself when there are setbacks. Think of setbacks as learning opportunities so that you can move forward, knowing better what works better for you and what you may need to avoid.
Have a plan of action: We also need a plan of action once we set a goal. Without the action part of the goal, nothing will happen. You’ll always be in the ‘thinking’ part of the stage, and that will not create behavior changes necessary for achieving goals. This is why it’s important that you are passionate about the goal, and that the goal is achievable for you. Think about sharing your goals with others for accountability, or having a support system in place for added motivation. These will help keep you on track with being consistent so you can develop a new habit and maintain it.
Think Positive: It’s also beneficial to focus on what you can do and avoid the negative thinking of what you can’t do. So, when thinking about goals, keep your thoughts positive and move in a forward direction. Since we have no control over the past and what happened, we can use our energy to enhance our present. When we focus on being in the present moment, we can truly enjoy what is going on in our lives. We can show gratitude and build an awareness of the world around us. Being stuck in the past can suffocate our potential of what we can do now. And when we worry about the future, and all of the ‘what ifs’, we are also spending energy on things we can’t control.
Setting goals has so many benefits in any area where you want to grow personally or professionally. You can create daily, weekly or monthly goals, depending on what you want to achieve. Enjoy your journey and be kind to yourself when life gets in the way. Staying focused on your passions, and keeping your vision of moving forward will move you along to a more fulfilling and healthier life.