Lifestyle Mindset

Creating Goals for a Long-term Vision

With the start of a new year, a lot of us tend to feel more refreshed and motivated to bring on new goals and often times, a new year resolution. But…as most of us know pretty well, the new goals and new year resolutions don’t last that long–in fact, most people who set these new goals tend to lose focus within the first few weeks of January.

I’ve never been one to necessarily set a new goal or resolution at the start of a new year for that specific reason–because they often don’t last and it’s focused only on accomplishing a goal, rather than an underlying purpose. I often get asked how I am consistently performing and executing my goals and I thought I’d share on this post my insights on goal setting and my strategic approaches to achieving the life I want to live.

  •  Focusing on a specific vision, not just small goals 

If you follow me on other social media platforms, you’ll often see or hear me talk about working towards a particular vision or that I am getting closer to this vision. I say this because my ultimate vision lays the foundation and groundwork for all of the smaller goals to lead up to it. The goals then have a specific purpose because it will ideally result in not only getting closer to the vision, but also the ideal outcome I’m looking for years down the line.


Shot by Tiffany Le

For example, the vision I am working towards right now (and have been since about Junior year of college) is simply to be able to live on my own terms and continuously have the freedom to make the choices I want. Now, on a surface level, that sounds pretty vague. But the key part in this vision is that I get to decide the lifestyle I live–whether that’s being able to splurge on SoulCycle classes because I genuinely enjoy these spin workouts, dining at some of my favorite restaurants like Javiers or Mastros, or traveling to exotic locations like Europe, South Asia, and etc.


Now obviously, this kind of lifestyle is not only quite expensive, but it’s also a little daunting to share as just a recent 22-year old college grad. But that’s the thing…at the end of the day, it’s your life and you decide how you want to live it. We each have our own preferences and that’s part of the vague statement of “living life on your own terms”…it’s on YOUR fucking terms! The ultimate question is–HOW WILL YOU GET THERE?

That’s where the small goals come in and I am always checking in on them every quarter, six months, and year. So for me, the fact of the matter is, is that I’ll need to be making a substantial amount of income in order to afford some of these lifestyle choices for myself. That’s where a lot of self-discipline and drive comes in and personally, I believe that’s the biggest differentiation for me versus other 22-year olds.

If you ask anyone that knew me personally in college, especially when I first transferred to Chapman during my Junior year, they’ll tell you that I was never out at a party. In fact, I truly don’t recall going to one single party my entire Junior year. On my Friday nights, I was coming back from the rink after coaching for a few hours and working on new strategies to scale my business Elite Skate Wear. I was constantly writing down my vision–specifically, where I saw myself two years from then (which is where I am now). And funny enough, even during the last week of my Junior year, I was finally about to go out to my first fraternity event, which was a Saturday dayger where Louis the Child was performing (and if you know me, you know I LOVE their music)…but then, something inside me changed my mind and I decided to go visit a retail shop that I was dying to get a wholesale partnership with (hoping the owner was there) to pitch about my business right on the spot and why they should partner with me.

Long story short, not only did I solidify my first retail store partner for Elite Skate Wear that Saturday afternoon, but I also gained additional retail opportunities the following year, as the owner of the store opened up another shop.


Shot by Tiffany Le

After 2019, my business had over 150% growth with expansion into five additional stores in the US from California to Florida, Massachusetts, Delaware, as well as one in Canada. But…that didn’t stop me from picking up another full-time job back in November 2019. Which is another key part in getting towards my vision. I know that if I want to be living that kind of lifestyle, I have to figure out how I can afford it comfortably. I always told myself, as well as my parents, that I’d be willing to do whatever it takes to set myself up right now during my early 20s and work hard now, rather than work extra hard later on in life.

At the end of the day, you have to decide what matters most to you. I have always found that while having new goals were exciting, the motivation to work towards them always faded. When I started setting goals and action steps to work towards a long-term vision, and essentially what my life would look like over the years, that’s when I started to feel more excited and passionate about my progress because I know that I have control over my outcome and the early 20s is the perfect time to set the foundation of my dream life.

How do you ideally envision your life? A month from now? A year from now? Five years from now? What’s stopping you from achieving that?

If you actually thought of an answer as to what’s stopping you…you’re wrong. The only person or thing that is stopping you is yourself and your mind.



Emily Duong

Born and raised in a small town in Pennsylvania, but currently residing in Orange County, California. Emily Elizabeth is an entrepreneur, athlete, and lifestyle blogger sharing her everyday lifestyle and healthy mindset.



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