Why Your Long-term Goals are Going Nowhere
“For years, I’ve had a wooden giraffe statue on my office bookshelf. A birthday gift from my father, the giraffe was a reminder of a long-term goal I’ve had since I was 25 years old: to go on an African safari.
I’m not alone, these sorts of visual reminders–photos of destinations you wish to travel to, images of Olympic athletes whose toned physiques you strive to emulate, or a sales figure you hope to crack this year–have become a common form of long-term goal setting.
But there may be a better way to turn long-term goals into reality. According executive coaches Senia Maymin and Margaret Greenberg, authors of Profit from the Positive the key to reaching your goals is not to visualize the end (the safari, the fit body and the sales figure) but to turn these goals into actionable habits. …
My long-term goal of the African safari will remain a pipe dream unless I start regularly setting money aside and take the time to plan the trip. ‘We’ve been trained since we were children that goals tend to sound like this: ‘I’m going to run that race’ or ‘I’m going to finish that project.’ Rarely do we think of successful goals as sounding like this: ‘I’m going to exercise at the gym every day at 7:30 a.m.’ or ‘This week, I’m going to block off the hour after lunch and close the door to my office to work only on this project,’ write Maymin and Greenberg. …
By doing these daily habits, we end up experiencing many mini-successes that propel us further, getting us closer to our ultimate goal.
What’s your wooden giraffe? How can you turn your goal into actionable habits?”