When you think of long-term goals, you want to consider all the elements of your life and not only focus on the work dimension. You would want your reflection to be holistic. For example:
- Work. In what kind of role do I see myself in the long term? What will I be doing? Who will I be working for and with? How will my work environment look like?
- Personal life. How do I want my personal life to look like in five years, ten years? How much time do I want to spend with my family?
- Health. What health goals would I want to achieve?
In this blog post, I am sharing a soulful approach to exploring long-term goals.
Set yourself up for an inspiring and positive reflection
I suggest taking some time to quietly sit down and reflect on your long-term goals. Make sure you are in an environment that inspires you. Maybe in your garden, by the water, by the fireplace or simply in your favourite corner of your home sipping a cup of coffee or tea.
Write A Letter To Your Future Self
A powerful exercise for long-term goal setting is to write a letter to your future self. This is because it allows you to envision your life.
Write to your 80-year old self and remind her/him of:
- All the things you have achieved in your lifetime
- All the circumstances and challenges you have overcome
- All the new family members you have welcome over the years
- All the places you have visited
- The amazing human being you have become
Here are few prompts to help you:
What did I stop doing? And how did I do that?
What did I start doing? And how did I do that?
What was the achievement I was the most proud of?
What was the most unexpected experience?
You can simply use a pen and paper for this, or you can send yourself a digital letter with this website.
The reasons behind the goal: your why
As you think and write the letter to your future self, topics that are very important to you will emerge. Those topics will very likely shape into new goals. However, defining the real goals can be challenging.
Start with what you want, let’s say it’s a better-paying job. What’s the reason why you want a better-paying job? More money. What’s the reason why you want more money? I want to have a better lifestyle. What’s the reason why you want a better life-style? I want to spend more time with my children. Do this exercise at least 3 times, to ensure you have identified the real goal, as identifying the real goal ups your motivation and drives you closer to the achievement of your goal.
S.M.A.R.T goal setting
Once you have identified your real goals, it’s time to set S.M.A.R.T goals. Follow the step-by-step guide here.