Today, we’re going to discuss short-term goals and how they play a role in your long-term and life goals.
Short-term goals are designed to be completed within a day or week. Without short-term goals, long-term goals become harder to envision and finish. Daily aims are the direct actions that we take to accomplish the bigger objectives in our lives which makes short-term goals crucial to lifelong success.
Additionally, daily objectives make the life-changing long-terms goals increasingly more approachable. For example, “securing a financial future” (a long-term goal) is more daunting than “perform well at work today” (a short-term goal). Through daily goals, we can directly act towards creating the future we want.
How To Set Accomplishable Short-Term Goals
Within a Day or Week – Goals should be resolvable within a day or week. Setting short-term aims that take too long can lead to anxiety and distraction. Always try to make short goals punchy and quick, so you’re aggressively pursuing them.
For example, “write ten blog posts” is a rather large goal and won’t be accomplished within the week. I would break it down into “write the outline for ten blog posts.” This is more digestible and easier to accomplish and helps me avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Try to prevent becoming defeated by short-term goals. They should always feel challenging but doable if you have enough elbow grease.
Easily Build Off One Another – Short-term intentions can easily build off one another. They never have to remain static, but through the accomplishment of one goal, another avenue opens.
In the example above, by outlining ten blog posts, I can now start writing the first one with relative ease. Then I can write the second and so on. I can even mix and match my goals each day. So, for one day I may write the first blog post while on the second day I will reread and schedule the first blog post while writing the second and so forth.
Let goals feed into each other and allow short-term objectives to give you precise insight into what you wish to do next.
Set time limits – If there’s a particular goal that you’re working on, set how much time you can actually work on it for that day. Setting time limits on how long you can work on a goal will help with keeping focus and prevent aimless wandering.
If I give myself one hour to do the outline for the blog posts, then I’m less likely to goof around. Additionally, I’m hyper-aware of the time I have for my other goals for the day, and thus I can better keep my focus.
Setting a time limit for specific activities may create a bit of anxiety, but that’s a good thing. We should feel a little fire under us to utilize our time well and wisely. If we work when we work and play when we play, we can have a much better experience going forward.
Set Goals for Anything and Everything – Do you feel that a certain activity should be a habit? Set a goal for it anyway. Do you think that “spend time with the family” is a no-brainer? Set a goal for it regardless. Set a goal, for example, to be grateful even if you feel that you should just build the habit naturally.
One of the most significant benefits of quick objectives is that we can feel a consistent and constant feeling of accomplishment. This works well with habits we wish to build, so never hold back on creating consistent goals for habits you’d want to develop.
Don’t Worry About External Factors– Try to avoid setting ends that don’t require your direct input. “Ace the job interview” is a great short-term goal but “Get hired” is too focused on things outside of your control. It’s important to look at what you can influence (your charisma and ability during the job interview) and avoid looking at what you don’t control (the employer’s final decision).
As always, we want to look at ourselves and what we can do and plan everything accordingly. Through proper goal management, we avoid focusing too much on the external world we have little to no control over.
Recurring goals are repeatedly done, and the most common example involves skill growth. For example, “write 3,000 words a day” is a recurring goal that feeds into building a particular skill set. By continually upholding this goal, one can become a better writer (which may be a long-term goal).
Recurring aims build on each other. In a few months, you may bump that number to 4,000 words if you have the time. Through this benchmark system, we can see skill growth and development. Lastly, not all goals have an “end.” Skill growth is a crucial aim and requires daily practice, so setting recurring objectives is a must if we want to improve.
Set an MVP
Some purposes require more TLC than other. I call them “MVPs” or goals that may require me coming back to them regularly throughout the day. For example, I may have a blog post that is extensive and needs more research or time. I might work on it for an hour in the morning (i.e., setting a definite time limit) before moving onto cleaning the house. Then, I’ll return to this goal in the afternoon for another hour and so on.
MVPs is a more personal system that I developed, and it helps me stay on track with essential aims. I like to set my MVP, work at it for an hour, then finish faster, smaller goals before coming back to my MVP. Through this system, I have a substantial focus for my day.
Keep Track of What You Do
I discussed this before, but I believe it’s important to keep track of what you do throughout the day. Through constant tracking of daily activities outside of your primary goals, we can develop a better understanding of where our time may be going.
Short-term goals are crucial to building the world that we want. Life purposes give us our final objective, long-term goals help us map the path, and short-term goals provide the daily or weekly actions we need to take to accomplish future goals.
- What are your short goals for today? Do you believe these goals will get you where you want to be?
- How often do you accomplish the goals you set for the day? Why do you fail to achieve them? Why do you succeed?
- What role do you believe willpower plays in accomplishing daily goals? Do you think emotional control plays a role as well?
- Practice setting time limits for each task that you have. See how well you can stick to those time limits.
Please remember that it’s important to do the actionables. You’re not on this earth to simply read but to do. To become an individual, you must act more than you consume.
*Image credit to Unsplash