Are too many of your days starting with roadblocks and problems rather than suggestions for improvement? You may benefit from learning how to shift your paradigm to a concept called Future Based Thinking. Most people spend all of their time thinking about the past or the present. Simply put, Future Based thinking allows you to pull out of those thought patterns to set meaningful goals. It’s not a way of thinking of everyday life, but an important skill for making progress in life and in business.
Present and past-based thinking has it’s place. Being able to think about the current situation and all the different problems you need to solve is healthy… in moderation. This is where the future based thinking begins. It’s the ability to shift immediately from “this is how things are right now” to “this is how things could or should be” that’s so valuable. The danger is staying in the current situations too long and only looking at them from the present viewpoint. Your thoughts start to swirl and you may feel, for hours, like you aren’t making good progress. Understanding that progress comes over time from changes in thinking, to create a better future for everyone, is critical to begin the shift.
Taking time to focus on the future is critical. This may be a daily practice for you as an individual as you think about goals for future success. As a team member or leader it should also be a regular habit. Taking time once a month or once a quarter to re-evaluate how things are versus where they could or should be can immediately shift your thinking patterns from negativity and complexity to solutions and breakthroughs.
Here are four steps to set goals with Future Based Thinking.
- First, start with a big, exciting goal that makes the future better than the past.
- Then think about strategies to achieve it and make a list. You may have anywhere from 3 to 10 or 12.
- You will then immediately be tempted to think about roadblocks. Be sure to finish the list of strategies first, then let yourself make the list of roadblocks to each strategy.
- Lastly, let your mind dive into the solutions to each roadblock. This is where more magic happens. Solutions to your roadblocks may be as simple as learning more about something, like website design or sales. It could be that you need to ask someone for help, or just let someone know that you are struggling. Whatever it is, someone else has solved this same roadblock before, and you can too.
Future based thinking shifts you out of your current complexity into a more simplified and successful future. It takes time to do and requires a little bit of brain power, but the more you let your mind live in the future, the better your future will be.