As an ambitious person, you’re constantly thinking about your different goals and aspirations; and yet, your wildest dreams don’t seem to lead to tangible results. That might be because goal-setting consists of a lot more than just thoughts; in order to make your dreams a reality, you have to sit down and actually outline your goals and how to meet them. While this may seem like a hassle at first, trust us—with a few simple actions, you can soon turn those flights of fancy into true accomplishments.
Long-Term Goals Shape Your Future
Whether your goals consist of shaping your body, your business or your bank account, you’re going to need a long-term vision in order to stay motivated. And what does motivation mean? It means actually achieving those goals.
Long-term goal setting will help shape your mind first, so that you break down your goals and understand exactly what's needed to unlock them. Giving yourself a greater focus acts as a daily reminder of why you do everything you do—an affirmation and plan of sorts. This greater perspective will become the reason why you get out of bed a little earlier, try a little harder at work and continue on even when you’re feeling depleted. Here are some ways you can begin establishing long-term goals:
Sit down and meditate on your life five years from now. Start with a deep breath in, then a long exhale out. Close your eyes and allow yourself to envision the life you want five years from now. Imagine your surroundings, the sights and smells, and allow your body to fill with the emotion of your dream future. When you open your eyes, look in the mirror. Are you smiling? Do you feel amazing? If so, move on to the next step; if not, reshape your future to something you can believe in and feel excited about.
Write it out. On a piece of white paper, write (in ink) all of the details of your future that you just experienced in your mind. The sights, smells, surroundings, people, circumstances and emotions. Write and write and write until you know your ideal future like the back of your own hand.
Keep a vision board. Create a vision board for yourself with colorful images that epitomize your dream future and your long-term goals. A house on the beach, a sculpted body, a private jet, a smiling face—any images that represent what you want. Keep your vision board somewhere visible and be sure to look at it each and every day.
Short-Term Steps Help You Achieve Your Long-Term Goals
Short-term goals are the day-to-day changes you’re prepared to make in order to reach your long-term goals. If you want to have more savings for a big trip, perhaps a short-term goal is to save $5 a day (and nix that morning latte) or to take on additional contract work so you can generate more income. Or, if you want to reach your dream body, a short-term goal could be to hit the gym three times a week. Either way, here are some short-term goal setting tips that will keep you on track towards your long-term vision.
Read biographies. Commit yourself to reading at least one page of a biography or an inspirational book each and every day. A constant reminder of what others have been able to achieve will keep your mind on the greater goal.
Associate with people who have what you want. It’s true: you are who you surround yourself with. So, start surrounding yourself with people who currently have the life you are working towards. This will assist you in reaching your long-term goals because suddenly you’ll be reflecting the habits and attitudes of people who have successfully achieved the life you dream of.
Whether long-term or short-term, goal planning goes hand-in-hand with ultimately creating the life of your dreams. By acknowledging that your day-to-day habits (short-term) create your personal experience of life (long-term) and by committing yourself to taking incremental steps towards your goals, you’re sure to find success and stay motivated on the road to a brighter future.