Problems and obstacles are part of everyday life. They are unique to everyone and come in all different shapes and sizes. Often, the obstacles we face are too big to conquer and the problems are too complicated to solve. We may avoid them or ignore them, but sooner or later, they need to be confronted.
For example, a problem that you may face is that you want to receive a promotion by next year. But do you have the skills and experience necessary to receive one? You may not be qualified; you do not have the degree or you are lacking certain skills like leadership and decision-making skills.
This is a big problem. You want a promotion by next year and now you are faced with multiple obstacles that are preventing you from getting that promotion.
Congratulations, you just looked ahead in your career. By looking ahead, you are mentally preparing yourself for the future – in this case you are looking at a promotion.
Looking ahead can prepare you for opportunities such as a promotion or a salary bump and ready you for any problems that may come your way. Look ahead and plan. That is how you prepare for the future.
As you continue your career journey, you should be able to have an idea of what you want your future look like. Asking yourself questions like “where do I see myself in 5 years?”, “will I have the skills needed for a promotion?”, “will I have a different position?” and more can help you look ahead in your career.
When you first start at your new job, you tend to focus on short-term goals. You want to exceed expectations, you want to finish projects, you want to make a good first impression. All this pressure you put on yourself to perform and do well tends to cloud your outlook and prevents you from having a long-term vision. Find the time sit down and map out your career for the long term so you can start looking ahead.
The Reality of Goal Setting
Having a plan is one thing. But staying true to your plan is something else entirely.
Take a look at New Year’s Resolutions. At the beginning of every year, we start to make our Resolutions a reality. But, as you make it through the first couple weeks, your motivation, and your consistency to chase your goals start to dwindle. And by February, you may not even remember what your resolution was.
This is a great example of what it is like to look ahead and set goals for yourself. It is also a realistic example that shows you difficult it is to plan for something and trying to stick with your plan. Being consistent and aligning with your goals is the hardest part of maintaining your action plan.
Realistically, life happens…
There are a lot of things that show up in our lives that we do not have control over. These things can slow you down and make you stray away from your path. This is why it’s difficult for most people to actually achieve their goals. Although goal setting is difficult, getting distracted or not staying consistent is all part of the journey.
Planning for your future is no easy task, nor is it easy to stay true to your goals. But, it is an important way for you to prepare for the uncertainty that the future holds.