Creating Achievable Long Term Goals

You may have heard it said that if you are aiming at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.

Although life isn’t as perfect and linear as we’d prefer it to be, having goals in mind can help you stay on track, making progress towards the end you have chosen. This sure beats meandering through life without any 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 pin-point 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 down in the form of my personal mission statement, I am better able to make decisions 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.

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 are able to back it up with some achievable steps that are somewhat within your control. For example, a plan for how to earn that money, step by step. However, just making a wish isn’t going to do much for you.

Obviously, nothing in our lives is completely within our control. There are frequently circumstances beyond our control at work in our lives. Not one of us is an island, completely independent of the consequences of choices others around us have made. For example, your boss at your plum job may be mismanaging 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 personally 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.

Long Term 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 that 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 relies on me.

I’ve known some parents, for example, set goals for their kids to be doctors or lawyers. My in-laws decided to make sure my husband became a professional baseball player, and they were none too pleased when he quit after just falling short of that goal.

Such goals sadly do not take into account that your child is an individual who may or may not want those goals to be achieved in their lives. Not every kid wants to be or is cut out to be, a doctor, lawyer, or pro ball player. A better goal would be to strive to raise kids who are self-motivated with a good work ethic, allowing them to succeed no matter their calling in life.