Getting a PHD, becoming your own boss and writing a book are examples of long term goals, and whether it is a career, financial or even a personal growth objective, achieving one won’t be easy. It’s not like some of the short goals on your bucket list—you will be pushed to your limits. You will have to make sacrifices. You will need to be uncomfortable. We all have to overcome something in order for a dream to become a reality, whether it be anxiety or fear or a financial situation or time restrictions or guilt.
So, how do you do it and how did I do it with all of my larger goals? Keep reading…
Long Term Goal Definition
What is the definition of a long term goal? It is simply an objective that you want to accomplish in the future, but one that will require a significant amount of time and planning. It will most likely take years, not months, to achieve and in many cases reaching the long term goal will also take several smaller steps during the process.
40 Long Term Goal Examples
- Become a Leader in your Field
- Be Your Own Boss
- Find a Career You Love
- Get a Degree
- Buy a House
- Save Enough to Retire
- Finding a Life Partner
- Fund Your Children’s Education
- Become a Millionaire
- Learn a Foreign Language
- Be a Better Parent
- Generate Passive Sources of Income
- Invest in Real Estate
- Become Debt Free
- Declutter You Life
- Go on Your Ultimate Vacation
- Increase Your Level of Fitness
- Live Abroad
- Learn a New Skill or Trade
- Become a Mentor
- Research Your Family Tree
- Reach and Maintain Your Ideal Body Weight
- Learn to Cook Like a Chef
- Turn Your Passion Into a Career
- Write a Book
- Learn How to Sing
- Give a TedTalk
- Create an Online Course
- Start a Club
- Create a Podcast
- Start a Blog
- Master a Video Game
- Be Able to Type Without Looking
- Have a Credit Score over 800
- Invent Something
- Compete in a Fitness Competition
- Watch all the Oscar Winning Movies
- Conquer a Fear
- Learn a New Software Program
- Get Straight A’s
Technique to Achieve Your Long Term Goal
You may be asking how do you achieve something that seems nearly impossible? The answer is—one little step at a time. You take one step every day towards your fears. You take one step every day towards your goals. You take one step every day towards living your passion.
I want to share a little technique that I used to expand my comfort zone enough to allow me to travel around the world solo checking incredible things off my bucket list and to turn my passion into a career. It is a technique that I continue to use every single day.
Pick One Goal
Focusing on too many long term goals at one time can be distracting and lead to not achieving any of them, so start by picking one goal to work on. Once you have selected your objective, write it down and put it somewhere where you will see it every day! You know what they say, “out of sight, out of mind”, and you don’t want this to be the case with your dream!
Create a List of Milestones
Once you’ve selected your long term goal it’s now time to make a plan to achieve it. The first thing to do is to break the goal down into a few major milestones. These milestones should take a shorter amount of time than the long term goal, but will still require a lot of effort.
Let’s use writing a book as an example. If you believe this objective will take two years, then each milestone should be able to be completed in a month or two—just enough time for you to have to push yourself, but also not get discouraged.
Your milestones should look something like this:
Goal: Writing a Book
- Milestone #1: Prepare Your Writing Space
- Milestone #2: Create an Outline
- Milestone #3: Research Your Topic
- Milestone #4: First Draft of Chapter 1
Create Daily Steps
After your milestones are all set, then each one needs to be broken down into daily steps. The daily steps are a bunch of actionable short term goals. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be some gigantic leap that takes up hours of your time each day; it can be a tiptoe that takes less than 10 minutes. Everybody can find ten minutes a day to take one step in the direction of their dreams, and if you don’t, it’s because it is not a priority to you. We will make time for what we think is important in our lives and our dreams have to be important!
Continuing with the Writing a Book example, here are what some of the daily steps may be:
- Milestone: Prepare Your Writing Space
- Daily Step #1: Pick a location in the house for your writing space
- Daily Step #1: Clear the space of unnecessary items
- Daily Step #1: Make a list of items needed for the space
- Daily Step #1: Research the best task lamps
Put each daily step either on your calendar or on your daily todo list. Try not to miss a day, so you can get yourself into a routine. But, if you do, double up on the steps the next day.
This technique may seem time consuming, but it is a system that will keep you on track. Besides, it doesn’t matter the speed as long as you’re moving forward, because the time is going to pass anyway, you can either spend it stepping towards the life you want or spend it standing still in the life you don’t. It’s your choice.
. . .
For me, this technique for slowly pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone and taking one step forward every day is what led me to creating a career out of my passion for bucket lists. With this system I started living my list and created this blog, Bucket List Journey, whose mission is to give every person in the world the tools and inspiration to live their bucket list. For the first couple of years it only had about 10 visitors per month, but I was still super proud—I mean it was a whole 10 people! Even with few visitors I continued with my milestones and daily steps, because I knew that just by putting one foot in front of the other was leading me towards achieving a goal. And today, over 10 years later, this little blog has turned ten visitors per month into over half of a million.
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