Long-term and Short-term Goals

Reviewed Mar 22, 2017

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Summary

Plan right away and set goals that are realistic, positive, and specific.

Are you looking for inspiration? Do you feel you need a new career direction? Maybe you need a reason to move ahead. Goal-setting can provide that motivation. Goals keep people proactive—planning the next step, rather than waiting for it to happen. But goals need to be more than vague resolutions that start fading from memory after New Year’s Day. To get results, it’s important to set both long- and short-term goals and stick with them.

You can set goals in any area of your life—at work, with your finances, or even in personal relationships. Planning plays a key role in the process, and you should start right away. Procrastinating is a sure way to fall short. First, consider the elements of an achievable goal:

  • It’s phrased as a positive statement. Don’t base goals on avoiding failure.
  • It’s specific. Use as much detail as possible when describing what you want to accomplish.
  • It’s realistic. Real goals require discipline, but don’t set yourself up for failure by setting a goal you can’t reach.
  • It’s measurable. You need to have the ability to evaluate your progress. Design goals with built-in benchmarks.
  • It has a firm completion date. In order to set additional goals, you need to accomplish one first.

Getting started

Brainstorm goals in the area of your life you want to concentrate on. If you’re not sure how to get started, try writing your own definition of success. How will you live up to that definition?

Write your goals down. Keep them in your planner, journal, or another place where you can see them every day. Then, prioritize your goals so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Emphasize only a few long-term goals at a time, and break bigger goals up into several short-term goals. Short-term goals can help you make progress by providing more chances for success and satisfaction. Formulate each day’s goals so that you can reward yourself when you accomplish them.

Planning for success

Once you’ve established your list of goals, think them through. Start with your short-term or immediate goals.

  • What information do you need? Try to acquire as much background knowledge as possible before you begin. For example, if you want to land a new client, learn about the companies or departments that might need your services before you start marketing yourself.
  • What assistance will you need? Will your work require a specialist or someone else’s advice? Ask for help ahead of time if possible.
  • What obstacles might you encounter? Planning for possible problems can help make the process smoother.

Staying focused

Once you get started, staying focused becomes the next challenge. Try to:

  • Find other people with the same goal. It helps to have a cheerleader.
  • Find a mentor for each goal you’re working on. That way, if the going gets tough, you can talk to someone who’s been there.
  • Read success stories. They also can provide inspiration and motivation.
  • Reward yourself for each accomplishment.

Tracking your progress

Finally, track your progress. A soon as you reach a goal, add another to your list. Also, try to record your work and accomplishments in a journal. This can help keep you on track. And nothing provides better motivation than reflecting on a job well done.

Resource

Mind Tools
www.mindtools.com

By Kristen Knight
Source: Sparkpeople.com, www.sparkpeople.com; Mind Tools, www.mindtools.com; Motivation in the Real World by Saul W. Gellerman, PhD. Dutton, 1992.

Summary

Plan right away and set goals that are realistic, positive, and specific.

Are you looking for inspiration? Do you feel you need a new career direction? Maybe you need a reason to move ahead. Goal-setting can provide that motivation. Goals keep people proactive—planning the next step, rather than waiting for it to happen. But goals need to be more than vague resolutions that start fading from memory after New Year’s Day. To get results, it’s important to set both long- and short-term goals and stick with them.

You can set goals in any area of your life—at work, with your finances, or even in personal relationships. Planning plays a key role in the process, and you should start right away. Procrastinating is a sure way to fall short. First, consider the elements of an achievable goal:

  • It’s phrased as a positive statement. Don’t base goals on avoiding failure.
  • It’s specific. Use as much detail as possible when describing what you want to accomplish.
  • It’s realistic. Real goals require discipline, but don’t set yourself up for failure by setting a goal you can’t reach.
  • It’s measurable. You need to have the ability to evaluate your progress. Design goals with built-in benchmarks.
  • It has a firm completion date. In order to set additional goals, you need to accomplish one first.

Getting started

Brainstorm goals in the area of your life you want to concentrate on. If you’re not sure how to get started, try writing your own definition of success. How will you live up to that definition?

Write your goals down. Keep them in your planner, journal, or another place where you can see them every day. Then, prioritize your goals so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Emphasize only a few long-term goals at a time, and break bigger goals up into several short-term goals. Short-term goals can help you make progress by providing more chances for success and satisfaction. Formulate each day’s goals so that you can reward yourself when you accomplish them.

