Long-term goals are overwhelming. You want to get a good job, lose weight, raise your kids right, and get rich. Good luck getting all that done by tomorrow. Instead, just focus on today.
Photo by Kate Ter Haar.
As personal finance blog The Simple Dollar points out, it's easy to focus too much on the end result you want to accomplish and lose sight of what gets you there. Namely, today. It's the only day you can actually control and the only day you need to worry about. Add enough todays up and eventually you get that goal you're reaching towards.
If that sounds like garbage inspiration you're used to hearing from cat posters, then you probably need to adjust your plans a bit, because there's a very practical difference to approaching your goals this way:
First of all, you need to break things down to today — nothing more, nothing less. Success is about today, period.
Yes, it's fun of dreaming of having a bunch of money or about having a thin body, but those things are simply not going to happen tomorrow or the day after or even next month. Those are long-term things.
The only way you're going to get there is by taking one single day at a time. What can you do today to move in a positive financial direction? Or in a positive direction in terms of your health?
Here's a handy way to tell if you're effectively applying this mindset: Do your long-term goals include action you can take today? If they don't, then you're probably not going to get there. If they do, then that's what the only thing you really need to focus your efforts on. Having a long-term plan is nice, and it's certainly helpful to have an idea where you're going. But the plan isn't the goal. Thinking about the plan doesn't get you there. Today is the only day you've got to get anything done. So use it.
The plan is simple. Putting it into practice is hard work. [The Simple Dollar via Rockstar Finance]