Planning for the Long-Term When You're a Short-Term Thinker
Many folks in my generation tend to be short-term thinkers. We're hard-working, for sure, but tend to be better at managing short-term projects that produce quick results. Personally, I struggle to see the big picture and plot a path to success.
This applies to so many areas of my life: housework, finances, health goals, and business plans. Then, I realized that there was an obvious solution. I didn't necessarily have to change my work style -- heck, I do great blasting through small projects on short deadlines...
I just had to turn all of my long-term goals into short-term ones.
I started by breaking down my health goals. Instead of considering the overwhelming task of losing 20 lbs. in 3 months, I started trying to lose 2 lbs. in 1 week.
In fact, I broke down all of my goals into weekly plans and, if appropriate, broke them down further into daily tasks. Cleaning my entire house in 1-2 weeks seemed downright impossible, but keeping up with dishes and picking up the living room each day seemed much more manageable.
Similarly, with finances, I started focusing on making a few small sales each week for my business.
I've also wanted to do a minor amount of re-branding and build a better organized system of mindful journaling. That could take 6 months to a year. Whoa, let me go hide somewhere! It was way too much to think about.
But then, this is where mindfulness comes in...
Before tackling any long-term project, take joy in sitting down for 20-30 minutes and just thinking and brainstorming about your project. Grab a piece of scrap paper and see if you can break down your task into 4 other smaller weekly tasks. Is there something you can do each day that will contribute to your long-term goal?
Be kind to yourself...
If you're anything like me, you'll enjoy the quick brainstorming session and planning more than actually finishing any noted task. Ha! And that's OK too. If you enjoy planning but don't always follow through, just be aware of those tendencies, and try to work through them as you can.
Grab your planner...
Once you've finished your brainstorming session, plot your plan in your planner. Here are some questions you can ask your Tarot cards, too, to guide you in your long-term planning:
- What is the energy of this project?
- How will I feel once this project is completed?
- Which struggles may I face as I pursue this project?
- Which benefits will this project have on my life?