Importance of Short Term Goals


Reaching a goal is a challenge and your journey follows the path you choose to attain that goal. The article "Planning" (see Reference section) says setting and reaching goals is a sequence of steps: decide what your goal is, design a step-by-step system to reach your goal, pledge to follow the system, and then react to each step.

A long-term goal is your planned position in life at least 10 years hence. An important part of reaching it is setting short-term goals.

Long-Term Goals

  • If you plan nothing for your life, chances are that's what life will give you. Thus, you set long-term goals. A long-term goal defines your destination, but unfortunately, it's not a map showing the way to reach it. You need to know the way; therefore, it's important to break your long-term goal down into short-term goals.

    Occasionally, it's good to review your long-term goal to see if it needs to be revamped.

Short-Term Goals

  • Short- term goals are goals you want to reach in a year or less, and are exact steps to reach your long-term goal. For example, if becoming a professional baseball player is your long-term goal, you may realize to reach it you need to first play baseball in college. A short-term goal might be enrolling in a college for next semester's classes.

    You should also review short-term goals on a periodic basis, making sure they are leading you toward your long-term goal.

Action Steps

  • To achieve short-term goals, you take action steps to complete them, and the steps should help you reach your long-term goal. Using the example above, your exact short-term goal is enrolling in college for next semester's classes. An action step to help reach your long-term goal of becoming a professional baseball player might be finding a college having a good baseball team.


  • Brainstorming is a fresh approach to discover new and different action steps to achieve short-term goals. To brainstorm, think about reaching a specific goal and write down every idea that comes into your mind, no matter how ridiculous it may seem. When you're finished, study the ideas and decide how they relate to one another. If you find ideas that don't relate to the rest, ignore them. Then, devote more time to studying the ideas, and compose an action step or steps to reach the goal.


  • It's important to reach short-term goals because reaching them gives you a sense of accomplishment. Accomplishment promotes confidence in your ability and motivates you to continue. Another way to motivate yourself is reviewing past accomplishments.


  • The more you concentrate on short-term goals, the more likely you are to reach your long-term goal. The action step is a most important process because without action you won't reach any goals.

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