How to Set Long Term Goals

As we’re nearing what could possibly mark a descent into ‘normal life’, you’ll hear a lot of people telling you to ‘stay patient’, ‘to be positive’ and ‘to look forward’, but what does this mean? The general idea to look beyond the ‘now’ and focus on the future instead can be a little overwhelming, so where do you start?

Right now, with the uncertainty of life, setting short-term goals can feel quite futile; when you’re not sure if you’ll be able to complete your daily, weekly or monthly goals, it can be quite hard to stay inspired and hold onto them, as goals are set to be achieved. So, instead, you might find it useful to think about a couple of long-term goals, for a few years down the line – you can lay the foundations for these during lockdown and start working towards something bigger.

Career Goals

Start Gaining Experience

Now is the perfect time, specifically as a young person, to start gaining experience or learning how to. If you want to go into journalism or social media, you could start a blog; if you want to work internationally, you can start taking some free online language courses; if you want to go into agriculture, you could order some seeds and start growing a garden.
Figure Out What Interests You

It’s worth noting, however, that not everyone knows what direction they’d like to take in their life – but that’s okay! You could take some time to research different fields, try and fail at a few new things and watch some videos from industry professionals. This is also really useful if you’re uncertain of whether you’d like to go university, as you can really take the time to pick a course which is perfect for you.

Life and Personal Goals

Think About What Brings You Joy

Thinking about the things that make you happy – your friends, your family, your dreams or your hobbies – is a brilliant starting point to setting long term goals. When making your list, think not only now but also the things that you think will make you happy in the future (do you have any projects in the works? What do you hope to have achieved in ten years?).

From this, you can draw up a series of goals. If you want to travel, consider doing some research into countries or towns you’d like to visit and making fact-files for each destination or, if you enjoy reading, do some research and make a list of books you want to read. Taking the things you love in the present and extending them into the future can aid in creating a vision.

Consider a Five-Year Outline

This is a really intimidating concept for some people but if you go into it remembering that it’s not a concrete plan because (as recent events have taught us) you can never predict what’s around the corner, it makes the idea a little less scary. Using some of your previous career and personal/life goals as a springboard, if you’re making a five-year outline, think about a few areas:

• Friends/Family
• Finances
• Personal Plans
• Work/Career
• Dreams/Ambitions

Your outline will be completely personal to you and having a set of ambitions can really help to keep morale up. I made one of these a few days ago and it really helped me to put things into perspective and take my head out of the present. Knowing that I have so many opportunities and exciting things that I can make and shape ahead of me makes the hard days a bit easier.

Author: Jo Sadler