What can I do to maximize the chances that what I do now will still be relevant 10 years from now?

We live in a world of rapid change. The only things that you can do now that will still be relevant in 10 years is to develop the skills to help you remain flexible, open to learning, and able to accept/embrace change. I have worked in the tech industry for much of my career and I have seen a lot of skill sets come and go, both in what I have needed in order to stay relevant in the industry and in the people I draw on in my work. It is important to keep watching where things are going and to be able to move in the direction that you see your industry or the greater world moving in. It is also important to be very clear on your priorities and values and that what you are doing supports them. This makes it easier to embrace any changes in what you are doing, if you can see how it aligns with what is important to you.

Here are some of the traits I see as being essential for staying relevant 10-20-30+ years into the future:
1. Know yourself.
a. Understand your values and priorities.
b. Constantly set and work toward your goals.
c. Journal about your life, paying particular attention to your goals, your experiences
and how they align with your core values.
2. Accept that change is inevitable and learn to flow with it.
a. Stay vigilant of where your area of interest is going (blogs, media, conferences,
product releases etc.)
b. Learn something new every (Instructables, Lifehacker, etc.)

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Roadblocks to Your Goal

We tend to think of roadblocks as representing failure. In western culture we are taught
that anything that derails us from our path is a statement about our success. Instead,
we need to see these slip-ups as part of the learning process for becoming more
successful. The reality is that we need to learn more about ourselves as we move
forward in our lives, and this self-knowledge is what helps lead us to success.
With this way of thinking we then realize that it may take a few tries to reach a goal.
The journey to reaching your goal is as and often more important than the destination,
because it helps to shape you into the person you become. By doing this work we learn
what things can get in our way and how to deal with them, which then feeds into being
better at other aspects of our life.
So, when you find yourself with a let-down on your path to reaching your goal, remind
yourself that it is OK & completely normal to mess up. The secret is to then take the
time to learn why you messed up and to figure out how not to repeat it. Then you
rework your goal plan with this new knowledge and get back on track.

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Aligning your Goal Plan to your Priorities

When developing your goal plan, it is essential that you get you priorities in order. To
be successful at reaching your goals, they need to be in sync with what matters to you
in your life. This means that they align both with your values and they do not work
against the things you need to deal with in your life here and now.
It is important to have long term goals, but when you are planning them out you need
to first take into account your present situation and where exactly you need to achieve
to move forward. Basic priorities that most of us need to cover in our goal plans are
basics like shelter and food. These immediate priorities also help add some very
concrete things to tie your goal plan to, as they are essential for day-to-day life and
without them you cannot move onto your other goals.
In addressing your priorities in your goal plan first set goals which get rid of the
immediate challenges and which support incremental progress toward your larger
goals.

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Happy New Year!

There is a belief in North American culture that New Years is the best time to set goals.
I was even taught that when I first got put onto goal setting. The reality is that the best
time to start setting goals is this very minute.
As soon as you feel the inspiration get started. Begin to write them down. As soon as
you start to write them down, they take on a life of their own. You need both the idea
and putting the goal into words to breathe life into it.
There is no better time than this very moment to seize control of your life. The myth of
goal setting being tied to New Year’s makes it all about timing and not about making a
decision to live the life you deserve. While all of the world is a stage, your life is not a
dress rehearsal; it’s the only one you’ve got. So Happy New Year’s and now write down
your goals!

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Thought of the Day

On Quora I recently answered a question about ways in which long term thinking helps
short term thinking. I started drafting out a long and involved response, but then I
realized that it all boiled down to the following: If you don’t know the journey you want
to take, then you cannot figure out where to place your food for the first step.

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What is your long term goal at the age of 22?

Another question I recently got on Quora is what your long term goals should be at 22.
Your long term goal at the age of 22 should be based on what you value most at that
point in your life and what your priorities are. You should also know that your priorities
and values will shift as you life moves forward. This is why goal setting is a dynamic
and ongoing process based around self-discovery and growth.
Setting your goals gives you opportunities for growth and working toward them helps
you to grow into the person you want to be.

