Below is an article I wrote nearly a decade ago. Over the last many years since writing it, I have learned much more about why goal setting is not one-size-fits-all. (A great new book was just published on personalizing your goal setting for maximum effectiveness.) In the article, I mention an aptitude Johnson O'Connor Research Foundation calls "foresight" or, as Highlands Ability Battery labels it, "Time Frame Orientation".
Some people have short or immediate Time Frame Orientation, others have long-range Time Frame Orientation, and many have something in the middle. A person with each Orientation has his or her own way of best and most effectively setting goals.
What's all that mean?
From the Highlands Training Manual:
Time Frame Orientation is a measure of the ability to naturally consider the impact of present actions on future plans. It reflects an orientation towards planning, goal setting, and accomplishing tasks.
Your Time Frame Orientation indicates the most natural frame of reference for making plans, thinking about your future, or considering the impact of what you are doing now in your life. Time Frame Orientation tends to fall into three ranges:
Immediate—today up to one year
Intermediate—one to five years
Long-range—five to twenty years
As an example, I test long-range in both the Highlands and Johnson O'Connor assessments. That Orientation has some advantages, including the ability to stay focused on a distant goal. On the other hand, I may procrastinate because, well, there's always tomorrow!
In working with clients, I have found that it is extraordinarily helpful, if not necessary, for people to know their Orientation if they want to set goals they will reach.
Now that article . . .