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Why You Need to Set Future Goals (And How to Reach Them)

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Why You Need to Set Future Goals (And How to Reach Them)

It’s very easy to go through life without ever having worthwhile future goals. It is very easy to avoid the challenge of setting goals and being accountable for achieving them.But if you don’t set realistic goals, your life will drift and lack any meaningful purpose. The worst thing that could happen to you is to reach your final days, look back at your life, and wonder how you screwed up the amazing opportunity you had to build an incredibly rewarding life.In this article, we’ll look into the reasons why you should start setting future goals, and how to set ones that will help you lead a fulfilling life.

Why You Need to Set Future Goals

The Source of Happiness

Having meaningful goals gives your life a purpose. It gives you a reason to wake up in the morning, get out of bed, and live life with a direction.Goals give you energy, vitality, and something to aim for each day. Ultimately, your happiness will be enhanced when you begin to see you are making progress on your goals, and as each day passes and you move that little bit closer to achieving what you set out to achieve, you gain more focus and energy to push that little bit more.

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A Roadmap to Travel With

But having specific goals is more than that. Goals give you a roadmap to travel with during the goal setting process.Your professional goals could be related to your career[1]. Imagine you want to one day start your own business. An idea such as starting your own business begins as an image in your mind.As you think more about your idea, you start to visualize what it would be like to be running your own business. No boss breathing down your neck watching what you are doing, no annoying colleagues interrupting you with their problems and complaining about how much work they have to do. Having the freedom to make your own decisions about what you will do and when.As you visualize your idea, you begin to ask yourself: how? How will I start my own business? What do I have to do to start? These questions are the beginnings of a plan, and a goal is simply a plan for the future.It does not have to be as professional as starting your own business. It could be wanting to climb Mount Kilimanjaro before your fiftieth birthday. Once again, it begins with an idea; you may have seen a documentary about Mount Kilimanjaro, or a friend did it a few years ago and tells you it was one of the best experiences she had ever had in her life.Wherever the inspiration comes from, you begin to visualize yourself climbing to the top, exhausted but exhilarated after having achieved something only a very few people manage to do in their lifetimes because you were able to stay on track.Once again the question “how” jumps into your mind, and once again the beginnings of a plan forms, which creates another future goal.

A Clear Intention to Live

When you think about it, our whole lives are centered around short and long term goals. Getting up for work on a cold, wet Monday morning requires the goal of getting out of bed at a specific time. Not a pleasant goal for many, but it’s a goal nonetheless. Getting home in time for dinner with your family is a goal.Pretty much everything we want to do and achieve in our lives requires an intent to achieve something. That is what goals are: an intention to do something by a specific time.

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How to Begin Developing Future Goals

1. Start With Your Vision

Begin with a vision of what you want to achieve. Whether it is a professional or personal goal, you need to have a clear vision of what it is you want to achieve.You can get a little help from this article: The Best Way to Create a Vision For the Life You WantTake some time to really see what the end result will be like. Close your eyes and see yourself achieving your goal.If you want to build a secure financial future for yourself and your family, what will that look like? Will that be cash in the bank or a portfolio of investments?If you want to take a holiday of a lifetime with your closest friends this summer, where will you go? What will you do? Imagine yourself already achieving your goal and how it will feel.Feel those emotions in your imagination. Feel the smile on your face, the laughter, the joy, and the excitement as you board the plane.

2. Ask the Right Questions

The best question to ask is: What do I have to do to…? This is an incredibly powerful question because it opens up your mind to the possibility of achieving your future goal. The way this question is phrased means you are only considering ways to achieve, not ways you cannot achieve.The wrong question to ask is “How can I achieve this goal?” That question often elicits the tempting answer “You can’t.” What you want to be doing is opening your mind up to possibilities and the actions you will have to take to make it happen.Now the “What do I have to do?” question often brings up actions you may at first feel are impossible, so you ask the question again.For example, let’s say you want to build a secure future for you and your family, and your initial answer comes up with a figure of USD$1 million. Now, if you are earning USD$50,000 a year, that means you will have to work at least forty years, saving half your salary each month.Honestly, that is not going to be easy, and for forty years, probably impossible. So you will need to ask the question again. “What do I have to do to have USD1 Million in savings by the time I retire?”The answers you come up with from asking this question again will take you closer towards building your goal into achievable steps.

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3. Look at Your Daily Habits

Our daily habits and behaviors are the driving force behind the results and future goals we achieve in our lives.If you smoke twenty cigarettes every day, drink several glasses of wine each evening, and go to bed slightly drunk, over time, this will have a profoundly negative effect on your health. If it does not send you to an early grave, you are almost certainly going to experience difficulties with your health at some point.Couple that with eating unhealthily and being excessively overweight, and you are going to become a burden on your family and friends later in life.Because our daily habits and behaviors have such a large impact on the results we achieve in our lives, you should take some time to analyze yours.Identify the ones that give you negative results. Unhealthy eating, excessive drinking, smoking, complaining, and gossiping are common ones, but others such as waking up at the last possible moment, going to bed late, and spending all night playing computer games are a few others that, over time, will result in negative outcomes in your life.If you want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro before you turn fifty, then get yourself out in the evening and exercise. Turn it into a habit. Spend thirty minutes every morning reading about and researching Mount Kilimanjaro instead of checking your email, Facebook, or Instagram feed. Use your time in more positive ways.This guide can give you some nice advice on how to quit bad habits: How to Break a Habit and Hack the Habit Loop

4. Set a Date

If your future goals do not have a timeline and an end date, you will find excuses to put off what you need to do to make it happen.You can, of course, adjust your deadline if you find you were a little too ambitious with your initial enthusiasm, but you do need a deadline.If your goal is to have USD$1 Million by the time you retire, your goal needs to be based on what you need to have saved by the end of the year. For most of us, retirement may be quite a few years away, but by beginning now, you will give yourself enough time to build up your savings and investments.Likewise, if your goal is to run a full course marathon before you turn forty, then depending on how old you are today, you may want to set attainable goals for running a 5KM, 10KM and half-marathon each year before you run the big one.Setting dates and deadlines gives you the sense of urgency you need to make progress. You do not have to achieve the “big goal” in the first year, but you do need to have an annual goal that is taking you a little closer each day, month, and year toward the big, future goal.