Planning for success

Once you’ve established your list of goals, think them through. Start with your short-term or immediate goals.

  • What information do you need? Try to acquire as much background knowledge as possible before you begin. For example, if you want to land a new client, learn about the companies or departments that might need your services before you start marketing yourself.
  • What assistance will you need? Will your work require a specialist or someone else’s advice? Ask for help ahead of time if possible.
  • What obstacles might you encounter? Planning for possible problems can help make the process smoother.

Staying focused

Once you get started, staying focused becomes the next challenge. Try to:

  • Find other people with the same goal. It helps to have a cheerleader.
  • Find a mentor for each goal you’re working on. That way, if the going gets tough, you can talk to someone who’s been there.
  • Read success stories. They also can provide inspiration and motivation.
  • Reward yourself for each accomplishment.

Tracking your progress

Finally, track your progress. A soon as you reach a goal, add another to your list. Also, try to record your work and accomplishments in a journal. This can help keep you on track. And nothing provides better motivation than reflecting on a job well done.

Resource

Mind Tools
www.mindtools.com

By Kristen Knight
Source: Sparkpeople.com, www.sparkpeople.com; Mind Tools, www.mindtools.com; Motivation in the Real World by Saul W. Gellerman, PhD. Dutton, 1992.

Summary

Plan right away and set goals that are realistic, positive, and specific.

Are you looking for inspiration? Do you feel you need a new career direction? Maybe you need a reason to move ahead. Goal-setting can provide that motivation. Goals keep people proactive—planning the next step, rather than waiting for it to happen. But goals need to be more than vague resolutions that start fading from memory after New Year’s Day. To get results, it’s important to set both long- and short-term goals and stick with them.

You can set goals in any area of your life—at work, with your finances, or even in personal relationships. Planning plays a key role in the process, and you should start right away. Procrastinating is a sure way to fall short. First, consider the elements of an achievable goal:

  • It’s phrased as a positive statement. Don’t base goals on avoiding failure.
  • It’s specific. Use as much detail as possible when describing what you want to accomplish.
  • It’s realistic. Real goals require discipline, but don’t set yourself up for failure by setting a goal you can’t reach.
  • It’s measurable. You need to have the ability to evaluate your progress. Design goals with built-in benchmarks.
  • It has a firm completion date. In order to set additional goals, you need to accomplish one first.

Getting started

Brainstorm goals in the area of your life you want to concentrate on. If you’re not sure how to get started, try writing your own definition of success. How will you live up to that definition?

Write your goals down. Keep them in your planner, journal, or another place where you can see them every day. Then, prioritize your goals so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Emphasize only a few long-term goals at a time, and break bigger goals up into several short-term goals. Short-term goals can help you make progress by providing more chances for success and satisfaction. Formulate each day’s goals so that you can reward yourself when you accomplish them.

Planning for success

Once you’ve established your list of goals, think them through. Start with your short-term or immediate goals.

  • What information do you need? Try to acquire as much background knowledge as possible before you begin. For example, if you want to land a new client, learn about the companies or departments that might need your services before you start marketing yourself.
  • What assistance will you need? Will your work require a specialist or someone else’s advice? Ask for help ahead of time if possible.
  • What obstacles might you encounter? Planning for possible problems can help make the process smoother.

Staying focused

Once you get started, staying focused becomes the next challenge. Try to:

  • Find other people with the same goal. It helps to have a cheerleader.
  • Find a mentor for each goal you’re working on. That way, if the going gets tough, you can talk to someone who’s been there.
  • Read success stories. They also can provide inspiration and motivation.
  • Reward yourself for each accomplishment.

Tracking your progress

Finally, track your progress. A soon as you reach a goal, add another to your list. Also, try to record your work and accomplishments in a journal. This can help keep you on track. And nothing provides better motivation than reflecting on a job well done.

Resource

Mind Tools
www.mindtools.com

By Kristen Knight
Source: Sparkpeople.com, www.sparkpeople.com; Mind Tools, www.mindtools.com; Motivation in the Real World by Saul W. Gellerman, PhD. Dutton, 1992.

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, quizzes, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2017 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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