When goal setting, it is always best to start with your long-term goals. Long-term goals are big goals, which means you usually will not see daily progress. Small steps add up in the long run, but often you will feel as though you are moving at a snail’s pace and not making much headway. It’s okay to not see immediate results. Remember that (by their nature) long-term goals are too big to accomplish soon. They ensure we stay focused on what is important and continually help us re-align the intermediate and short-term goals I will talk about in future posts. Thinking long-term inspires alignment in your actions and decisions in the short-term so that they get you where you want to be later.
What is the best way to set long-term goals? There are three steps to setting effective long-term goals: define your values, create your vision, and set your goals.
First, you have to determine what is important before you set your long-term goals. Pursuing goals that are not aligned with who you are as a person will result is frustration and dissatisfaction. These things are not what is important today, or this month. They are REALLY important regardless of job, home, or financial status. These are your values.
Values deserve their own blog post, but for today we will simply define them as a person’s standards of behavior. I have a set of defined values, based on scripture, which guide all my goals and decisions. You should have a defined list of values as well. For example, one of my values is to help and teach others. Since I know that helping others is a value, I set goals that align with this. This blog is a long-term goal that fits with this value. I’m committed to growing and staying consistent so that I can reach and help you. My long-term goals with this blog are streamlined with my values and translate down to intermediate and short-term goals. You must have a clear understanding of your values before you can set long-term goals. With your values in mind, you can set your long-term goals.
Next, imagine your life in 10 or 20 years. What do you want to do everyday? Who do you want to see? Where do you want to live? How do you want people to see you? Do you have career goals? Do you want to retire, work your dream job, or have the same job you have now?
Some people have elaborate dreams for the future. Others may have vague visions or no defined preference regarding their world in 10 years. To be successful in your goals, you have to move to a clear vision for the future. Vague visions of what you want will not be sufficient for you to achieve your goals. Be specific! Write down the ages of your children, the artwork in your house, the breed and age of your dog, your title at work, and the vacation destination you will take. The idea here is to be as specific as you can.
Once you have a clear and specific vision for your life, it’s time to set the goals you want to achieve. These goals will lead you to the life you envision. Specific long-term goals should be set in each of the following areas:
Health & Fitness
These goal categories will get their own blog post soon. They aren’t original to me but they are effective. You will start to see how your intermediate goals need to be aligned as you set your long-term goals. Your long-term goals may include things that are completely out of your reach right now. That’s a good thing! We will talk in the next few posts about how to align your intermediate and short-term goals in such a way to reach your long-term goals.
Do you want or need help defining your values and setting long-term goals? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on these. Don’t wait 10 years to decide where you want to be, imagine it now and start on your journey.
One last look at the steps to set long-term goals that are relevant and valuable to your future:
1. Define your values
2. Create your vision
3. Set your long-term goals