You need to have clear plans in order to clear the path on your way to achieving your life goals. To have a clear path, you must take action. One way of taking action and enabling action to happen is to set a timeline for your smart goals so that you will have a clear picture of when and how you are going to it. There are goals that would take many years to achieve and there are also goals that are achievable even in an hour. This is because goals are often classified into short-term goals and long-term goals.
A short-term goal is something you can achieve as soon as possible. It could be accomplished in an hour, a day, a week, a month, or a year for as long as it does not extend to more than a year or it will already be considered as a long-term goal. A long-term goal is something you achieve in the far future. It requires detailed planning and extreme discipline. Unlike short-term goals, long-term goals take a long time before you achieve it.
A goal is a destination, but it could be a journey. Long-term goals are your destination while your short-term goals could be your journey. Oftentimes, short-term goals are often a prerequisite to long-term goals. Sometimes, short-term goals and long-term goals are interrelated. Short-term goals are like mini stepping stones, or milestones, in order for you to be able to stand and land on the bigger stones or rocks that are your long-term goals. It will be hard to achieve long-term goals if you do not settle and achieve short-term goals first. If you feel overwhelmed with your long-term goals, that only means that you should set short-term goals to help ease the process of achieving your short-term goals. Everything starts small at first but that is only because it will help you in achieving something big in the near future.
If you have already figured out your long-term goals, you will be able to value the importance of short-term goals. Short-term goals will give you the daily drive to take action on your goals every single day. Remember the quote of Nelson Mandela that goes: “Vision without action is just a dream, action without vision just passes the time, and vision with action can change the world”. Here are five simple ways that will help you set your short-term goals:
The nature of a short-term goal is that it is very specific. Write down your goals if it works best for you if you write it all down. For example, your long-term life goal is to become a published author in ten years, then you have to make sure that your short-term goal is that you will be writing at least one chapter a day and that for every year in ten years, you will be able to have a complete draft a book. But having one draft of a book is not enough; you have to make more than one draft because, in the process, you will be able to improve or even make your writing better. You will also have a lot of chances to have more than one book published.
Setting impossible short-term goals is a recipe for a discouragement that will not help you in achieving your long-term goals. Do not cram a lot of short-term goals in one day if you know there are still some other things you need to do like work or school. For example, you want to deep clean your entire house alone. You cannot possibly deep clean your messy kitchen and deep clean your chaotic bedroom later. Set goals that are actually achievable. Too much short-term goals set in a day can overwhelm you and make you less motivated to accomplish your goals in the end.
Put details in every step that you do. For some people, short-term goals can still be overwhelming and make them clueless about what to do. But by determining how you are going to achieve every step, the stress it brings gets less and less. For the same deep cleaning example, your short-term goal for the week is to deep clean your house. Your dilemma would be the point where you would start. You can elaborate that goal by starting off with cleaning your living room on the first day of the week. But that does not stop there; you have to detail which part of the living room you are going to start cleaning. You could first take and dust off the picture frames or dust off every surface before you are going to sweep and mop the floor.
If you cannot focus on your short-term goals, how are you going to achieve your long-term goals then? Staying focus to your short-term goals is like a training on how you are going to achieve your long-term goals. Self-discipline is important. Your short-term goals are already ‘short’ and if you still can’t achieve it, how short should it be that you will finally take action? If you still can’t achieve your short-term goal, it is not anymore an issue of how motivated you are but it will be on how disciplined you are.
An old Yiddish adage goes: “Man Plans and God Laughs”. Not everything will happen according to the way we want things would turn out that is why it is important to be flexible and open-minded to all the circumstances that may happen when our plans would not be the way we have envisioned it. For example, you want to lose weight by following a certain diet because someone informed you that it worked well for them. But remember that we have different body types and that we have various types of metabolism. What worked for others may or may not work for you. So take some time in going to a doctor who can give you the perfect way you can lose weight that would actually conform to your body type and metabolism type.
Take a seat, make yourself comfortable, take a deep breath, and think of what you to be or what you want to achieve in five or ten years from now. Do you want to be a CEO of a company? Do you want to publish a book? Do you want to have your own self-titled album? Do you want your start-up business to be successful? Think of a clear vision and that is the start of clearing your path towards your long-term goals.
Now that you have a clear vision of your long-term goals, it is now time to make a clear outline of your plans on how you are going to achieve your long-term goals. This is the time when you have to make your short-term goals. Short-term goals will break down the long steps before achieving your long-term goals. Short-term goals will also give you small successes that will encourage you and give you more drive in achieving your long-term goals.
Having a short-term goal to achieve your long-term goals is not enough; you have to be committed to your short-term goals. It is easy to get distracted from achieving your long-term goals. With all that is happening in the world right now, there are big chances that you will be forgetting what you wanted and aspired for from the start. That is why it is best to be committed to your short-term goals because it will remind you that you are going for something big and the small successes you get by achieving your short-term goals will keep you motivated.
Aside from having short-term goals for your long-term ones, you have to grow a healthy habit. Having a healthy habit can add up to your chances of achieving your long-term goals. It takes 21 days to form a habit. So if you want to become a CEO in the future and you have a bad sleeping habit like sleeping late and waking up late, then maybe it’s me to change that habit. The connection between sleeping and your long-term goal which is to become a CEO may seem irrelevant at the surface but it is actually related. If you keep on sleeping late, waking late, and reporting to work late, this will give you a bad impression to your boss. You are at high risk of termination and with that kind of habit, promotion is also impossible.
The path to achieving long-term goals can be daunting but do not fret and have fun! There is no need to be dead serious all the time. You can always have fun on every path that you take on your way to your long-term goals. Make the journey worthwhile and worth remembering that when you finally reach your destination, you can say that everything you did for your goals and dreams was worth it.