A new year has arrived and maybe your motivation level is high right now. What better time is there to channel that motivation toward planning for your future? There are many small things you can do now that will help you later, but we have compiled a list of five things you can focus on now—and thank yourself for later!
1. Set goals for yourself
Start setting goals for yourself! Not the “resolution” type, but future goals. Start small and think about what you want to accomplish personally, financially and professionally this new year. These goals will motivate you all year long as you look toward the future. You should always be actively working toward something in your life–whether big or small.
“Goal-setting is an important part of self-care, and your future self will thank you” says Rebekah Lignugaris of Organized for Health. She continues, “Your mindset is your greatest asset and awareness is key. Set yourself up for success by not overwhelming yourself. Challenge yourself appropriately. Focus on progress, not perfection. Keep your eyes on your own path. Be realistic about your abilities and timeframe. Incorporate changes into your lifestyle not vice versa. Start small with changes that are doable and sustainable; chip away at your goal. Before you know it, tiny conscious changes will become effortless habits and you'll move onto other little changes that will also become habits, and so on, building on themselves and all leading you toward your goal. This process strengthens skills, confidence, and motivation.
Implement the small changes consistently, and add to them as you improve, and you will meet or even exceed your goal, or, maybe, you will learn more about yourself and realize you have a different goal altogether that you'd like to achieve. You might even discover that it's more about the journey of reaching your goal than simply conquering it. Be open to the experience, be aware of your feelings, and pivot as it suits you.
Remember to stick to an overall basic plan to achieve your goal but be flexible with your path and progress - expect obstacles and work through them - be gentle and patient with yourself. Every time you fall, just get back up. Find a way to keep your goal front and center in your mind to motivate you to keep going but don't obsess. And definitely celebrate your victories, big and small!”
2. Set an agenda for the year
Use an agenda for tracking daily tasks and keeping up with your work. This will help you complete tasks whenever needed instead of falling behind. Your agenda can be virtual or a traditional planner that allows you to look ahead. There is power in knowing what is coming and adjusting your plans accordingly.
3. Start living in the moment
Living in the moment, you will find yourself less anxious, and more focused on what is right in front of you. This will help your mental health in the long run, and you will be thankful for it.
4. Save your money - try budgeting
Start saving your money when you work instead of spending it. Look into investing in a 401 K or some other plan. No one's future self will regret you growing your finances. If you do not already have a monthly budget, use this time to create one. You might find it helps control some of your “bad” spending habits.
5. Have patience with yourself
Quit stressing about what the future might hold for you. Have patience and be calm (as much as you can!) when it comes to the future. You never know when or where something might happen, but if you’re patient through it all, you’ll feel better about where you end up. However, this is not an excuse to ignore taking the right steps to plan and set yourself up for future success in your personal, financial and professional life.
We hope you are already feeling more encouraged and excited about planning for the future. With these five things in mind your future self will most definitely be thanking you!
Seeking more motivation in getting your personal life organized for the future? Check out our post on”: Tips on Organizing and Improving Personal Finances, and Motivation to Get Organized All Year Long
We would love to hear any tips you might have for preparing for your future. Let us know in the comments if anything has made a huge impact on your life over time.
And don't forget, planning for the future is never a bad thing.