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Here's an interesting contributed post on successful goal setting. Thought this one might stir up some conversation. Love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
We all have goals -- be it in career, finance, or even happiness. Of course, we're all aware of making these long-term goals, but are they good for you, and are they better for you than making short-term ones?
While we can start to prepare things now so that we enjoy the benefits of retirement and old age safe in the knowledge that we've done everything we can during our formative years, can we benefit more from short-term goals rather than long-term ones? This brings to mind the age-old adage of living your life, as opposed to incessantly making lists.
So, when we think about the aspects of planning our lives, is this a self-enforced sense of rigidity, rather than taking life step-by-step, and actually enjoying it? Let's try and answer the question.
Of course, by setting goals, you are taking control of your own life, and regardless of your own goals, whether it is to start a business, get fit, or allocate that little bit of time to overall wellness, these all require some sense of planning ahead. But they all hinge on one dreaded word, productivity. And for a lot of us, productivity can set off alarm bells in our minds, even if we are intent on planning to enjoy yourselves.
Again, this rigidity is something that can handle you in many ways. And, does this mean that we are, in many ways, caring too much about our future?
In the age of biohacking or every method of exercise available under the sun that is supposedly guaranteed to give you results quicker, the argument of short-term goals vs long-term ones is something to bear in mind. Now, each type of goal planning has its own benefit, short-term goals are great, but we can sometimes plan for the wrong eventuality. A very good example is getting fit; we view it as a short-term goal, rather than a long-term one. And this goes back to the discussion that health and optimizing your body is all about lifestyle choices, rather than temporary ones.
So, the first thing to think about when planning short-term and long-term goals is to make sure your aim fits into the correct box. Short-term goals are, in essence, specific tasks, that can be completed in, for argument’s sake, less than a few weeks. Long-term goals need a lot more planning, but long-term goals can be broken down into various short-term goals. And this is the key to getting a sense of structure in your life.
The way lots of entrepreneurs appeal to younger people, specifically the 18 to 24-year-old age range is that they get their attention by showing them things they lust after, and these include the material things, like cars, money, and big houses. Now, the material approach to living, as we’ve seen countless times, doesn't result in happiness.
But, it seems to be an entry point for the youth of today, but it's also a great approach to get people to work hard and to start structuring goals and ambition. It is an oft-used cliché that the millennial generation is without goals or motivation, but instead, surely they haven't found the right goal? And if this material approach to life provides an entry point and a reason for them to get stuck in and work hard, this starts to create that motivation and productivity that we all crave.
You look at a site like RMABrokers.com, and you see the vast scale of what a lot of money can buy, and this is motivation enough for some people to start plugging away at life. And, this is a great motivator for the long term, but we see that lots of people are de-motivated after a certain period of time because all they do is put in hard work. And this is where short-term goals are more beneficial for our health.
Health is the big one nowadays, whether it is mental health, physical health, or overall spiritual well-being. In planning your life, are these stresses that we can suffer from easily manageable now?
Lots of people wander through life aimlessly, but it all comes down to your perspective. For those that feel that they are stuck or trapped in a difficult emotional predicament, it's their prerogative to push against these predicaments and start to give yourself a sense of meaning. Meaning in life will give you that one thing that evades lots of hard workers: happiness.
And it's a delicate balance. You need to find a way to invoke a sense of purpose through your daily work, but you also need to know when to say when. Burning the candle at both ends means that you will suffer health wise.
And yes, maybe you will have these material goods, but will the end justify the means? This means that looking after your health should be one of those long-term goals that need to stick. Again, going back to the idea that you will your lifestyle is the one thing that will instigate change. The problem that we have when we are structuring our lives in terms of goals is that we feel that getting healthy is a task that we need to do, and then we move onto the next one.
The cliché that we are all works in progress is true. And, now, because of a vast overexposure of our heroes, and we know exactly at what point they became millionaires, achieved their goals. This leaves us with that overused term, fear of missing out, and there are some insightful articles on HuffingtonPost.com which everyone should glance at to get a better idea of how to handle this ill feeling. This is why you need to focus on planning your life, not set yourself against someone else's. It seems that now, more than ever that if we do use someone else's dreams as our own; we lose all sense of meaning to life, because they are not our goals.
Now, this is different to it being a motivational tool, as you might have seen the episode of The Simpsons where Homer measured himself against Thomas Edison, who, it transpired, measured himself against Leonardo da Vinci. Motivation in this respect is a fantastic tool, but you need to find the format one for you. This means a lot of trial and error.
This is a much-discussed topic, the importance of living your life without any structure means you are footloose and fancy-free. On the other hand, some people need structure, because it is this that keeps them focused and energized. This is why the importance of habits is something we all need to embrace. And this is why there are so many articles on the importance of bedtime routines, morning routines, and exercise routines.
These things are the bread and butter of our emotional well-being. Lots of people lack motivation, and we see these people as aimless. But maybe we need to change the lexicon somewhat and describe these people as those who have yet to discover their purpose. In the work-life balance that seems so hard to come by these days, the importance of structure means that you can benefit from working hard, working smart, and playing hard and smart.
We've seen many books now, capitalizing on the working smart approach, FourHourWorkWeek.com has been one of those websites and publications that have taken the zeitgeist by storm. And there's a lot of inspiration in these pages, and you can use them to make sure you are truly getting the benefits of a structured working existence, but also embracing the opportunities to live your life while you can.
So, you can enjoy your life with this sense of structure, but it's all about creating worthwhile habits that will stick, that you don't need to think about, and becomes engraved seamlessly in your life. This, in essence, is a long-term goal, broken up into short-term ones.
Regardless of your goals right now, think about the importance of breaking down a larger task into smaller ones. This is a very common approach to navigating business, but it's a handy tool to use in life. We all know that we need to address specific triggers that can impact our productivity.
Goals are one of those things that, if we build them up to big, they can overwhelm us. When we think about things like retiring early, we envision that big home in the country, and, again, visualization is one of those key attitudes, because this is a motivator. So, regardless of your approach to life, structure serves two purposes.
Firstly, it keeps you on the right track, and secondly, it is part of the habits you form. So, in the debate on whether long-term goals are better than short-term goals, you can argue that both serve their purpose. And, this idea of self-rigidity isn't a negative idea, as long as you're on the right track.
The one thing we all crave, as humans, is motivation. The body adapts, as does the mind, to its environment. So, provide an environment that motivates you to complete the tasks you want, and you will succeed in those long-term goals.