Today, I want to talk about how setting monthly goals is a refreshing and productive way of approaching long-term goals.
The Importance of Goals
Goals can be broken down into life goals, long-term goals, and short-term goals. Our life goals define what we will do with our lives. Our long-term goals help us understand what we need to achieve our life goals. And our short-term goals are the daily to weekly actions we take to accomplish our longer-term goals.
Without our goals, we will lack direction in our lives. I’ve talked extensively about life goals and how to set them. Today, I want to talk more about long-term goals, what’s required to create a meaningful long-term goal, and how to create the best long-term goals to achieve maximum progress in your life.
What are long-term goals?
Long-term goals contribute to the accomplishing of a life goal. Let’s say you want to become a master farmer. In order to master farming, you’ll need to be properly educated. Thus, a long-term goal may be to earn a degree in biology. You can’t earn a degree in biology in a day or a week, thus you can’t call it a “short-term” goal. Therefore, this goal will take considerable investment and time to achieve and will help you accomplish your life goal.
Additionally, long-term goals act as a bridge between your short-term goals and your life goals. It’s hard to become a master farmer if you’re only thinking short-term. In order to ensure your daily actions are helping you accomplish your life goal, then you need long-term goals to act as guideposts. Let’s continue with the example above. If you become exhausted at the daily grind of studying and learning biology, you’ll become discouraged. However, when you understand that your long-term goal of receiving a degree will help you become a master farmer, then you can persist through the daily grind. Without long-term goals, it becomes impossible to understand how our daily grinds contribute to our overall life success.
Lastly, long-term goals can help us think critically about obstacles in our path. Let’s say you want to own your own land as a farmer, however, you lack the finances. You can set a long-term goal to resolve your financial troubles which will propel you forward to achieve your life’s purpose. Only long-term goals can help you understand the value of resolving major obstacles in your path to achieving greatness.
Thinking about goals on a monthly basis
We can think about long-term goals in a multitude of ways. We can see them as yearly tasks or monthly goals. I traditionally view my long-term goals by the month and act accordingly. By breaking my long-term goals into monthly “projects” I set up important goals that need to be accomplished each and every month. This ensures I’m acting radically towards my life goal.
By thinking monthly, we’re able to focus on one aim. This narrows our focus and ensures all our energy is hitting a single mark. Through this aggressive approach, we can ensure everything goes according to plan.
A few caveats – not all long-term goals will easily fall into the month format. Schooling, for example, cannot be accomplished in a month. Additionally, there may be other responsibilities one has thus a radical narrowing on one goal can be difficult if not impossible to achieve. Therefore, I suggest categorizing longer-term goals while keeping one goal for the month. For example, if you’re going to work on a farm, then you need to be in shape. This month could be the month where you focus on getting in shape. Meet the bare minimum for your schooling but spend your free time developing better exercise, eating, and sleeping habits. This way you can maintain your commitment to schooling while focusing on improving your physical health.
By setting clear, challenging monthly goals, you’ll be able to make huge strides in your life each and every month.
What do you need to be able to effectively pursue monthly goals?
You’ll need to do a few things before you can take full advantage of the monthly system. Below, I detail a few tips and tricks to ensure your monthly goals are set properly and challenging enough to accomplish.
You’ll Need a Life Goal
I keep harping on the life goal because without an understanding of your life’s purpose, then you will live an aimless existence. Your long-term goals depend on you understanding what you need to do with your life. Thus, you’ll want to sit and reflect. Think about what you’re passionate about and what the world needs more of. If you love farming, then become a master farmer who is focused on feeding those in need.
Once you understand your life goal, it’s time to understand what’s required to accomplish your goal.
What Do You Need To Accomplish Your Life Goal?
When you set a life goal, you understand that you simply can’t accomplish it in a day. A life goal requires a lifetime to accomplish, thus you’ll need resources.
Make a list. Make of list of the money you need, the time required, and the skills you need to learn. It pays to understand what is actually required in achieving your life goal and accomplish the large mission you’ve set for yourself.
