Goal Setting: Do You Have A Vision?

goal setting vision

We all have a vision for our lives, or so I’d like to think. Maybe it isn’t an exact blue print with all of the kinks worked out, perhaps it’s just an idea of what we’d like to see happen.

About three weeks ago, I was thinking about life after graduation, real world living, and wrote out what my ideal day would look like. I noted that it would either be a Monday or a Sunday. Here’s what I described:

+ 6am. Wake up, check emails, twitter and instagram. Climb out of bed, dress and get in a 45 minute morning workout.

+ 7:15am Shower, get ready for the day and eat a good breakfast (likely something with fresh fruit)

8:30am Head to work, either walk (if it’s nearby) or hop on the subway. Knowing me, I’ll be getting there at least 15 minutes early.

+ Noon Lunch time!

5pm Head home, check (blog related) emails during my commute.

6:30pm Get dinner ready –something delicious that makes the apartment smell yummy.

+ 7:30pm Schedule posts, read a few posts from my faves and unwind a bit. Work on any lingering freelance work.

9:45pm Night time stretching/yoga.

11pm Settle into bed, try to turn my brain off and get good sleep.

Just a small snippet, but I thought it was an interesting journal scribble. Doesn’t it seem highly specific and thought out? Yep, that’s exactly how my brain works. I need to see the small details and plan even the simplest things, like cooking a meal that would make my apartment smell yummy.

As beneficial as I think setting small, workable short-term goals are, I always take a minute to revisit the long term. We often get so caught up in our day-to-day routines and responsibilities that we forget about those big moves we had in mind. The books we wanted to write, e-courses we wanted to launch,vacations we meant to plan. They slip through our hands like sand, and then we are left standing still, holding onto nothing.

[Tweet “Taking time to focus on your long term vision will guide your life with purpose and intention.”]

What big projects do you dream about at night, but cast away during the day to focus on the now and “practical” tasks? And even more importantly, are your short term goals preventing you from walking the path to your long-term destiny?

This is why I call goal-setting an art. It’s a skillful balance of the now and later that is excruciatingly challenging. Ever changing, shifting according to things in life that are often out of our control. It’s about avoiding the comfortable, at times, in the here and now to make room for the luxuriousness of a fulfilled purpose later. Working a 9-5 that you don’t like may mean that you feel comfortable and secure now, but that burning urge to launch, create, make, do something bigger, that eats at you constantly will keep you restless at night.

When I sent out this week’s newsletter (subscribe here if you didn’t get it) I talked a bit about jumping headfirst into whatever you’ve been dying to do. Don’t let your fear of jumping keep you from landing in the destination you’ve always dreamed about.

This week, take a moment to remind yourself of your long term goals. Have the they changed? Are they bigger now, or maybe even smaller? How are your present actions helping you in the long run?

I’d love if you shared some of your long-term goals in the comments!



  1. August 6, 2014 / 9:30 am

    My goals have shifted so much since I was younger and in school. I used to have such big dreams and I really wish life would have taken me there, but some how so many of us find ourselves married with kids and thinking about the lost dreams.

    • August 7, 2014 / 2:55 pm

      I feel like in some ways, that’s inevitable. Life happens, and while we may not end up exactly where we visioned ourselves, things still turn out happy and worth while. I think what’s most important is living in a manner which brings us the most joy and least number of regrets.

  2. August 6, 2014 / 4:25 pm

    I’m the complete opposite: time and again I’ve knocked down the “big picture” goals, but I struggle with staying on task when it comes to the little things. Since I’ve already accomplished some long-term goals like working from home as an editor and visiting Europe before I have kids, I’ll share my short-term goals:

    1. Get several weeks ahead on blog content, and spend more time commenting on others’ blogs.
    2. Read an average of one book per week.
    3. Catch up on all those small, fast admin tasks in the business.
    4. Play around more with Google+
    5. Consistently make Sundays an offline, work-free day.

    • August 7, 2014 / 2:57 pm

      I totally get that.

      I hate when I have a bunch of things that I want to do, but can’t seem to sit and focus. Luckily, I’ve come up with ways to work around that feeling, and envisioning the bigger picture is often one of them.

      I think those are some pretty doable goals that you’ve set! They all seem pretty streamlined and related: once you schedule those posts, time will likely free itself up to help the other tasks happen!

  3. August 6, 2014 / 9:36 pm

    Great post!! I think looking at long term goals are super important as you said and they really help to keep you focused on what you need to do to get there. However I was getting so caught up on the big picture that i completely forgot to focus on what was happening right now. So a major goal I have been working on lately is to be present in everything I do, and surprisingly, that is actually helping me achieve long term goals like starting my new business and now my partner and I are talking about buying an apartment – those things just weren’t on the cards six months ago when that was all I was focusing on!!

    • August 7, 2014 / 2:58 pm

      Being present in what you’re doing is super important, too! It can definitely be tough to balance future intentions with the here and now; it’s something I struggle with. I’m glad to hear that getting focused and present is already helping you in the long and short term!

  4. August 7, 2014 / 1:31 am

    I love this post! I am a strong believer in goal-setting, because it does drive your life in a positive direction. However, I have also recently come to the resolution that you should leave room and be open to new possibilities and opportunities. I didn’t expect to be where I am today, 60 months ago. However, planning and setting goals set me up on a straight path to success that just had an exciting twist.

    • August 7, 2014 / 2:59 pm

      Yes! I definitely agree, Megan. Flexibility and an open mind are crucial. And if your goals change as you live and experience new things, that’s totally fine!

  5. August 7, 2014 / 1:42 pm

    I have very few short-term goals but very prominent long-term goals. It takes me a while to notice I’ve accomplished something on my long-term goal list and when I do, I’m in awe of how much that thing meant to me at one time and how I’ve already created more goals that overshadow it. I want to learn to appreciate my small and large victories so when I set goals, I know I’ll be happy with the outcomes.

    • August 7, 2014 / 3:00 pm

      I’m learning to celebrate the small wins, too. I’ve found that lately I’ll accomplish something that I didn’t even know was a goal until I completed it!

  6. Beth
    August 10, 2014 / 4:14 am

    I completely agree with you. There are so many things that I’d like to do right now – a masters degree, another bachelor’s degree, write a book, set up my own business – and so many things seem to be holding me back. I think they’re the sort of goals that need to be planned and set deadlined, or else I’ll never achieve them… Which is a sobering thought!
    Thank you for giving me a little perspective!
    Beth x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *