There is no doubt that you kicked off 2018 with a set of specific goals to accomplish by Dec. 31. Short-term goals, those that you want to achieve this year, are very important to outline. But what about what you want long-term? Now is the time to get ready for 2019.
In general, goal-setting should have a forward-thinking approach. When was the last time you thought about what you can do TODAY that will help position you for YOUR ultimate success down the road? You may think you have time to figure out how to get to where you want to be in five years, however in the words my mother shared to my sister and me many times while growing up, “It’s later than you think.”
Making Calculated Decisions
It is easy to overlook the opportunities that lie ahead when we are so focused on the day-to-day activities of your business. One key to long-term success is having the time and opportunity to plot and strategize. When you have time to think things through, you are more likely to achieve the results you want. By taking the time now to decide on long-term goals, you will be able to take action steps that will help you to seize a myriad of opportunities in years ahead.
I am stickler for strategizing; because of this people often say to me, “Oh, you seem to have everything figured out.” I hesitate to agree because life is a moving target. However, it’s not that I have everything figured out; I have taken the time to consider what I really WANT and then I take action by putting a plan in place to focus on what I really NEED to get it. It’s not that I’m special or super human; I just use my time wisely to plot and strategize around goals. This method always pays off.
If you have uttered the phrase “by the end of next year” or “three years from now I want,” then it is definitely time for you to include your future goals this year. Here are several ways to master planning around long-term goals.
Recognize the Possibilities—Past, Present, and Future: Possibilities are central to reaching aspirational goals. It’s impossible to have the future you want if you haven’t already imagined it first, then worked toward it. If you fail to work within the possibilities, it’s almost impossible to create smart change. Focus on how matters can be different as opposed to how you failed in the past.
Create a To-Do List: Whatever your plans may be for the years ahead, you should be strategizing around how you will reach your goals. Take each long-term goal and create a list of what needs to happen to achieve it. Assign those tasks based on an order of importance to each month of the current year. Before long, you will be closer and closer to making your goal a reality.
Don’t Forget About Yourself: If you are to truly attain the success you want long-term, you should count on being the best YOU possible. Be sure you include goals that focus on self-improvement and your personal life, not just those that relate to your career or business. These can be categorized into areas such as leisure, fitness, and mindfulness so you’re ensuring your well-being is a top priority while planning for the years head.
Taking Actions Now For Later: Decide on what habits you need to create or steps you can take at this very moment to help you toward your long-term goals. If your plan is to take more time off in the coming year to vacation, consider what needs to be in place now, such as hiring an employee to acclimate them to your business methods long before you say “bon voyage.” Or perhaps you aspire to receive a major promotion; would taking a relevant course to optimize your skillset make a difference? Determine which skills you might need to excel in your new role and get the training you need now to improve your chances of being a superstar in your new role.
Finally, if you lead a fast-paced life in which the phrase “taking a break” means closing your eyes on an elevator for 30 seconds of precious shut-eye, then time is likely not your best friend. If reaching your long-term goals is important to you then you must carve out time to strategize to achieve them. The best way to do this is to plan a weekend getaway nearby where you take the time to think freely and plan accordingly with minimal distractions.
Goal-setting by definition is a powerful process for thinking about your ideal future and for motivating yourself to turn the vision of your future into reality. Embrace the process to reap the benefits down the line.