Goals should help you BECOME, not help you GET.
One the most important lessons I have learned is:
In absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia.
One famous study showed that people with written goals coming out of college earned several times more than people without written goals. But, look at yourself. If you still have the same written or unwritten goals you had 10 years ago, you are the exception.
Goals change. The real secret is to have specific written goals and expect them to change.
You will do better if you are striving to BECOME something much greater than you are now. The world reshapes itself around you when you refuse to take the path of least resistance. If you set 20 year goals that inspire you today, you will enjoy life more today and next year. Your goals will change because you have grown to the point that you can see more important goals. You will develop a vision of your future that is clearer and brighter than you have today. That is a good reason to change your goals.
A part of the goals secret is to have goals in the areas of your life that matter most. Money is important. Job and career goals are essential for progress. You also need goals about your family growth, social maturity, physical fitness, emotional strength and spiritual development.
For example, your goal could be to run 2 miles in 15 minutes in 2031. If you really think about that goal, you need to strengthen your legs and knees, not pound them into arthritis. That goal could inspire you to include bicycling, swimming or rowing in your fitness regime so that your knees will last throughout your life. That goal may change to being able to swim a mile in 2031 because of changes in your health.
A social goal could be to have a network of 1000 people who are leaders in their own field in 2031. To get there you will have to have intermediate goals of recognizing, getting to know, helping, tracking and staying in contact with those people. A goal like that would also be a great help to a career goal to become CEO of a company. Later your social goal may change to having a network of 2000 people who will help you fund medical research, and it may include all the same people as your original goal.
Remember, goals change. The 20 year goals I just mentioned would be great goals for a computer technician, salesperson or CEO. If you open your mind and see into the future, you will be able to pick out goals for the year 2031 that will help you now, and still matter in 2031. If your goals are important to you, you will find you achieve most of them in much less than the 20 year, 5 year or 1 year horizon you set.
Something To Do Today
In your journal first make a list of the most important overall aspects of life. I suggest: money, career, social, physical fitness, emotional and spiritual. Then list a goal you can work towards BEING in 20 years, 5 years and 1 year. Each goal should fit in with all the others. Goals are about becoming better as the world shifts around you.
Next: Useful career plans
Later: What is “the next big thing”?