Why Twenty-somethings Need to Start Setting Long-Term Goals

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Twenty-somethings are impatient fuckers. I know because I can be an impatient fucker. We don’t have the patience to stick to our goals or habits because we’ve learned to expect things in mere seconds. 

Want to turn down the lights? Ask Alexa. Need to know when your favorite show is coming back? Google it. Want to unlock your phone? Hold it up to your face.

The world is at our fingertips, but sadly, our goals and dreams are not. Reaching them can take months, and more likely, years

But we don’t have the patience for years. We’re accustomed to getting something once we want it with just a few taps on a screen.

However, when it comes to huge goals like writing a book, becoming a famous fashion designer or getting to share a stage with Ariana Grande, you’re fucked if you want it to happen fast because it won’t.

Unless you were born with the voice of an angel who can hit no wrong note, you’d need singing lessons. Since you need practice singing on stages, you’ll have to perform in bars and coffee shops. 

Maybe you’ll try out for The Voice. You’ll attempt to get a recording contract, but they’ll reject you a lot. You might need to push your pride down and start a YouTube channel.

See? It’s a process. A long process. Sure, it could happen to you in six months, or even a year, but you shouldn’t plan on it.

If you expect to reach your goals in a short amount of time, you’re going to be devastated when it doesn’t happen.

And then you’ll quit. But I don’t want you to quit.

Why we need to set long-term goals

Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

That’s why we need to start setting, and more importantly, sticking to long-term goals. Right now, we’re setting long-term goals as short-term ones. 

A long term goal would be to finish writing a book in eighteen months. A short-term goal would be to write a chapter in one week. 

But our dumbasses are setting a goal to write an entire book in three months. When we don’t reach that goal, we get pissed, and then we move on to the next project.

If we keep jumping from project to project we’re never going to succeed. We need to stop expecting things to happen now and remember that real shit takes time.

“Most people are short-term oriented and choose pleasure, satisfaction, and dopamine hits right now at the expense of bigger gains somewhere in the future.

Essentially, they are robbing themselves of the opportunity to create a better future by picking instant gratification over delayed gratification. All in all, it’s ruining their chances of success.”

Jari Roomer

When we set long-term goals, and we stick to them, we have a real chance of reaching them. (Although, I’m not saying there’s a 100% guarantee.)

Long-term goals set you apart

While everyone else is busy trying new things, giving up too quickly, and moving on, we’re going to be working hard on the same plan. 

I love the quote below. It’s about writing, but you can apply it to anything you try to pursue in life.

My plan was to write two novels a year for ten years before I ascertained whether or not I had a chance of making this work. . . . If you set a long term plan like this, and stick with it, you will succeed. Because you’ll find yourself in the top 0.1% of aspiring writers. 99.9% of your colleagues will drop out before they finish their plan. But you’ll outwork them.

Hugh Howey

Our goals might take a buttload of time, but just by working hard and not giving up, we can succeed. 

Doesn’t that sound better than grasping at a new thing every time you make a small mistake or don’t reach a short-term goal? 

After all, this is what you want to do with your life. The dream you want to chase. 

You have to try every day

Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash

As we work toward our long-term goal, we’re gonna be kicking every obstacle’s ass like the badass women we are. We’re gonna Sara Lance the fuck out of them. 

We’ll set smart short-term goals and reach them. If we don’t reach them, we’ll move the date, and we’ll try again. That’s the key: that we keep trying.

We’re young, you and I. We’ve got plenty of years ahead of us. So, it doesn’t matter if we’re not reaching our goals yet. 

Our primary focus needs to be on learning and improving. We need to focus on growing and getting really freaking good at what we do as we work toward our goals. 

Working on long-term goals won’t always be easy

I’m not going to lie to you—it’s going to be hard sometimes. Mainly because of social media. You might already share your art on Instagram, upload videos on YouTube, or blog on Medium.

 If you don’t have a lot of followers and aren’t receiving a lot of likes, you understand the pain of embarrassment. You might even feel a little bit of a failure.

The reason you feel this way is because social media is all about numbers and data. 

But we can’t pay attention to the numbers. We shouldn’t be checking how many followers or subscribers we have every day like a bunch of obsessed weirdos. 

It’ll discourage the hell out of you. I know because it discouraged the hell out of me with my first blog.

Besides, you understand now that it doesn’t even matter because we have to focus on the long-term goal. 

Who cares about having a hundred followers right now when in five years you could have five thousand? 

Aesthetic journal of the bolded quote below

Don’t worry about the analytics and the numbers. Just make, practice, improve, and share what you create. That needs to be what we focus on—becoming the best we can be. 

It’s the only thing that matters right now. We can’t reach our goals if we’re not good enough.

My long-term goal

I don’t want to be all talk, so I’m going to set a long-term goal. 

I’m going to dedicate myself to this blog for five years. 

It’s terrifying to think about giving five years of my life to this blog because I’ll be twenty-six by the time I decide if I’ll continue or not. 

I don’t know what my life will look like by then, but I’m setting and sticking to that goal anyway. 

I’ll keep going even if I don’t see results, when I want to quit, and despite the days I feel lazy. I’ll keep going no matter what. I’m going to try not to focus on the number of subscribers I have in one year. 

I won’t worry about how many followers I have on social media in two years. I won’t focus on the numbers, the data, or the analytics.

The only things I’ll be focusing on for the growth of this blog are creating a lot of content, promoting on social media (and anything else that pops up), taking opportunities as they come, and learning and applying.

My countdown begins now, and it ends on May 27, 2024.

Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds
THIS COUNTDOWN HAS ENDED. I STUCK TO MY LONG-TERM GOAL, AND I AM STILL STICKING TO IT FIVE-YEARS-LATER. LONG-TERM GOALS AND HARD WORK PAYS OFF.

Your long-term goal

Now it’s your turn to set one. Whether you’re trying to become a successful photographer, a prominent YouTuber, or top Etsy seller, set a long-term goal. The length is up to you.

You’ll want to give up sometimes. You’ll feel discouraged and angry, and you might even cry a little. You’ll fuck up and look at the numbers. 

But that’s okay as long as you don’t give up when you feel like you’re never going to make it.

“You overestimate what you can do in a year and underestimate what you can do in ten.”

Ayodeji Awosika

Set a long-term goal and stick to it.

. . .

Let's talk about

Lets me know in the comments:

What do you do, and what’s the long-term goal you’re going to set for it?

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