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How do I personalize my goals?

The key to personalizing your goals is to first get a very clear picture of your values and
priorities. Once you have established these and you set your goals to align with them,
they couldn’t be any more personal, because now your goals are in support of things
that are fundamental to you.

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How Can I Stick to a Plan?

Q:
I make plan for everything but not able to execute it. For example I plan daily to wake
up early in morning but I never succeed despite of trying everything ( sleeping
early,alarm) Same goes for study like I will finish a topic in that many hours but I never
did .
I get involve in some other thing or I loss interest in my existing plan. What can I do?
A:
First of all congratulations on having a plan! This puts you ahead of more than 80% of
the population. What you now need to do with your plan is to review it daily and journal
about it. Look at what you’re doing, what is working and what is not. For the things that
are not working you need to take a frank and honest look at why they’re not working
for you. Then figure out what you need to learn from that goal. The goals we have
trouble achieving are the same ones that give us the greatest opportunity to learn
about ourselves.
If you’re not achieving a goal, then it is likely not as important to you as other things
that you are achieving. What you need to have a clear picture of when creating a goal
or life plan is what your values and priorities are. Your goals need to be aligned and in
support of your values and priorities or else you will undermine yourself at every corner
in trying to achieve them.
So, let’s take your goal of waking up early. You need to look at why you want to do this
and what it supports in your life, and then take a hard look at what things you are
doing that are keeping you from achieving this goal. You will either find that there other
goals that are more important to you right now than this and that it isn’t serving your
overall plan, or that you need to look at the importance you are putting into doing
things that don’t support your values and priorities.Feel free to PM me if you want to discuss this further or email me at
mark@practicalgoalsetting.com.

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Plan or Go With the Flow?

Q:
Should I keep planning and ending up going with the flow or should I just stop
planning?
A:
You should definitely keep planning. If you are creating plans for your life you are
ahead of 80% of the population and if you are writing those plans down you are ahead
of 96% of population. What you need to be aware of is that as your life moves forward,
so must your life plan. What you value and is a priority for you at 18, likely won’t have
the same place in your life even two years from now.
You need to regularly evaluate your priorities and values and write down a vivid picture
of your life supporting them. By doing this you will make sure that your plan is
supporting the life you want to live and your reflection and honest evaluation of your
goals and progress against them will help you to grow into the person you deserve to
be.
If you only go with the flow then you’re not setting the course of your life and you are
simply reacting to external influences. While most people live this way, it is not a
satisfying way to live. You are then letting the world around you determine your
happiness and who you are, rather than being who you really want to be.
It has taken me a lot of years and hard experiences to learn these lessons and I wish
that I had asked the questions you are doing at 18. If you have any questions about
what I have written or want to discuss things further either PM me or email me at mark
at mark@practicalgoalsetting.com.

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Why Oh Why?

In goal setting we often just think “Oh I want to do x, y or z”, but our reasons why we
want to pursue that goal is unclear. For success at reaching the goal, why you want to
achieve it is more important than the goal itself.
Before taking action on anything in your life, it is essential that you ask yourself the
question: “Why do I want to achieve this goal?”. Without understanding your reasons, it
is hard to maintain your motivation. Also, once you can distill out the reasons why you
want to achieve the goal you can then see how they align with your values and
priorities. Something may sound like fun or be interesting to do, but it may not align
with your current priorities or values and the pursuit of that goal could undermine the
rest of your goals, or your failure to reach it could affect your motivation on other
goals.
Goal setting is about so much more than just achieving things and checking off items
on lists. The process and journey is about learning who you are and who you want to
be. By actively reviewing, planning, and journaling about your goals you gain depth of
character and insight into your life. Also, by getting a handle on your own motivations,
you can start to understand why other people do the things they do (or, the flip side is
realizing how few people do this sort of analysis and so they’re acting in a random and
reactive manner, rather than in a prescribed and thoughtful way).
So, while it is very important to identify and record the goals that you want to pursue,
it is also essential that you understand why you want to pursue them.

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