Short term goals and long term
goals are both important, and the truth is that any successful person has both
short term AND long term goals that they are working towards.
You can set your
goals according to what you want, but in the end your progress in these goals is up to you.
You can read a lot of examples of long term goals and examples of short term
goals, but your goals are probably unique from all the other goals
Both types of goals are very important, and you can’t really have one
without the other.
What are Long Term Goals and How
Can I Set Them?
Long term goals are the overarching objectives that you want
to achieve over a longer term.
It could be a goal that you want to accomplish
throughout the course of your life, or it could be something that you want to do
by the end of the next year.
The truth is that the long term goals are more the
general goals that you are working towards, and there is no real length of time
that distinguishes the long term and short term goals from each other.
term goal will fall into one of the following categories:
you working towards saving up a certain amount of money over a length of time,
or are you trying to earn enough to spend on something?
– Are you
working towards achieving something in the realm of athletics or your physical
condition, or are you trying to overcome a specific disorder or illness?
– What is your goal in your professional life? Are you trying to become a
CEO, start your own company, or become an expert in your specific field?
– Your education will continue long after you leave school, so what
are your educational goals that will help you to build up your knowledge for the
rest of your life?
– Everyone has some kind of family goals that
they are working towards, and you must have a number of children that you want
to have, or at least a goal of getting married, right?
the things that you want to do to enjoy your life? Are you interested in travel,
vacations, or certain hobbies?
• Public Service
– Are you interested in
making your world a bit of a better place? If so, how do you want to do it, or
what aspect are you interested in?
– Is there some aspect of your
current mindset or attitude that you want to change? If so, what?
the most common categories of long term goals, and all of the goals that you set
will fall into one of these categories.
You will need to examine each of the
goals that you are considering, and you need to think about which of them fall
into each category.
It is important that you make progress in all of the areas
of your life, and you need to be certain that you are setting some long term
goals from each of these categories.
Overall personal development is more
important than just being financially and personally successful – but with no
family or pleasure to show for it.
If you set goals in each of these long term
categories, you will find that you will improve in every area of your life.
What are Short Term Goals and How Can I Set Them?
Short term goals are goals that you can start working on right now, and they are
the smaller steps that will make up the larger long term goals.
You can usually
start putting short term goals into practice right now, as they are simple goals
like “I want to start cutting back my monthly food shopping expenses,
” “I want
to start eating less food
,” or “I want to save more money every month.
start working towards these goals immediately, as they are shorter term and thus
easier to achieve.
The purpose of short term goals is to have a goal that you
can work towards now, while keeping the long term goal in mind as you make
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”
a wise man
once said, and these short term goals are simpler goals that you will start
working towards with that single step.
You won’t need to try so hard to reach
these short term goals, but it will be just as important that you reach them in
order to reach the long term goals.
Think about it:
Say your goal is to save
$120,000 over the next 10 years. That long term goal will break down into a
shorter goal of $12,000 per year, which is exactly $1,000 per month.
who want to start making shorter term goals, you can break it down into $250 per
week (more or less), or even $35 per day.
This will make things a bit easier for
you to start working towards, as you will have a step that you can take today
that will make it possible for you to reach that far off goal in the distant
Setting SMART Goals
Setting goals is
important, but it is important that you set your goals intelligently. If you are
going to be able to achieve that goal, it has to be something that you can do,
right? SMART goals are goals that are:
– A goal that is specific
is one that you will be able to work towards immediately, as it is something
that you can quantity. If you only say, “I want to be a better person,” you’re
not really working towards anything specific, so you may end up making progress
towards goals that you weren’t even thinking of. If you say, “I want to handle
my anger more effectively,” all of a sudden you have a specific goal that you
can start working towards today.
– How measurable is the goal
that you are setting for yourself? Do you want to save a lot of money, or do you
want to save $100 every month for the next 15 years? If a goal is measureable,
you will be able to see how much progress you have made, as well as the areas in
which you have failed to reach the goal that you have set. Being able to measure
goals not only helps you to see where you have slipped up, but will build your
confidence in your ability to reach goals – even when they are a challenge.
–A goal that is actionable means that you can start working on it
right now. How actionable are the goals that you are setting for yourself? Are
you going to have to wait for conditions to improve, change, or become perfect?
Can you start making small steps of progress towards your overarching goal right
now, or do you have to wait? There isn’t a single goal that you can’t start
working towards right now – in some way or another, at least.
– Is this goal really something that matters in your life? Is it really relevant to
the person that you want to become, or the person that you are now? If you are
an accountant, how relevant is a goal that you set in order to get your degree
in acting? What is the course that you want your life to take? The goals that
you set now should help you to reach the ultimate destination that your life’s
journey will culminate in, so it’s important that you set a goal that is
relevant to the person you are now and the person that you want to become.
– A goal that is open ended is one that you will never really make
progress on, as you always feel that you have more time. The truth is that you
only have so many days, months, and years in order to make any kind of progress,
and some goals will not be possible sooner than others. If you are serious about
achieving these goals, you are going to have to set a deadline on the goals. It
is the only way that you will actually force yourself to continue making
progress – no matter what.
Tips for Setting Solid
Setting solid short term and long term goals is easy, but reaching them
is always the hardest. Here are some tips to help you as you set and work
towards your goals:
1. Prioritize Your Goals
–Which of your goals really
matter the most, and which are not as important? Obviously you are going to be
setting goals that will all be fairly important, or else they wouldn’t be SMART
goals. However, there are always going to be some goals that are just a bit more
important than others, and it’s imperative that you set these goals with the
highest priority. Giving these goals priority will ensure that you get to them
first, and will guarantee that they actually are achieved no matter what.
Write them down
–Writing down a goal takes it from the drawing board into the
implementation phase, and that is a very important step. You will never get
started making progress on your goals if you don’t take them off the drawing
table and start working on them, but putting them on paper helps you to
crystalize the goals and make them clear. It will also make it easier for you to
remember exactly what your goals are, as well as what each of the steps are that
you will need to take in order to reach that goal!
3. Make positive goals
many of us set goals like ‘I want to not be in debt’ or ‘I want to avoid this
mistake’? The goal is good, but the wording is fairly negative. You want to
focus on the positive aspects of the goals, as that will give you a positive
outlook on the progress that you are making. If you focus on saving money rather
than getting out of debt, you will be looking at physical evidence that things
are good rather than bad, so set goals that will be positive!
term goals small
– If you set short term goals that are too large, you will be
giving yourself a short amount of time to make large steps of progress. It is
going to be very hard for you to make a lot of progress in the short term, so
it’s important that you keep the short term goals small. They have to be
achievable, so break your goals into bite-sized chunks that you can work on one
day at a time.
5. Focus on performance, not outcome
– When setting goals
related to your business or personal life, you can’t focus as much on the
outcome of your achievements, but more on the performance. If you say, “I want
to haul my company out of debt”, you may find that even your perfect performance
may not be enough. You have to focus on your performance, as that is the only
way that you will be able to realize that you achieved your goals – even if
things didn’t go exactly as planned!
6. Check and evaluate
– If you are
serious about making progress, check over the goals that you have set, evaluate
your progress, and determine if you are going at the pace you should be. You
will find that this will help you to be smart about your personal progress, and
will make it possible for you to see the areas of your life where you really are
succeeding – as well as the ones where you need to step it up a bit in order to
make as much progress as you should be making.
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