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When thinking of long term goals you might think ‘boring, I live now and want to have fun’. Or you might tend toward the other end of the scale and really ‘live for a better future’. Now there has got to be a middle ground here and I think I’ve found it.

If I may say so myself, I am really good at setting long term goals.

But then there’s theory and there’s real life, and to simply accept that never the twain shall meet … that’s just not me baby.

So I went on a mission and found a balance, be it a precarious one, between bringing sacrifices for a goal in the future and enjoying my life in the now.

There are a few insights that helped me gain this balance and today I wish to share these insights with you.

What will I value most in the (near) future?

So you want to loose a few pounds (weight wise) and you are also very fond of cheesecake (who isn’t?).

There will be numerous moments in the ‘present’ that present you with the opportunity to eat cheesecake OR decline the cake.

Now there are two ways to aproach a situation like this. The first is: you feel like a victim because you think ‘poor me, I can’t have this cheesecake because I’m on a diet’.

Or you think: I can eat this cheesecake, but I also want to have less body fat, so what shall I do?

In the second situation, you move yourself away from being a ‘victim’ and instead have an honest and open conversation with yourself which may sound a bit twisted but also allows you a chance at making a decision that was really thought through.

In both cases you may decide to skip the cake, but isn’t it much nicer to skip the cake because you choose to – rather than because you feel you have to?! 🙂

Having a goal is so much nicer than doing without

When you have a goal in life, this is actually a good thing, not something somewhere in the future that is keeping you from having a great life at present moment.

Let me try and explain this a bit: when you have a goal, you can utilise this goal to make choices.

Without long term goals, there are so many options, so many possibilities, you can literally choose anything since it doesn’t really matter where it brings you.

Without a goal, things can get interesting but mostly they just get confusing, frustrating and empty.

Okay, end of rant.

“Cat: Where are you going?
Alice: Which way should I go?
Cat: That depends on where you are going.
Alice: I don’t know.
Cat: Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”

~ Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Bottom line: when you don’t know where you are going, things can seem kind of pointless.

When you have a clear goal in mind on the other hand, this works as a compass.

It doesn’t matter if you have to change your goal on the way or if you even make it.

A goal helps you to get started and make wise(r) choices on your way.

Having long term goals makes life so much more simple, purposeful and enjoyable at the same time!

The goal isn’t the goal

Ha, I got you thinking there for a moment, didn’t I?

In line with my second point, a goal helps you on your way through life.

It can happen that you don’t reach your goal. In this case, take some time to reflect on things.

This doesn’t mean a goal doesn’t matter or that you shouldn’t take it seriously.

What I am saying is that goals are wonderful instruments to focus, get started, avoid temptations, or hang in there just a bit longer.

The goal is what sets everything in motion, deliberately, purposefully (hello Agent Smith).

A goal can lift you, make you take risks, have you take chances you otherwise wouldn’t have even recognised as chances.

So there you have it, three reflections on goals that help me make healthier choices in the present in favour of goals that I know will increase my future happiness.

Are you working toward any goals? Let me know in the comment section below!

Header image by Dan DeAlmeida on Unsplash

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8 thoughts on “Long term goals are the way to go”

  1. Definitely always working on the goal of being more in the moment. Life keeps speeding up everyday and my daughters are growing up WAY TOO fast! Trying to enjoy every moment and not think too much about the future like I tend to do!

    1. Way to go Penny Pinching Ninja! A goal that can be reached every single day (minute really) and yet can never be reached definitively. Plus a goal where you have to enjoy the ride by living in the moment 🙂

  2. Yeah I have goals- to get fit, to save money, to buy a farm, and I think once I hit a goal, it just gets upgraded cuz i believe we just keep growing.

    1. Fully agree Lisa, “he (or she) who does not advance goes backwards”. And along the way goals can change, and that’s okay, they got us going which is already a win 😉

  3. This makes think of that quote by (I think) Kate Moss who said something like “Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels”. I think that’s a similar point to your one about knowing what your goal actually is. The point isn’t about deprivation it’s about working towards a positive.

    I think that’s why a lot of people talk about visualisation. It doesn’t really work for me but I can see how painting a vivid, positive portrait of your end goal could help you to stay motivated on the journey…no matter where that journey is taking you..

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