Setting long-term goals is another way of planning for your future. You establish these goals so that you create a plan for your life in the years to come. It’s a known fact that if set goals for 5 years, 10 years or even 20 years into the future, we’re far more likely to reach them. You wouldn’t start a road trip across the country without a map — and you shouldn’t be on this journey called life without some sort of plan either. Sure, plans might change eventually (and probably will). But with no goals in mind at all, you’ll just end up wandering aimlessly for a good portion of your life. Life is an adventure and along the way, you may experience something you wouldn’t have expected but that’s just all part of the crazy ride. What’s important is you know exactly where that adventure is going to end up and that is supposed to be somewhere you have truly imagined for yourself.

Creating long-term goals allow you to have a distinct focus of where and what you want to be in your life. Although your short-term goals are just as important and are what will truly be actionable, long-term goals are the ones that give meaning to all that you will achieve on a day-to-day basis. If you set your mind on something that you really want to happen in your life, it is best that you take the time to sit down and think hard. The focus and meaning that you want to give to your life can only be realized when you have determined the things that you want to achieve. From that point, when you have a made a path that you wish to take, everything will seem easier.

By setting and directing your goals, you are able to use your time more productively; you perform better and even more efficiently when you know what must be achieved. And as you slowly pave the way to the future that you see yourself in, you become more confident in yourself and the things that you can do, making you all the more motivated to aim higher. Goals give you a purpose so you don’t waste a lifetime on things that will not get you to the place you want to be in you life.

Your long-term goals are based on the idea of the life that you want for yourself. For example, if you want to be a fashion designer, your long-term goals, in conjunction with the short-term ones, should be able to lead you to that dream in the near future. Everything that you do from here on out is something that will get you closer to realizing that dream that you have envisioned. Paint a picture for your future and then invest in it, work hard for things that will help you reach it.

Before you start expressing your dreams, create a vision of how you want to be. You have to be decisive when it comes to the things that you want. You can’t just always base everything on other people and you sure can’t just leave it all up to fate and luck. Be focused; make your goals specific as well as realistic.

photo credit: Alain Bachellier via photopin cc

photo credit: Alain Bachellier via photopin cc

The SMARTER Technique

You may have heard of this before, because it’s been around since the early-80’s. But essentially, there are a few basic principals you should follow when you go about setting your goals. And if you love acronyms to remember stuff, this one is great:

  • S pecific
  • M easurable
  • A ttainable
  • R elevant
  • T imely
  • E valuate
  • R e-evaluate

Basically, your goals need to be very specific and absolutely relevant to your current place in life. By specific, I mean, what needs to happen, who needs to be involved, where will it take place, and why is it important? The majority of your goals need to align themselves together and be complimentary to each other, or be relevant. Plus you need to make sure that you can achieve them easily (or at least without too much extra effort. If it’s something very complex, break it down even further.

You’ve also got to set yourself deadlines so that you don’t let things just slip by. Putting it in a to do list might be enough for some people — but others will actually need to put a hard deadline on the task and put it in a calendar.

So the next time you set out your long-term goals, make sure you do it SMARTER! Visit this post to learn more about breaking goals down into bite size pieces.

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