With the New Year now properly underway, many people are likely to be seeing the first cracks appearing in the resolutions and commitments they made last December, and perhaps aren’t sticking to making long-term plans.
It’s a well-known fact that gyms are inundated with new memberships every January, only for most of those members to no longer turn up by February or March.
It’s easy to see why people abandon long-term plans: motivation wanes, perspectives shift, and “life gets in the way.”
Here, though, are a few reasons why it’s worth making long-term plans and sticking with them, all the same.
Because many things that are really worth having will take a good deal of consistent work and time to achieve
It’s natural for all of us, as human beings, to be drawn to the path of least resistance by default. And research on habit building has shown that even just small changes to a person’s environment can radically increase the chances that they will drop, or stick with, a certain pattern of behaviour depending on how easy or difficult it is to engage in.
The bottom line, though, is that many things that are really worth having in life will take a good deal of consistent work and time to achieve. “Get rich quick schemes” just don’t work the majority of the time, and there simply isn’t a shortcut for everything.
If you want the home of your dreams, for example, you will need to calculate how much you’ll pay monthly for your home loan, and will then need to plan and work accordingly for a significant amount of time.
Long-term plans, in other words, are often essential for getting the most out of life.
Because we all need structure and direction in our lives to keep us properly grounded and centred
When life gets too chaotic and topsy-turvy, things automatically fall apart, and we end up paying the price in terms of our mental health, our physical health, our financial stability, our relationships, and all manner of other things.
For life to be balanced and positive, we all need structure and direction to guide our actions on a daily basis.
Long-term plans and goals, that we stick with rather than abandoning, are a great way of providing consistent structure for ourselves, over a stretch of time. If we abandon our plans every week or two, however, we lose that structure.
Because moments of frustration and boredom are natural obstacles on the way to achieving anything
Sometimes it is a good idea to abandon a particular goal plan, such as if you find that it’s no longer in line with your values.
Much of the time, though, people end up abandoning their plans and aspirations because of moments of frustration and boredom, rather than for more meaningful reasons.
When all is said and done, moments of frustration and boredom are natural obstacles on the way to achieving anything. No matter how much you love your job, you won’t be “in the mood” to work every day. And no matter how much you love your partner, there will be disagreements and arguments.
Sticking with plans and goals in the long term allows you to ride out those moments of boredom and frustration and achieve worthwhile things.