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(VISION) How To Bring Your Long Term Goals Closer To You


Goal setting is a fairly misunderstood notion. It is often assumed that the minute you set yourself a goal and a time frame, all you have to do is countdown the days until your objective magically completes itself.

We both know that’s not the case.

It is the scheduled, day to day objectives that you complete in relation to your long term goals that ultimately determine whether these goals get completed.

Now, it goes without saying, before you begin reading this article you need to have a clear idea of at least one long term goal that you are currently working towards - if you don't have a long term goal or aren't aware of one that you currently possess, take the time to think of one now. 
Long Term, Short Term, Hyperspecifity. 


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The main aim when setting any type of objective, particularly day to day objectives is making your goals as hyper specific as possible. To paraphrase one of my idols,Tim Ferris, goal setting should always be about the fine details or the smallest conceivable task that needs to be completed to bring your long term goals into fruition. This often reduces the chance of procrastination because more often than not, hyper specific objectives are completely doable- the generalised statement lacks purpose, which is why it is difficult to know where to start.

I believe that ‘hyperspecificity’ is comprised of two components - Direction and Detail.

Where people tend to stumble when it comes to setting daily goals and objectives is the lack of direction or detail in their long term objectives – sometimes both.

What’s the difference between direction and detail though?  And how do they help goal setting?

DIRECTION

Think of direction as your driving force. What is driving you to want to achieve the objective you have set? For example, ‘I am setting myself the task of revising for thirty minutes today because I want to improve on my poor exam results from last year.’

Success is predicated on intensity. The more your objectives reflect your said drive, the more chance you have of completing them.

If your day to day goals lack direction, brainstorm your reasons for setting your initial long term goal– if you can’t find the intensity or direction at the reference point, then it is time to set new goals.Which leads us on to...




DETAIL

When you hear ‘specificity’ you may think of detail, but the truth is direction informs detail and detail informs direction. You have a driving force, now what tasks need to be completed to bring a long term goal into fruition? There’s no point setting yourself the goal of ‘revision’. Revision for what, who, why?

Delve into the specifics.

You will find the more specific your goals are, the more driving forces appear, hence why the two work so well together.

An example of detail could be:

‘I am setting myself the task of revising for thirty minutes today because I want to improve on my poor exam results from last year. I want to become a qualified (X) and if I don’t do so, then I will be disappointed in myself, not because I  failed my goal, but because I know that achieving this goal is well within my abilities.’

It is important when you consider your goals and objectives for each day, that you have some idea of what these objectives serve for you. Human beings need justification, they need to know why something is worth their time. We live in an age in which attention is a super valuable resource and is always being spent in small, often meaningless tasks and experiences. The aim is not to cut these attentional expenditures completely out of your life (that would be silly!), but I am sure you will agree with me that we could all spend less attention on meaningless things in the long term.

Where your goals are concerned, taking the time to plan your day around your long term goals is an essential skill and component of excellence.

The power lies with you – so what do your goals serve in the long term, and how will your day to day activities supplement this vision that you have of yourself?


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I also write for Rife Magazine - to read my content on there, please click here.

I am the media coordinator for Wellfest 2018, a wellbeing festival hosted by Off The Record Bristol. Off The Record is a young persons confidential mental health service dedicated to helping young people through a multitude of treatments and services. You can find out more about them here.

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