You may have heard it said that if you are aiming at nothing, you’ll hit it every time. Having long-term goals helps us see further down the road. Our long-term goals give us something to aim for.
Although life isn’t as perfect and linear as we’d prefer it to be, having long-term goals in mind can help you stay on track, making progress towards the end you have chosen. This sure beats meandering through life with no sort of vision for the future.Having #Goals sure beats meandering through life without any sort of vision for the future. Click To Tweet
As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, my personal mission statement has helped me to pinpoint what is important to me in my life. By having what I value most, and what I’m hoping to achieve in each of my life roles, written in the form of my personal mission statement, I can decide and set goals.
The Key to Creating Achievable Long-Term Goals
When talking about goals, let’s talk not only about what goals are but what they aren’t.
Long-Term Goals have to be more than just a wish list. You’re not setting a goal when you say, “I hope I have a million dollars in 20 years”.Goals have to be more than just a wish list. #goals #planning Click To Tweet
Now, you can set a goal relating to having a million dollars in 20 years, if you can back it up with some achievable steps. For example, a plan for how to earn that money, step by step. However, just making a wish will not do much for you.
Nothing in our lives is completely within our control. There are frequent circumstances beyond our control at work in our lives. Not one of us is an island, independent of the consequences of choices others around us have made. For example, your boss at your plum job may mismanage money and little do you know, but your company is about to close up without warning, as we’ve had happen.#Goals should have some achievable steps you can take, w/in your control. #planning Click To Tweet
I have found that the key to having achievable long-term goals is to make those goals involve
- Something you have some control over
- Something you can break down into smaller, achievable steps (i.e., short-term goals).
These two things keep our long-term goals from becoming a glorified wish list.
Goals for Your Many Roles in Life
As with my personal mission statement, I break down my long-term goals based on my many roles I am involved in. For example, I’m an individual, but I’m also a wife, a mom, a writer, a friend, a designer, and so forth. I try to craft long-term goals that reflect the many hats I wear in my life.
Many of these roles involve other people, particularly my role as wife and my role as a parent. However, I set my goals to reflect those aspects of my roles as much as rely on me.
As parents, we must be careful about goals we set for our kids. It’s nice to want your kids to succeed in life. But we have no control over what gifts and callings they have in their lives. My in-laws pushed my husband into professional baseball. When he quit after just falling short of that goal, it disappointed them. Their goal wasn’t his goal.
Such goals sadly do not take into account that your child is an individual who may or may not want those goals. Not every kid wants to be a doctor, lawyer, or pro ball player. Better goals focus on raising self-motivated kids with a wonderful work ethic. A goal like that allows them to succeed no matter their calling in life.