A Guide to Set Short Term and Long Term Goals

Short Term and Long Term Goals

Table of Contents

A Guide to set short term and long term goals: We are all bound to set goals when it comes to efficient performance. However, one can be sure of their performance only if they have set short-term and long-term goals. Your goals will tell you how far you have come and what more is required. Your goals that can be achieved quickly and timely are called short-term goals. It is something you want to achieve shortly. Short-term goals can be achieved in a short time as 15 minutes or are usually accomplished in months or maximum in a year.

Short-term goals can be personal or career goals. Personal goals can be writing your résumé, losing 5 pounds of weight, or buying a laptop. Your career goals can be meeting a deadline, winning the next client, solving a problem. On the other hand, goals that might take a long to be achieved are called long-term goals. These are the goals that are set to be achieved in the coming years. Long-term goals can be of 5 years or maybe 10. For long-term goals, it is necessary to have plenty of time and a plan. So buckle up for a complete guide on how to set short-term and long-term goals.

Tips for Setting Short Term and Long Term Goals

Tips for setting Short Term Goals

Everyone is busy with their day-to-day tasks without noticing what the future holds for them. The best way to live a successful and healthy life is to set achievable, short, meaningful goals. Whether you are paying debts or starting a business, you must know how to set both long and short-term goals, then act upon them. Here are the steps to set short term goals:

  • Identify your long term goals
  • Break your long term goals into chunks that can be achieved shortly
  • Then set a goal that would take a comparatively longer time than your previous short term goals

These things will help you identify your short-term goals and accomplish them. These are applicable to both career goals as well as personal goals. Apart from following some specific steps of setting goals, one must also make sure their goals are ‘SMART.’


SMART is a system designed to help you identify and achieve your goals. The SMART formula will help you specify your goal type. To evaluate whether your goal is smart enough to be accomplished, you must make sure it is:

  1. Specific
  2. Measurable
  3. Achievable/Attainable
  4. Relevant/Realistic
  5. Time-based

Your goal must fall under all these categories to be considered an achievable goal.

Advantages of setting short term goals

Whether you are setting short-term goals for your benefits or career benefit, it will have an altogether effect in each area of your life. To successful life, you must define your goals and build strategies to achieve them.

Here are some of the advantages of goal setting:

  • Setting goals will enhance your career prospects and sense of identity
  • Setting short term goals and achieving them boosts your energy at work and home
  • Having goals will improve your mindset and develop optimism
  • Your desire for self-care and self-improvement will increase

Long Term Goals

Long-term goals are not a piece of cake; they are not the targets one can achieve in weeks, months, or even in the current year. Long-term goals usually take 1 year or probably more. These can be your goal to graduate from university, own a business or save money for post-retirement; such goals are long-term. Short-term goals can be linked with long-term goals; short-term goals can lead you towards achieving long-term goals.

Tips for settings long term goals

Setting goals mean motivating yourself and your body to focus and fuel energy. Each time you achieve a goal, your mind feels joy and motivation to set more targets.

  • Focus on where you want to see yourself in the next 10 years.
  • Go in descending order. Set the target you want to achieve, then move to plan the steps on how to achieve it and what can be done at the moment.
  • Portray yourself of where you want to be in the next ten years from now.
  • Then plan what you need to do in 5 years, 3 years 1 year and in the next 6 months.
  • Then you must set your monthly targets. Finally, write what needs to be done by the end of each month.
  • As you keep meeting your monthly targets, adapt your long-term goals as needed.

Prioritize your Goals

All the goals that one set are important, of course. However, you can not work to achieve all of them together. So to get out of this problem, you need to prioritize your goals; you need to focus on which one is currently the most important one so you can put all your efforts on it till you achieve it. Then you can move to the other targets.

As you set your goals, long or short term, you need to prioritize them. This will help you decide which goals are more important to achieve first and how you would adjust all of your goals altogether.

To prioritize goals, one must

  1. Select the most important one for now
  2. Focus on achieving it
  3. Add more goals to your list once you are satisfied with your efforts
  4. Be workable; change your goals and priorities as your life changes.