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5. Visualize and Review Regularly

Whatever your future goals are, you should have some form of vision board to keep you reminded of your final destination.Whether that is having a secure financial future, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, or running a full course marathon, having some form of vision board—either digital in the form of a photo album in your digital photo storage, a board on Pinterest, or a physical board with photographs and clippings of what you want to do—will help keep you motivated when you feel “not in the mood.”It will give you something visual to help you review your progress and adjust deadlines if necessary.

Final Thoughts

We are all different, and we all want different things in our lives. Many of us want to build a successful business, while others want to develop a successful career in medicine or law.Whatever it is you want out of life, it is up to you to create it. You have the good fortune to be able to decide, act, and achieve, and it all starts with an idea and a vision, and a few questions to offer a plan and a destination to travel towards.You do not want to end your days full of regret and disappointment. You want to end your days knowing you lived an extraordinary life on your terms and accomplished your goals.

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More Tips on Setting Future Goals

Featured photo credit: Kalen Emsley via unsplash.com

Reference

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Carl Pullein

Dedicated to helping people to achieve their maximum potential through better time management and productivity.

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Last Updated on January 14, 2022

7 Best Goal Planners To Get in 2022

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7 Best Goal Planners To Get in 2022

A few of the many obstacles to setting goals is that you either forget your goals entirely or you put them off for so long. One of the most effective tools in handling this problem is through having goal planners.

Goal planners are a way to put your goals to paper and allow you to focus on that goal. These are great tools to be implementing new habits and boosting your overall productivity.

With so many of these goal planners available, our editors picked out a small sample of some of the best goal planners that you can get to achieve what you want in 2022!

Best Goal Planners Criteria

Through our research, all the best goal planners that we picked out meet the following criteria:

  • Undated – A big issue with some planners is that they have days and years written in them. This is problematic especially when starting out goal setting. Undated versions allow you to start, stop, and take breaks without feeling like you’re wasting paper.
  • Science based – Either in their methods or in the activities these planners get you to do, these goal planners are smartly structured to help you get the most out of your day.
  • Simple, clean and organized – All of these planners are clean and organized to the point that these planners can serve as an extension of your brain. They’re able to easily organize jumbled thoughts and help you plot out your goals.

1. Full Life Planner

full-life-planner

    Lifehack’s Full Life Planner is a planner system built around the Full Life Framework. It’s a planner that helps you to organize every aspect of your life. The Framework has been going strong for 15 years and provides some of Lifehack’s best practices and proven success formulas.

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    Get your Full Life Planner here, or try the digital version here.

    2. Panda Planner

      The Panda Planner has been highly reviewed as another one of the best goal planners to get. On top of it providing sections for monthly, weekly, and daily planning, it offers free videos as well as e-books to show you all kinds of strategies to help in all kinds of aspects of your life.

      You can get the Panda Planner here.

      3. Law of Attraction Planner

        This is the planner for people that want to manifest something new or exciting in their lives. It helps you to set goals through prompts, to-do lists, and goal-setting tools to establish habits. On the manifestation front, it provides sections for you to show gratitude, allowing you to be thankful for what you do have and are working towards. The planner also comes with a video to help establish a 10-minute morning routine and various stickers to make your planner more unique.

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        Purchase the Law of Attraction Planner here.

        4. Little More Daily Organizer

          While it only has 328 undated pages, it offers a great focus on monthly and daily goal setting. It’s ideal if your goals and habits that you’re invested in and really want them to be sticking. How it’s able to do that is through its flexible design and also providing space for you to outline actions steps, reflect on processes, and prioritize multiple goals.

          Grab your Little More Daily Organizer here.

          5. Erin Condren Petite Planner

            Only 80 pages long, it’s efficient with its space as its packed with all kinds of features for setting goals and stick to your plans. You’re able to describe your goal, outline a “why”, and put together an action plan. The other page is a way for you to chunk large goals and put them into more manageable tasks. All around it’s a fantastic planner.

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            Try the Erin Condren Petite Planner here.

            6. The 100-Day Goal Journal

              If setting goals for a year seems daunting, another one of the best goal planners that’s short is the 100-day goal journal. It has monthly spreads, daily reflection pages where you’re able to practice gratitude and check overarching goals. It even has space for you to reflect on current challenges and offer solutions to your problems.

              Take a look at the 100-Day Goal Journal here.

              7. SELF Journal

              best-self

                The final of the best goal planners we have to offer is SELF journal. It offers daily gratitude acknowledgement, sections to track goals on a weekly basis and also has inspirational quotes to provide that extra push of motivation. It’s only got enough pages for 13 weeks, but it’s ideal if you set a lot of shorter-term goals and want those small habits to stick.

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                Check out the SELF Journal here.

                Final Thoughts

                All of our goals are achievable with the proper mindset and a system to support it. Planners have been able to precisely assist those who struggle with getting started and need help in organizing their thoughts and putting it to paper.

                For those who want to stick to habits, try out one of these planners to help you with that process.

                Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

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