What to do when setting long-term goals freaks you out - Part II

The things we don’t share

Here are a few things I have learned along the way:

If you haven't already, read part I here diving into part II. 

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Linda Roos

Linda Roos

Linda is a copywriter with a mind full of sharp insights and an unsatisfiable curiousity. She writes on her blog www.lindaroosenmedia.nl, as well as for DeOndernemer.nl, a website specifically for Dutch entrepreneurs.

Photo: Carly Wollaert

Long-term goals

  1. Set a realistic timeline: A long-term goal doesn’t have to be reached in exactly five years. Long-term goals can be completed at your pace, whether it's six months, two years or any other timeline that works for you. For example, one of my goals is to build a bigger client database, to grow my opportunity to do more creative writing . Sure, I could see myself doing that in the next five years, but perhaps it's also possible to achieve this goal a little sooner. What if I challenge myself to reach this goal in one year? Which brings me to the next lesson…
  2. Focus on the small steps: Think of your goal as a puzzle made up of many small pieces. Figure out smaller steps to make each task more ‘doable’ and fun! So, if I want more clients to provide me with more creative projects, I should target them by updating my website and changing my social media marketing strategy. Then, I can focus on taking on clients who fit this profile. I could give myself enough time (for example three months), to get the first few clients and after those three months, I could stop working for clients who don't fit this new profile. By giving myself time, I am allowing my business to adapt more naturally, and I am also decreasing the risk of complete decline of income.

  3. Adjust to change: Your goals are personal and they aren’t set in stone. There’s a realistic chance that what you’d like to achieve now will be completely different in a year time. Remember, there’s no harm in aspiring to reach your goals as long as you are able to adapt and optimize when things don’t go as planned. Be flexible. Try experimenting.

And most of all: have fun! 

Looking back, I now understand that it’s a heavy task to know what you want to do with the rest of your life at age 18. I figured it out along the way and you will too! Over time, I realized that it’s a never-ending and ever-changing process. That doesn’t mean making choices and setting career goals is necessarily easier for me now, but I have learned how to tackle goals in a more manageable way. When you learn how to set goals effectively, the future becomes a whole lot less daunting, and even exciting.