“Success doesn’t just happen. It’s planned for.” – Anonymous
When thinking about your future, there are small tasks that are necessary to do almost every day to get to your short-term goals. But there are also bigger tasks that take longer but help get you to a vision a.k.a. your long-term goals. In order for your dreams to be realized, you must reach towards both types of goals, you can’t have one without the other, but it can be hard not to lose focus along the way. It’s important to stop and intentionally think about concrete steps that will help push you forward. We couldn’t possibly write a uniform manual on how to reach your goals and dreams, but we figure we’d share a few tips that are helpful.
Think: What is one long-term goal that you have?
Self- control and Prioritization – Self-control is important now, and not for the next day. On a day to day basis, focusing on smaller tasks that are aligned with your long term goals and not simply doing the thing that is easiest at the moment. To put it more plainly, a main day to day task that is important to is saying NO to activities or tasks that distract from your goals. Sounds simple, but it’s not easy. Denying one’s self today for the benefit for tomorrow is hard. We can get easily distracted by shiny things. Having self-control and set priorities might be hard at first, but keep at it until it becomes natural, and finishing your to-do list will become more manageable. Another part of prioritization is taking some time to look at your long term goals, and seeing the smaller steps that you need to incorporate into daily or weekly tasks, so you can hit your long-term goal milestones.
Think: Have your prioritize tasks surrounding your goal? Small and large?
Be Bold – This really manifests itself by trusting your gut. At times, we know exactly what needs to be done to accomplish our goals, but we become fearful and talk ourselves out of taking the necessary steps. We make excuses or others people affect our confidence. In my role at work, I make recommendations by analyzing problems through research and data and look for solutions. I have to be creative and try new things and when the evidence supports the idea I do a little happy dance. But often, even with the data to support my idea, people don’t see or understand my vision or idea. I have to believe in myself and not seek others approval too much. We can talk ourselves out of taking a risk. And we need to take risks to win.
Think: Are you playing it to safe to accomplish your goals? Do you have a mix of realistic and visionary steps to reach your goals?
Mean What You Say – Why is this even important? In the short term, it may hurt others, but in the long run, lacking integrity only hurts you. If you can’t hold yourself accountable to what you say no one else will. In some areas in our lives, having integrity is effortless. In other areas such as business, it takes some real soul searching to keep your integrity intact. But more times than not, it’s the small white lies or minor excuses that make us lose our integrity. Those small occurrences will turn into big ones if we don’t monitor our behavior. Not to mention, you more than likely can’t reach your goals on your own. You will have to collaborate or partner with others in some way. Meaning what you say allows you to be dependable and gain respect from others. Be honest with yourself and it will come easier when interacting with others.
Think: Are you being honest with yourself about your goals?
And one more thing…..
To reach your “better future” you have to be able to make mistakes, pick up, and keep it going. It is easy to sit and wallow, and sometimes it is more enjoyable to do so, but allowing the bumps to stop you is the same as not having goals in the first place. If we allow one mistake to slow us down, we will begin to get bogged down, and never make any movement. The other reason it is important to start doing this is no one else can teach you how to do this or how to overcome when you want to give up. This motivation comes from within.
So what are you doing to plan for your future? Get started now!
Also published on Medium.