Goal Setting, Part 4: Long-term goals

Define in solid terms specifically what's supposed to be achieved.
  • Be sure you're happy with the level of commitment required. Lack of commitment will destroy a long-term plan. Long-term goals are very demanding things to work with. The level of personal and financial commitment in planning a career is sometimes daunting. It's not uncommon for people to change their priorities mid-stream, and therefore their goals. That's a certain method for creating serious challenges, and should be kept to a minimum.
  • Check methodologies, resources needs, and time frames. This part is exactly like short-term goals, and those methods work very effectively as progress controls and monitors.
  • Check viability of each stage, in advance. Make sure you can do what needs doing. Modify your plans and use short-term methods to get over current hurdles and stay on track.
  • Does this sound like you're locking in a lot of future time and effort? Because you are, and this is where long-term goals need active management. You need to be able to actively control your methods of achieving long-term goals.

    Working with long-term goals

    Realistic long-term goals have a few basic criteria:

    • They remain viable, under all circumstances. This ongoing viability check is absolutely vital. Whatever your long-term goal, your objective has to remain workable. You may even need to revise your long goal, if the original objective falls short or the target has moved.
    • Personal control. With long-term goals, you must have personal control, so you can keep them workable, and handle any issues without depending on third parties which may not deliver what you need.

    Alternative methods for long-term goals

    Sometimes, the required level of commitment just can't be made to very long time frames, even if you're sure of your long-term goals. There's a way to deal with this problem, and it works.

    You can create a series of stages for your long-term goals. Break the goal down into practical intermediate stages. This allows much more flexibility than a single stream, and prevents over commitment. In some cases, it gives you more options.

    Any long-term goal is achievable; it's really just a matter of how you do it.