Should You Set Short Term Goals, Medium Term Goals or Long Term Goals?

Learning how to set personal goals is the key to getting the things in life that you want, and achieving the successes you look for professionally.

When you first start actively goal setting, it can be difficult to know whether to start by setting short term, medium term or long term goals.

For effective goal setting, you ideally need have a mix of all three.

Setting clearly defined and specific short, medium and long term goals enables you to keep focused and chart your progress- if you only set short term goals you will find that you are not working on the more important goals that will change your life, and if you set only long term goals, you may find it difficult to maintain focus and enthusiasm over a long time period.

Short term goals are goals and targets you set yourself to achieve in the short term, usually within three to six months.

They might be set for something specific, such as a sporting event, trip, promotion or exam, and will usually be very structured in terms of steps you need to take to achieve them.

Short term goals can also be used for tasks such as cleaning a room or a house, or sorting out a particular cupboard.

Due to the immediacy of these goals, you will find it easier to stay focused on them and the tasks which need to be undertaken.

Medium term goals are goals that you see yourself achieving over the next year or two.

They may form career goals, or material goals such as purchasing a particular car.

You can also set medium term goals to acquire new behavioral traits, such as becoming organized.

Because these goals are set for some time in the future, you may find it more difficult to maintain the focus and motivation to keep working towards them on a daily basis.

Long term goals tend to cover a period of five to ten years or more, and can be used for career goals, financial goals or larger material goals such as a house move.

They reflect your vision of yourself in the future, and your hopes and aspirations.

This means that they tend to offer the greatest rewards in terms of life changes but it can be difficult to maintain sufficient motivation as achieving them can seem so far into the future.

This can make it easy to procrastinate and ‘drift’ as the subconscious mind perceives no urgency.

The best and most powerful way of combining short, medium and long term goals is to establish a long term goal and break this down into yearly plans.

Now break these down even further into six weekly, monthly or even weekly plans.

This will give you short term goals, medium term goals and long term goals to reach for, and, as they will all combine to take you towards your long term vision, you will maintain your focus and be able to constantly monitor your progress.

Learn more about the power and benefits of goal setting when you read the rest of our information here about: How to Set Goals and Keep Them

This personal goal setting guide will help you to set and achieve your plans this year!

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