I hate goals!

Past Present Future

I struggle to set goals. Really struggle – it bores me…

I struggle to concentrate in our yearly strategy session; I drive the team nuts. Tasks, goals, KPI’s – they just don’t excite me. But people do! 

Just recently I stumbled across something which is a surefire way to excite people like me into being able to create action plans and actionable items (my preferred description for a goal).

It all changed when I started researching the science behind your ‘future self’ and the concept of setting your ‘future self’ up for success. 

We tend to think who we are now is the “real” and “finished” version. However, your personality, skills, likes, dislikes, beliefs, priorities, and values change over time.

As Daniel Gilbert once stated: “Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished.

Are you really the same person as 10 years ago?

Take a moment to imagine yourself in 5 years…where are you, what are you doing, how have you grown, what have you achieved, what do you look like, how do you feel? Create the best scenario for yourself.

Now consider, how this is going to happen if you are not making choices and decisions today that align with this outcome?

By embracing our future self, we are setting that person up for success by making more informed and calculated decisions today. This is a people-oriented (vs task-oriented) approach to setting goals. 

For example, if I see my future self hiking Patagonia for 10 days, I need to make better decisions today to keep myself strong, fit and agile.

If professionally I see my future self really enjoying the thrill of keynote speaking at large events, what am I doing right now to set the actional items (sub-goals) required to achieve this? 

Both examples demonstrate how we can create actionable items to achieve our goals through visualising what our future self wants. This people-oriented approach to goal-setting, in effect, creates a really simple motivator to spur us into action. 

Your future self is a relationship that needs to be nurtured and strengthened.

Take the time today to get to know that person 5 years in the future. Slip into your future self shoes to feel what it’s like in order to create the changes you need today.