Setting goals for the future while living in the present is something we all want to be better at, but often forget to focus on.
It’s easy to get caught up in planning for the future and achieving the goals that you forget to appreciate what’s going on.
That does not mean you shouldn’t have plans or goals; rather, you should strike a balance between looking forward with optimism and living in the moment.
Even though it’s important to plan for the future, it’s also important to take care of yourself. This will help you avoid getting burned out before you achieve your goals.
To keep your mental health in check, it is important to practice mindfulness, which is one of the four pillars of Dialectical Behavior Therapy for mitigating the negative effects of life’s ups and downs.
Being mindful of the present moment can ease worries about the future and allow you to take pleasure in each passing day as you work toward your goals.
How to Plan for the Future While Living in the Present
It has always been a delicate balancing act to think ahead while taking care of business. How can you prepare for the future while also living in the present?
Innumerable messages emphasize the significance of each of these factors separately:
Preparing for the future is essential to achieve success, satisfaction, and joy in the present. Without a strategy, you’re less likely to make progress or to design the life you want.
Present-moment awareness is the key to finding life’s contentment, gratitude, and joy. You cannot live in the moment if your mind always dwells on the past or worries about the future.
If you were only required to give attention to one of these, it might not be so difficult. However, when you attempt to do both at once, things can quickly become complicated and overwhelming. But is there a way to simultaneously prepare for the future and enjoy the present moment?
SMART goals For Living for the Moment
Understanding the present and future is a crucial first step, but it won’t get you very far if you don’t take further steps.
Setting SMART objectives is an excellent course of action to consider. Ensuring your goals are SMART allows you to balance planning for the future and enjoying the present.
The acronym SMART stands for measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely:
Specific: state your objective and the results you expect.
Measurable: capable of being measured to monitor your advancement and determine your success.
Achievable: goals must be feasible; able to be accomplished. It should fit into the bigger picture of your life.
Time-bound: a hard deadline is included to keep you on track.
When you use the SMART framework, you can stay focused on the here and now while also looking ahead to the future.
It is vital to note that SMART objectives are meant to motivate rather than discourage. If you have a personal objective that you are confident in your ability to achieve, you can proceed with greater assurance in your plans.
How Do You Live in the Moment?
- Get rid of unnecessary possessions.
Minimalism makes you more compelled to focus on the here and now. The act of purging yourself of material reminders of the past is cathartic and helps you break free from the past. When you free yourself from the past’s grip, you may fully appreciate the present.
The potential of each new day is infinite. Have a good attitude, to begin with. It is up to you each morning to decide how you will feel, so choose optimism and anticipation. If you make it a habit to do so, you will discover that it’s difficult to remember to not do it.
- Appreciate the present moment
Take in all that you can today, from the sights and sounds to the smells and feelings, the joy as well as the sorrow. These are part of our everyday existence, but we don’t always stop to appreciate them.
- Get rid of the past
Choose forgiveness and closure if you’re still bitter about someone else’s wrongdoing. Feeling down because of what your friends or family did to you was not your fault. Don’t try to hold on to anything; be here, now.
- Take pride in your work
You’re wasting 71 percent of your life (5/7 days) if you “survive” the workweek by waiting for the weekend to “get here.” You can look for a different work that you’ll enjoy more, or you can look for the positive aspects of your current employment to focus on.
- Believe in tomorrow, but put in the effort today.
Visualize a huge outcome. Make preparations for what you want out of life. However, putting in the effort today is always the first step toward achieving your goals tomorrow. Don’t replace enjoying the now with daydreaming about the future. Future-oriented daydreaming is useless unless you accompany it with present-day effort.
- Don’t become too comfortable basking in your prior success.
If you’re still rehashing yesterday’s activities, you haven’t accomplished anything today. It is not too late to improve upon your past efforts and make new memories and accomplishments for your future self. You will look back on today’s events with fondness in the coming years.
- Do not stress
Worrying about tomorrow prevents you from appreciating today to its fullest. To put things in perspective, whether you worry about it or not, tomorrow will come. Since worrying has never helped anyone, it’s best to focus on something more productive.
- Attempt new approaches to old problems
The rate at which our world is evolving means that many of the answers we formerly had are no longer applicable. The mindset of “but that’s how we’ve always done it” must be avoided at all costs. The answers of yesteryear are useless for solving problems in the here and now, let alone the problems of tomorrow.
- Get over your dependencies.
Those extras are holding you captive. As a result, you can’t enjoy total freedom and can’t appreciate the present. Seek assistance. Please do everything you need to do to free yourself from their control. Permit yourself to enjoy sobriety by living in the present.