What have you done today that would make your future self proud of you? Have you chipped away at one of your long-term goals or made contacts with people who you admire and want to be more like? Have you taken stock of how things are working for you and made adjustments? Have you simply recognized that you are on the right path?
The easiest way to set goals is to ask yourself where you want to be in the future. Sometimes looking ten or fifteen years into the future is too much, so look ahead a year or two and ask yourself what that looks like. Make a clear vision of who you want to become so that you can begin to work towards it today.
Set your vision by asking yourself what you want to be doing with your time, both in your work and in your free time. Who are the people who will be surrounding you and spending time with you? Where do you want to be living? Even ask yourself how you want to look and act. That is your future self.
Once you know who you want to become, you can begin to set goals that will get you there. If you are looking five or ten years into the future, those goals are going to seem very far away, and possibly out of reach. But the thing about goals is that once you set them and you’re convinced they are possible, you will start to act towards them. You will notice if you are working in the direction of your vision and goals or if you aren’t.
The answer to the question, “How do you eat an elephant?” is “one bite at a time”. Every little step adds up to big steps over time, even if you can’t always see them in the beginning. And if your vision is truly the right one for you, you will find yourself getting closer to it all the time by the little steps you take each day.
So what do you do if you’ve lost your vision or you’ve gotten off track because other things seemed more important and got in the way? You set a new vision. Things happen in our lives that change us. My vision of my future self is nothing like it was a few years ago. I’ve had to reassess and then readjust. It’s a lot like your navigation system in your car that tells you how to correct when you didn’t turn on the street it wanted you to. Recalibrate and find a new course to get to where you know you want to go.
When you come to the end of your life, what will you be proud of having done? Start doing that today. Work towards becoming the future self by doing things that support who you are trying to become. Do a little bit every day.