Create balanced goals.

Having long-term, short-term, and medium-term goals provides balance in what you are working toward, focusing on, and ensures you don’t only focus on immediate gratification, or put off any gratification until some future long-term date. Some people find themselves always waiting for that next thing for life to feel better. Others can enjoy life right now, but have a hard time with long-term planning and delayed gratification. There is a risk in both. A mixture of goals gives you something to work toward and gratification in the present, while also giving you meaningful purpose, and focus, on goals to work toward for the future.

It is also important to ensure goals are compatible with each other. If you want to live long, travel, purchase a dream home, live at the lake, retire early; your short-term goals need to surround taking care of your healthy daily, working hard to make money, saving, planning, etc. Or maybe you want to take more time off now while the kids are young – or simply while you are young – and work harder when the kids are in school or grown. Or maybe you create financial stability simply through spending less, still working less, and living a more minimalist lifestyle.

The beauty is… it is up to you! Your personal values create your goals – and planning with a life partner (if you have one) creates more connection, commitment, and opens up healthy communication. Knowing your personal values and goals can also be very helpful in choosing a life partner, to ensure similar values and goals. Even in relationships, it is healthy to have personal and couple goals, to create further balance.

It can be helpful to consider your values, and create goals within each area. Start with long-term goals and think of short- and medium-term goals from there. Be sure to make your short terms goals rewarding, while you still keep in mind the long-term path you want to follow. And re-evaluate periodically! Sometimes we get off track, or stay on track and realize that goal is no longer important. Assess, create new balanced goals, and keep moving. Reaching goals also provides that healthy sense of accomplishment and is automatically reinforcing to keep up positive behavior!

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