Why You Should Set Long-Term And Short-Term Goals
Long-term goals and short-term goals bring focus
Imagine you were playing a game of football (soccer) without goals. Where would you run to? What would be the purpose of the whole game? Exactly, there is no goal. And so the players do not know what to do and will run randomly. It is pointless and a waste of energy. You can be the best soccer player in the world, but without focus, your talent is worth nothing. It’s the same in the workplace. Setting goals gives you focus.
By concentrating on the end goal, you know what you are working for (together) and you are able to actually achieve the goal. In addition, you also know very well what you should and should not do to achieve your goal, which makes it easier to say ‘no’ to the things that are not important and you automatically stay away from distractions.
Imagine you have an important appointment that starts at 1 pm. You leave at noon and it is a 50-minute drive. You know that parking at your destination is difficult and often takes at least 10 minutes. Would you stop for a sandwich on the way? No, because you know that you would not be on time and would not reach your destination. No matter who or what you meet along the way, your goal ensures that you are not distracted and that you stay focused on the fact that you have to get to that important appointment on time.
Set goals with different time horizons
Every huge and life-changing goal needs distinct short-term goals, mid and long-term goals. There are different ways of looking at the time frames of these partial goals, but generally, short-term goals should be understood as those things that you can achieve in a month. Mid-term goals should be achievable within one year, and long-term goals like earning a degree usually take many years to accomplish. Furthermore, the different types of goals should also intertwine and build on one another.
Set your long-term goals first
By knowing your future goals, you will better understand your general direction in life and the big picture. These are the things that will take more patience and time to achieve. They will help you think ahead and imagine yourself in two, three, five, or even twenty years. These are goals such as getting a job, saving up for university, graduating, or finding a life partner.
When you know the general direction and the point where you want to get, you should set partial goals. Mid-term goals need to be broken down in terms of importance and time. If you, for instance, decide to lose 22 kg in a year, you may break it down to 11 kg in half a year and 5.5 kg in three months.
Short-term goals are less time-consuming and smaller. They usually take less than a year – several months, weeks, possibly even one day. The time frame of short-term goals is not precisely set because these goals need to be evaluated in terms of the context. If the long-term goal that encompasses the smaller goals is very lengthy, then these short-term goals will also be time-consuming. Smaller projects, however, break down into weekly or daily goals.
Some examples of long-term goals and short-term goals:
A long-term goal could be: Be healthy, meaning having a BMI of 20 etcetera by January 2022
The short-term goals could be: lose 20 lbs by January 2021 by walking 10.000 steps every day.
A long-term goal could be: Foster strong relationships.
The short-term goals could be: Spending 4 hours each week with my parents and other family starting in week 7 by entertaining at our house or visiting them on the weekends.
A long-term goal could be: Have an enriching, fulfilling career in 5 years.
The short-term goals could be: get a job as a financial trader before January next year by finishing the necessary study and writing and sending one job request each week.
A long-term goal could be: become more attractive.
The short-term goals could be:
- losing 30lbs
- buying more attractive clothes
- improving my image
- joining etiquette classes
- improving my complexion