Why you should plan life goals for 2018 not 2017, according to psychology expert

If you really want to achieve your goals, you need to think long-term

Rachel Hosie
Saturday 07 January 2017 12:38 GMT
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(Getty Images/Vetta)

For a lot of people, a new year means a time to reassess their life, consider goals and make plans for the year ahead.

But according to one psychologist, we should actually be planning for next year, not the one we’ve just begun.

Benjamin P. Hardy argues that if we really want to achieve things in our lives, we need to plan further ahead and think more long-term.

He points out that JK Rowling planned all seven Harry Potter books before writing one chapter, and George Lucas planned for at least six Star Wars films before starting the first one.

“The principle is simple: Don’t just plant a tree, plant an orchard,” he says.

By keeping a long-term objective in mind, we’re more likely to achieve our goals ultimately.

“Everything you do is positioning. Are you positioning yourself to do AMAZING things in one, three, or five years from now?” Hardy writes in his post on Medium.

Very few of us stick to our New Year’s resolutions, and the reason for this could be that we don’t make what Hardy calls “committed decisions” - it’s not enough simply to be interested in your goals, you have to commit to them.

Psychological studies have shown that people who have a higher belief in their ability to achieve their goals outperform others.

What’s more, these people also take control, believing that they themselves are the ones with the power to determine the outcomes of their lives.

People who don't have these traits - the majority of the population - are scientifically proven to have low life satisfaction, low job performance, lack motivation, have higher stress levels and more health problems.

Hardy argues that although we live in an unpredictable world and many things are outside of our control, we still have power over the outcomes of our own lives.

He believes we’ve been sold a lie, and that lie is that we’re not responsible for what happens to us - but we are. And when we accept that and take control of our own destinies we’ll achieve a lot more.

“The moment you realise you have complete responsibility for every aspect of your life is the exact moment you are completely FREE!” Hardy explains.

But to stick to your resolutions you need to be motivated, and if you don’t truly value the goal, you won’t be.

“When you take up the responsibility to live your life according to design rather than default, you will constantly be humbled and in awe,” explains Hardy.

“You’ll be blown away as you watch life unfold as you saw it in your head — as your physical world conforms itself to your thoughts.”

To do that, you need to think long-term. Time to buy a 2018 diary..

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