Write down big life goals for 6 months, 3 years, 5 years, 10 years and 30 years. Every month, re-read/revise your list. This allows your subconscious to calibrate what truly matters to you. When I say every month, it's loose, everytime you feel you can't remember the essence of your life goals, you should read them again and think if they still relate to you.
Every morning, choose to get started on one and only one action that moves you forward to one of your long term life goals. Try to get started on it that day. Always remember patience is key, and focus only on trying to get the smallest amount of progress done that day. If you do more, so be it, as long as it wasn't effortful. If you've done any progress, feel good, and really allow yourself to relax, do whatever lazy or fun things of the moment you feel like doing, and know you're making progress and that things are going to workout for you.
This is based on these assumptions:
1) We always overestimate what can be accomplished in a month, but underestimate what can be accomplished in a year.
2) Productivity is not about getting lots of things done, but getting the most important things done, without wasting time on the things that provide little lasting value.
3) Most things we want to accomplish we do not because we want to, but because we feel we need too. When thats the case, no amount of planning will help, since you're true subconscious lacks the needed motivation. Therefore it is better to focus on accomplishing what you truly want.
4) Most people don't have that many things they truly want to accomplish.
Can't help but think that I'll probably be close to dying in 30 years, so I'm not sure what my goal can be, other than "be able not to forget who I am, have some money to live, and not shit my pants"
If you are very ambitious, you can think of things that would take close to 30 years to achieve like any kind of scientific discovery, or becoming a senator, or president, or coach to a professional sports team, etc.
I'm not that ambitious, so I have goals that relate more towards the legacy I want to leave behind and the environment I'd want for myself when I'm old. Examples would be things like: I have children who think of me positively, I'm inspiring to others (could specify in what way if you want), I've lived a life of honesty, I've been fair to others, I'm retired, I'm as healthy as can be, I live in the company of loved ones, I have an active social life, I have more then 5 friends I still talk to regularly, I have the means to sustain myself, I'm still active in a hobby, I have no regret, etc.
The 30 year goal basically forces you to define for yourself what it means to have a great and successful life. When I did it, I realized that for me, having real strong meaningful relationships was most important, I couldn't think that 30 years from now anything else would matter to me. So maybe in 10 years I want to become a Principal engineer, but in 30 years I won't care if I did or not, but I'd care if I lost all my friends and sabotaged my social life.
Its toughest to come up with the 30 year goals, but the exercise is worth it I think.
Seems like those deserve a place in all of the 6 months, 3 years, 5 years, 10 years and 30 years goals. At least one of them is achievable? Right?