Sometimes our goals take a while to appear. Obtaining qualifications for a career you crave may take many years. Feeling stronger and healthier in your body may take months. For some, finding their soul mate feels as though it’s taking an eternity. Even financial goals such as reducing debt or investing for future plans can take decades. Scientists and researchers work on projects which may not be completed in their lifetime. New business owners wonder when the “start up” phase will ever end.
How do we stay focused on our long term goals? How do we stay motivated when our dream is taking forever to appear? How do we continue moving forward when success is not even guaranteed?
1. Ensure your long term goal is meaningful and matches your values.
Can you imagine working towards something you’re not passionate about or doesn’t bring purpose to your life? It would be quite the challenge. Look at your goals across the main areas of your life – relationships, finances, health and career.
Are you excited about them? Are the actions you need to take (the work you have to do!) to reach these goals interesting to you?
Personal note – I remember when I was a child I asked my older brother why someone would train for four years for one event when a slight injury could ruin everything. He told me Olympic athletes don’t just compete in the Olympics – they compete in world events, championships and sometimes Commonwealth Games. They are passionate about their sport!
2. Write your goals down and determine how you will remind yourself of them every day.
Keep the list in your wallet or purse. Create a vision board. Re-write them every morning. Whatever works for you.
3. Distractions (I call them “shiny objects”) will appear during your quest towards your long term goal.
If a new idea pops into your head, write it down. Don’t take any action until you’ve considered how and if it fits into the achievement of your long term goal.
4. Work on your self confidence
The belief that you can achieve this goal.
5. Find or create a group of cheerleaders.
Friends, family, colleagues, fellow students or even networking groups who will support you in your endeavour or are part of your journey.
6. Ensure you are creating time in your day, week, month and even year to take the steps required to reach the goal.
Measure your progress and reward yourself when sub goals are achieved.
7. Find someone to stay accountable to.
Depending on your goal, this could a personal trainer or sport coach, a life or business coach, a financial planner or debt reduction specialist, a health professional or a mentor.
Stay excited. Stay the course. Keep the belief. Good luck!