No matter your age, it’s incredibly important to have goals.
Whether they are short-term, long-term, big, or small, they can help determine our decisions and shape the life we lead.
We live in an exciting world where our choices are bordering on limitless. We can be whatever we want to be and do whatever we want to do. To top that off, we also have an abundance of resources, information, and inspiration.
Now more than ever, we feel like we want to do it all, purely because we feel like we can.
But what do you do when you feel like you have too many goals? When you feel like you don’t have enough time to achieve everything it is that you want to do?
Let’s break it down. There are 1,440 minutes in a day. Let’s say you get the standard 8 hours of sleep every night, that leaves you with 960 minutes. Even if you take out 8 hours for your standard 9-to-5 job, you still have 480 minutes every day to make a dent in your progress (and that’s if you don’t include your lunch break!). That’s nearly 3000 hours a year to do whatever you damn please.
You can find time everywhere if you really want to. You can wake up earlier, use your lunch break, use your commute, binge less Netflix, and say no to Friday work drinks.
It’s easy to let time slip through your fingers, but if you make your goals clear and make them a priority, you can start to easily tick them off one by one.
If your goal is to be an Insta-famous astronaut who wants to travel to Mars while finding the cure for a complex disease as you publish your best-selling biography and have a hobby farm on the side , you may be reaching too high. But if your goals are realistic (regardless of size), you can accomplish more than you know.
To make it easier on ourselves, it’s important to be clear on what our goals are and how we intend on achieving them
Write it down.
Whether it’s to do with your career, family, romantic relationships, travel, or fitness, it’s important to write it down. It’s all well and good to keep these things in our head alone, but putting down a definitive list can make them feel more real, and the path towards them more clear.
Take some time to write down what you want to achieve, whether it’s for today, in a week’s time, or 10 years from now.
Seeing it on paper is exciting. It brings the goal to life. It helps you envision your journey and makes you motivated to reach the destination. Writing it down can turn what feels like a pipedream into a tangible goal.
Then break it down.
Most goals take a fair amount of time, energy, determination, and grit to achieve. They are made up of hundreds of small steps and complex hurdles rather than one easy, giant leap. Try and work out what those steps are.
If you want to write a novel, write an outline, and then write at least 500 words a day. Enroll in a writing course. Read interviews from authors. Read a lot.
If you want to travel next year, work out your budget, available time, and itinerary. Start saving. Put in leave.
If you want to find a romantic partner, start going out more, putting yourself out there, being open to new things.
It’s fun to have big, exciting goals, but it can also be intimidating. Breaking them down into bite size pieces can make goals seem far more achievable, and can stop you from feeling too overwhelmed.
When you can see a clear path, the destination doesn’t seem so unattainable.
Give yourself a timeframe.
Almost everyone works better with a set timeframe. When we have a sense of time pressure (even if we’ve made it up), we are more likely to get things done and make it a priority.
When do you want to finish that novel by? When do you want your next promotion? When do you want to travel to that particular country?
When you know not only what you want to achieve, but when you want to achieve it by, you can address the ways in which you get there, and see what is serving you well and what’s not.
Take a step or two every day, even if it’s only towards one of your goals.
My goals, as of today:
– Continue ticking off my travel bucket list by planning my next trip.
– Continue to progress through my career.
– Write a novel I’m proud of.
– Write everyday, separate from the novel
– Keep fit and healthy
– Read as much as I can.
– Spend lots of quality time with family and friends.
Each day, I’ll make sure I’m tending to at least one or two of the above. I’ll make sure money is set aside for my travels. I’ll write 500 words. I’ll go for a run. I’ll write an article. I’ll read 50 pages of a novel. I’ll organize drinks with some friends. I’ll go to mom’s house for dinner. I’ll plan a fun date night with my boyfriend (seperate from Netflix and dinner each night in our apartment).
This year, I’ve read 40 books in 40 weeks. I’ve lost nearly 15kgs in weight from getting fit and eating well. I ticked off my 30th country travelled to. I’ve said yes to and also instigated so many fun events and activities with my friends and family. By knowing where I’m going and how I’m getting there, I’ve been able to keep on track.
Of course, it’s likely you will have to forgo some of your goals. Whether the goal is no longer something you want or is now beyond your control due to unforeseen and circumstances, it’s okay to not have it all.
Be grateful for the chances you have, and be proud of what you’ve already achieved.
Life is a challenge in itself, and sometimes getting through each day is a good enough goal to have accomplished.
Taking steps towards your goals, however small they may be, ensures you go to bed every night with a little bit of a buzz.
We will never really know what life’s purpose is or if there even is one. But in order to feel like we are getting the most out of this life, we should always set goals and make it a priority to see them through.