Remember, only change is constant. It means your life changes now and then, which means your targets will not remain the same permanently. You must be flexible enough to keep changing, modifying your goals and keep updating your priorities.

7 ways to Increase Your Chances of Achieving Your Goal

An individual’s success depends upon his/her hard work. But if an individual has ambiguous targets, it will be hard to reach a target. To set clear and achievable goals, the following criteria must be met:

  1. Have Specific Goals

One must be sure of wanting to be successful, but that does not define what success means. For example, success to one person can be becoming a CEO of a company while to other people it can be going home from work by 6 and spending more time with family.

  1. Set measurable goals

Your goals must be measurable, which means you must be clear of when you want to reach a target.

  1. Don’t Be Negative

A goal should be something you can work on no matter what the situation is. It should not be avoided. While setting a goal, one must remain optimistic, like you set a goal of improving your skills over the following years for a better job rather than thinking I don’t want to be doing this job in the coming years. Learn to be positive in order to get out of your current situation.

  1. Be Realistic

Your goals are dependent upon your abilities and skills. Setting something you can never achieve is like chasing an aeroplane. You cannot catch it, but you are trying your best. Setting unrealistic goals is like aiming for a Grammy award when you cannot sing.

  1. Your Goal Must Be Reachable within your Timeframe

Break your long-term goals into chunks of smaller goals. Then, you can achieve a target quickly by baby steps rather than one enormous leap.

  1. Pair Each Goal with Action

You can not set a goal and sit back, waiting for it to happen. To achieve a goal, you must have some skills; if not, you must work to learn skills. If you what to become a writer, start attending a writing class

  1. Be Flexible

Do not lose hope when you come across barriers that stop you from achieving your goals. Instead of giving up, try modifying your goals; let them be flexible enough to adapt to a change in your situation. Flexibility means changing your goals according to the situation and giving up on your goals when they are no more important and meaningful.

Track your Progress

Keeping track of your short term and long term goals will let you know about your performance. Keeping track of your short-term goals will lead you to your long-term goals. Knowing how long you have come will boost your energy to put in more effort. Tracking your goals will also help you change your priorities every now and then. This means you will know the importance of everything going on in your life at the moment.

Tracking can be done by writing, write a journal on what you have completed by the end of writing day. Keep a list of how many days you need to work on your goal. It will be better if you share your progress with a mentor or a friend to keep you accountable. Picture yourself already completing your goals or working on your goal as you go to bed and as soon as you wake up.

Success with Goal Setting

Aforesaid, short-term goals lead towards achieving long-term goals. Accomplishing short goals makes a person happier and feel successful in life. The question is how to set achievable short-term goals?

To overcome the fear of failure, you must follow the steps below:

Step 1. Know your hopes

Think of any part of your life you want to improve, like your hope for your relationship, family, or career. The process of knowing your hopes is dividing your ideas to picture the final result. In this process, you try to accomplish not just the goal but also change your attitude and behaviour due to your accomplishments.

Step 2. Notice the difference

The next step is to notice what has changed since you have set your goals, how you have changed doing your work. Noticing small changes will build a vision of what could be possible. The more details you build of tiny goals, the more proffered your future becomes.

Step 3. ‘what else?’

We all know there lies a clandestine reason why we want something. We often get a little possessive and defensive over what we need. But if we put a new coating to the truth, we will move forward and move to freedom.

You must define ‘why’ you want to achieve something to uncover your other desires and goals. This will help you discover more about your life goals and your aims. For example, if you start with setting 5 short-term goals and asking yourself ‘why’ you want to achieve them, you will reveal yourself to more of the short-term goals you were unaware of.

Step 4. Think who will notice the difference

People close to you are important in your life; imagine them noticing a positive change in your behaviour. They will notice the minor changes in your behaviour and attitude upon achieving short-term goals. This will give your loved ones a positive vibe from you; they will love seeing you groom into a better person.

Final Thoughts

Flexibility is important while setting and working on your goals, either they are short term and long term goals. Short-term goals are the baby steps that lead you to achieve your best hopes. Be creative enough to notice the minor differences/changes occurring daily. Noticing positive changes will motivate you to more easy and realistic goals. Make sure your goals are powered by your passion and skills so that you achieve the desired outcomes.

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