To succeed in life, you must have a plan. Set long-term goals for yourself, and you’ll be on the right track. However, some people struggle to find their goals. If you’re one of those people, use the following strategy to find your path.
1. A Goal is not A Wish
When setting long-term goals, acknowledge the difference between wishful thinking and real objectives. Your chances of winning the lottery is one in a billion or less, so don’t get your hopes up. If you want to get rich, do it the right way.
Start a business and slowly build it from the ground up. Alternatively, you could work your way towards that promotion or apply for a higher paying job. Write down your long-term goals so that you know where you’re going.
If you want to achieve greatness, you have to visualize yourself as having already accomplished all that you want. Write a letter to the future you. When do you think you’ll have everything you want?
Write a letter to your 60-year-old self talking about all of your accomplishments. Sometimes you need to work forward to realize what you need. Read that letter and look at the things that you’re most proud of achieving. Those will be your long-term goals.
3. Identify the ‘Why’
What are your reasons for wanting to achieve something? Why are you working towards that goal? Let’s assume that your long-term goal is to be rich. Why do you want to have a lot of money? It will take time for you to find the right answer because you’re still thinking about how other people will react.
Your first answer could be because you want the respect of others. On grilling yourself further, you discover that you want to be rich so that you can buy everything that you’ve ever wanted. Before giving another answer, you look deep down and realize that you want to earn more so that you can safeguard your family. That is your real long-term goal. Always ask yourself between ‘three to five why’s.’
4. Have Specific Objectives
You’re never going to get anywhere by setting general goals and objectives. When you generalize things, it becomes hard for you to find a clear path. For example, let’s say that your long-term goal is to help people. How are you going to do that? Philanthropists help people by donating money to causes. The police help people by keeping the streets safe. Are you going to become all these things?
Your long-term goals should be as specific as possible. Assuming that you’re an accountant, how can you give back to the community in the long-term? You can start an accounting school to help those interested in knowing basic finance skills. That’s a specific goal.
5. Stick to A Few Goals
When you start writing your list of long-term goals, you can end up with more than 10 objectives. Do you genuinely believe you can achieve your goals in 10 years? Be honest with yourself and remove some things from the list.
Create a list of more manageable things. Identify 2 or 3 things that are really important to you. Be very specific and realistic about those goals. Having a few meaningful objectives will also motivate you to work harder.
6. Create Smaller Goals
Goals are never straightforward. Assume that your long-term goal is to build a big house in an affluent neighborhood. How will you get the money? Which real estate agent will you use to purchase the land? Which communities are more likely to fit with your lifestyle?
Once you identify the main goals, break them down for easy execution. When you create a step-by-step approach to reaching your main goal, you’ll achieve it faster. Small goals help you identify obstacles that you would never see if you executed the plan as one single objective.
7. Have a Mentor
You’re not the only one who wants the best out of life. Someone else wanted the life you wanted and struggled to create clear long-term goals. After a few tries, however, they finally got to where they wanted.
If you want to figure out your long-term goals, look for a mentor that has already achieved what you want. They’ll help you set realistic objectives and avoid the pitfalls that they had to go through. The mentor should not be a family member because they won’t tell the whole truth. You need an outsider to be objective and show you the harsh reality of things.
To achieve your long-term goals and remain on course, you should be consistent. It may be hard, but it will be worth it in the end.