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Trying to feel fulfilled in 2020 is a bit of a weird one.

It’s fair to say that looking towards the future with any sense of purpose isn’t the easiest thing to do at the moment. How do you start planning for the future, or even start putting your current plans in to action?

Setting yourself goals and making plans are always good ideas, but how do you commit to making them a reality? It’s all too easy to get caught up in your own head, setting absurdly high expectations that you think you can’t possibly meet (even though you’re absolutely more than capable).

It doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. If you’re currently caught up on what you should be doing, or what you want to do, here’s a few tips that should hopefully take that weight off your chest and make the path in front of you a little bit clearer.

Stop Putting Things Off

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that our entire way of life can do a complete one-eighty overnight. So it’s a bit silly to be constantly sitting on your hands, forever putting things off because the time isn’t “right”. I’m plenty guilty of being indecisive when it comes to committing to things, and I’m sure you are too.

When it comes to planning things out, being cautious is a good thing (especially nowadays). But there’s a point where continually overthinking your grand plans becomes so complicated that you can’t personally navigate them anymore.

Look, we’re not telling you to totally throw caution to the wind and start leading an absurd, self-centred life. We’re just saying that you need to stop waiting for everything to be “perfect” before you choose to do something, because those are unreal standards.

Try to avoid continually putting things off because the time doesn’t feel “right”. Don’t let the biggest roadblock to your goals be yourself.

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Do What YOU Want To Do

Living your life according to the expectations of other people is an easy way for you to lose track of what you really want.

Maybe your parents really want you to commit to a career that you have zero interest in. It’s easy to bow to that pressure because you want to make other people happy, but the real question is whether or not you’ll be happy. In the long run, you’ll be in a job or industry that you have no true passion for.

Maybe you want to work in an industry where you help people, but you aren’t sure where to begin? You can start by checking out the virtual Open Day of a uni like ACU, to see what degrees are on offer.

If you’re unhappy with the degree or industry you’re currently in, there’s also nothing wrong with heading back to university and trying your hand at something you feel more passionate about.

It also doesn’t hurt to speak with a member of the university, or maybe even someone you know who did a similar degree, to get some advice on what degree is suitable for you.

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Don’t Let The Pressure Get To You

There’s a weird pressure on students leaving high school to know exactly how they want to spend the rest of their lives. It’s easy to get caught up in that pressure, feeling as though you have to commit to a certain degree, only to later change to a different one or drop out entirely.

The thing is, changing your mind about what you want to do in life is totally fine. That’s just personal growth, and a natural thing. You shouldn’t feel bad that you’ve changed your mind.

If you’re constantly working and pushing yourself to go as hard as possible, there’s a good chance of ruining any motivation you might’ve had in the first place. Finally putting your plans in motion is a great feeling, but pushing yourself way too hard is an easy ticket to burning yourself out.

Working hard to get what you want is essential, but your own health is more important. Relax a bit more and take care of yourself.

Set Smaller Goals

Long-term goals are great, because they give you a sense of purpose. They’re something that you can work to over time. But only setting large goals is a good way to set yourself up for failure.

If you’re not meeting the high expectations you’ve set for yourself, you’ll just end up feeling like you aren’t making any progress. Oh, you still haven’t completed your musical theatre adaptation of Friends? Why not? Are you lazy or something?

It’s easy to lose track of the smaller things, when those are the things you should be aiming for at the moment.

Having long-term plans are great, but you need to work to get there. Starting smaller with more readily achievable goals will not only give you a sense of fulfilment, but will also give you a greater sense of progress as you cross them off your list. You can treat them like stepping stones to your ultimate goal.

If you’re looking to take meaningful steps in your post-high school life or switch up careers, sign up for ACU’s virtual open day to kick off your impact. 

Image: The Simpsons