Long-term thinking means you’re comfortable envisioning and consciously working toward the future. This is why you need to use a long-term mindset for long-term decisions. Long-term decisions occur when reflecting on potential events decades or more in the future causes. We need a long-term mindset because it’s a viewpoint that brings us exciting possibilities of what’s to come. 

While long-term goals are easy to dream about. But turning those dreams into a reality takes a clear, actionable plan. Here are some strategies

  • Connect your long-term goals to your core values

The first step in setting long-term goals that you’ll be motivated to hit is to define your core values. Your core values won’t change much over time. The more you can connect your long-term goals to the type of person you are and want to be, the easier it will be to stay motivated to hit them.

  • Break your long-term goals down into short-term tasks

Every major project–whether it’s personal or at work–needs to be broken down into specific milestones and tasks. Breaking large goals into smaller, more manageable ‘chunks’ makes them feel more realistic. It also gives you a clear action plan instead of making you feel overwhelmed.

  • Schedule your goals to remove the decision to work towards them every day

Scheduling when and how long you’ll work towards your long-term goals helps you overcome what’s called decision fatigue. One of the easiest things you can do is change your morning routine.

  • Create if/then statements to avoid the distraction of ‘urgent’ tasks

There will always be something that feels more urgent than working towards your long-term goals. Psychologists call this the urgency bias. However, you can protect your focus and counter this bias by creating if/then statements for when distractions arise. 

  • Avoid perfectionism by getting comfortable with uncertainty

Perfectionism can kill your motivation and make you question why you’re even chasing this goal in the first place. But to keep working towards your goal, you need to recognize that you won’t have all the answers up front and that your first effort probably won’t be great.

Developing a good long-term mindset is valuable. It is essential to strike a balance between long-term planning with a long-term mindset. Long-term thinking is a mental method we can use to envision vastly new possibilities for the future that would be in line with our goals. This can lead us to prioritize what is important and to guide our decision-making. It will serve as the foundation for your long-term visions to come to life. 

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