“Become a master farmer” is the example we’ve been using so far. So what’s needed? Land, farming skills, possibly people to help you work the fields, good physical strength, etc. Once we have the list of what’s needed, we can start plotting out our next move. For example, maybe we need to become financially secure. Thus, our first month will be to learn a new skill that increases our economic value. The next month may focus on finding a high paying job, and so on. Once we resolve our financial situation, we can then focus on building physical strength for a month while the next month can be devoted to meeting farmers, and so on.
By determining what you need to accomplish, you can start tallying what your next move will be.
Develop A System For Recording Your Actions
You should always take stock of what you’re doing. When you keep track of your day to day activities, you can be proactive and discover changes that can be made going forward. When we don’t keep a rough estimate of the time we spend on different activities, then it’s very easy for the day to “get away from us.” However, when we record what we’re doing, we can be more proactive with changes and improvements that need to be made.
Additionally, if we fail to accomplish our goal at the end of the month then we can have a better understanding as to why. Maybe we wasted too much time having fun. Or maybe we gave everything we had but the goal was too big. Whatever the case may be, we need to be focused on and determined to record our actions, so we can be proactive with any changes we need to make to our daily grind.
Have Resolutions For Common Problems
When attempting to accomplish a large and important goal, you’ll need to account for consistent and constant problems that arise. These issues are always threatening to undermine your efforts as well as your peace of mind. Thus, having a ready-made solution will help you respond in productive and proactive ways.
- Your money must work for you – Never waste your money on garbage items. The less money you waste on pointless knick-knacks and toys, the more money you have to invest in yourself and your future. I love playing video games, but I only buy two new games a year – one at full price, the other at a discounted price. Additionally, I only play RPGs, i.e., games that can provide hundreds of hours of entertainment. There are games that I’ve had for years that I still play. By investing in renewable entertainment, I prevent myself from wasting money buying the next AAA title that’ll I’ll finish in 20 hours.
- Take care of your health – Exercise, eat well, and get sleep. All of these activities can be difficult to execute but taking better care of your body will reduce your stress while maximizing your potential. Never let your physical body deteriorate.
- Avoid negative people – Never invest in negative people or negative ideas. For example, if someone preaches that you have no control over your life and that everything just “happens” to you, then run the other way. Such a person will sap you of passion and willpower. Then, when you’re an empty husk of what you once were, you’ll join their ranks and try to break the dreams and hopes of others. Avoid this fate by staying far away from negative, vindictive people.
- Understand your responsibilities – Do you have a family? Are you currently employed? Being aware of your responsibilities to others will help you better plan and navigate your life. Never pretend that you don’t have a family to care for or a job to attend to. Formulate your monthly goals to account for these realities, so you don’t create unrealistic expectations.
A Personal Example of the Monthly System In Action
You Have To Understand Your “Why”
Now, I understand my why and I have my monthly goals set. The next move is to comprehend the responsibilities I have. I have a family, thus I need to schedule quality time with them. Additionally, I work a nine-to-five, therefore I have to acknowledge that my work comes first. While both responsibilities limit my time, I have a few hours each day to be able to sit down and aggressively study.
At the end of the month, I accomplish finishing the JavaScripot book. I’ve taken notes for future reference and I’m ready to move on to the next book.
There Is Immense Value In Creating and Accomplishing Monthly Goals
The main benefit of the monthly goal system is that it allows us to narrow our focus on one goal for the month. This narrowing can help to reduce stress and a feeling of panic because we’re not constantly looking at other things that need to be done. With our mind on one task, we can direct all our energy to accomplish this one goal which will ensure our complete success in our endeavor.
Lastly, the monthly goal system can help ease any anxiety we may have about progress. If we know that by the end of the month we will make a significant leap forward in the progress of our lives then we’re less likely to suffer from and experience anxiety. In fact, we will be excited at the prospect of moving onward.
So set a clear and concise monthly goal and stick to it. Ensure most of your energy and time is spent attempting to accomplish that goal and you’ll be in a position to move forward in huge ways.
- What are your life goals? Why did you choose these goals?
- Make of list of the resources that you would need to achieve your life goals. Do your life goals still seem achievable?
- How would your life change if you achieved your life goals?
- What is one thing you wish you could accomplish by the end of the next month?
- What is one thing you would need to accomplish that would radically improve your life?
Please remember that it’s important to do the actionables. You’re not on this earth to simply read but to do. To become an individual, you must act more than you consume.
*Image credit to Unsplash.