I personally find the most productive and powerful time-scale to set goals on is the quarterly timeline. The timeline is long enough to get serious work done, but short enough that it is over before the goals get stale. However, the power of a long-term vision should not be ignored.
In the book I co-authored with Nick, The Path, we recommend an exercise where the reader creates a 5-year vision board that I like to revisit at the beginning of each year before narrowing in on the yearly and quarterly timeline.
Here is one approach you could try if you wanted to start your year & quarter off with more of a long term vision:
- Clearly define what your priorities are by listing 5-6 priorities.
- With 5 minutes on the clock describe what your ideal state is 5 years from now in as much detail as possible.
- Draw out what your ideal state would look like:
- Start by taking out a blank sheet of paper and drawing 6 vertical lines with a horizontal line across the bottom (example above).
- In each of the five boxes draw out what your next year and each successive year could look like, be creative!
Document your description of the ideal state and drawing of it. Use this as a compass each time you set new goals, and adjust it as your vision of an ideal state changes.
Related Goal Setting Reading: