I don’t mean to sound like your school guidance counselor, but at some point, you have to start taking your future seriously.
If you keep coasting through life, putting things off, and wandering around aimlessly, you will regret it later.
I can’t tell you how many people I’ve come across in life who have been too lethargic or unmotivated to make real changes, only to realize it when it was too late.
So if you’re reading this now, it’s likely you’re aware that something needs a bit of fixing.
In this article, I’ll walk you through some of the typical behaviors people who don’t take their future seriously exhibit.
If these items resonate with you, you’ll have a better idea of which areas need work. Let’s get to it!
1) They don’t set goals
Sooner or later, you need to have at least a few concrete goals for yourself, both long and short-term.
Without goals, you’re basically a headless chicken prancing through life, with no real ambition or purpose.
So, whether that’s professional, fitness, or personal goals (or ideally, all of the above) start thinking of a few things you can realistically accomplish.
Write them down and post them on your refrigerator or the mirror in your room.
When you do finally achieve your goals, or make significant progress in your quest, the feeling of achievement will be incredibly rewarding.
This will motivate you to set new, bigger goals.
The thing about life is that the pursuit of growth never really ends (more on this later).
2) They procrastinate
Procrastination can be a vicious, toxic habit.
When you get into the cycle of consistently delaying tasks and responsibilities, you create an overarching feeling of stress and uneasiness. Something we certainly could do without.
You become so paralyzed and numb by your own idleness, that you continue to do nothing.
This only reinforces a lack of motivation, direction, and low levels of self-worth.
I know it’s easier said than done, but when faced with a task, just get up and get it done.
You’ll feel exponentially better about yourself as a result.
As the trailblazing American author Mark Twain once astutely said: “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and starting on the first one.”
By breaking the habit of procrastination, you’re making room for more productive ones–a good indication you’re starting to take your future seriously.
3) They neglect education and self-improvement
People who have it together tend to harbor the desire to keep moving forward; and to keep acquiring knowledge and skills.
When you feel like you’ve plateaued in terms of growth, this is a sign you don’t really take your future seriously, and for good reason.
The world is continually evolving, and unless you’re content with being left behind professionally and personally, you should keep searching for opportunities for development.
As a young man fresh from university, I distinctly remember thinking to myself something along the lines of: “You know everything you need to in life.”
Looking back, I cannot help but cringe at this youthful ignorance.
At this point, I’m completely sold on the idea of constant self-improvement.
There’s literally something new to learn every second of every day–especially now that we with access to the infinite vastness of the internet.
So get out there and learn Japanese or French; take a free graphic design course; travel the world.
The opportunities for growth and self-improvement are quite literally endless.
4) They make unhealthy lifestyle choices
You may feel like it when you’re young, but the fact of the matter is, you aren’t invincible.
Perpetuating unhealthy habits like drinking and eating to excess, being sedentary, and not prioritizing sleep will not do you any favors, especially as you get deeper into adulthood.
And when you do the opposite; when you actively engage in good habits, you’ll notice an almost instant uptick in your mental and physical well-being.
Like many of us at the height of the Covid lockdown, I was in a funk.
I was so stressed out by the prospect of losing my business, I stopped taking care of myself.
I felt a general aura of indifference.
My mentality was “The world is going to shit, so what’s the point in caring?”
So, I basically ate my feelings, or lack thereof, regularly chowing down on things like fast food pizza, chicken tenders, and tubs of salted caramel ice cream.
I ballooned in weight. I was the heaviest I’d ever been, which only exacerbated my misery.
One morning, something in me, maybe my survival instinct, told me that I had to get my act together.
So that very day, I devised a plan to clean up my diet, hit the gym, and go on regular walks.
I knew that essentially I would be killing myself, and torturing my soul, had I maintained that unsustainable lifestyle.
Fast forward, a year later, I lost 40 pounds, I was feeling far less anxiety, and my business was in considerably better shape.
Moral of the story? Your lifestyle choices can set the tone for everything else, so choose them wisely.
5) They disregard financial planning
I have a personal disdain for these online grifters promoting and glorifying the toxic “hustle” mentality or get-rich-quick schemes.
They’re conmen looking to prey on the impressionable, inflating their bank accounts without dignity.
Having said that, if you aren’t taking care of your finances properly, then the truth is, you probably aren’t taking your future seriously.
Nobody’s telling you you have to hoard wealth.
But let’s be honest, the reality is that we need an income to survive in this world.
We shouldn’t have to rely on others to bail us out. Financial independence is truly empowering.
Things like budgeting, savings, and smart investing, all play a large role in the future of your monetary stability.
The sooner you realize this, the better.
So yes, enjoy your hard-earned money, but at the same time, stay on top of things.
You don’t want to be that person who grew up a little too late and is now struggling through life.
I mean, we all have our flaws that hold us back, sure; but at the same time, it’s imperative we acknowledge and work on them.
So keep moving forward; take methodical steps. Don’t expect drastic changes overnight. Be realistic about growth.
As long as you wake up tomorrow in a better place than you were today, however marginal, you’ll be in good shape.
Keep that momentum going. You got this.