Short-term goals are instrumental to facilitating change. We use short-terms goals as baby steps toward reaching longer terms goals. If we can create short-term goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timed (S.M.A.R.T.), it creates a road map toward achieving a more ideal future. Short-term goals are also easier to achieve, and as we achieve them, it provides the motivation and sense of accomplishment to make it all the way through.
Weight loss is a very common goal and it may be either a short-term or long-term goal, depending on how much weight you want to lose. However, saying you want to just lose weight is not very specific. It is also an outcome goal. The most successful goals are performance goals. An example of a solid weight loss goal would be, “I am going to eat 1,200 calories a day and walk for 45 minutes, 5 days a week”. This short-term goal is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timed. It is also a healthy way to reach your longer term weight loss goals.
Saving money is high on many people’s priority lists. Again, this is both a short-term and long-term goal. However, saving $100 from each paycheck seems like a much more attainable goal than saying you want one million dollars in the bank when you retire. But saving and investing that $100 may eventually add up to one million dollars. The economy is tough and money is tight, but the great thing about goals is that they can always be changed. You can save more or less as circumstances allow, but never STOP saving.
Getting organized, cleaning out your garage or cleaning the house may seem overwhelming, but goals can help. Remember: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timed. Is it fair to say you can devote one hour every weekend to filing your bills, going through your closet, or collecting the things you don’t use anymore and donating them to a charity? Sit down and make a list of all the things you want to organize and break it down into smaller and easy to accomplish tasks. Before you know it, you will be the most organized person in the neighborhood.
Get a Better Job
This one is a bit more challenging. Getting a “better” job is an outcome-related goal, meaning there is only so much you can do to control who offers you a job. What you can control are performance-oriented goals. You can give your resume a makeover, take some classes, polish up the wardrobe and apply. A good short-term goal would be to apply to three jobs job every week. It may take a while, but eventually you will wind up with the right result.