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Short-term Goals And Long-term Goals – The Balance

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Short-term Goals And Long-term Goals - The Balance

Life is akin to a tight rope walk for most of us. It’s always about balance, about maintaining the right gait, posture and speed to reach where you need to, at the time you think you should and in the best possible shape. This applies to the two most important spheres of our lives – work and personal. But this balancing act takes a toll on us at the end of the day and we tend to veer one way or the other. We must aim for consistency. It may take a few years to realize what that is and a few more to achieve it and the rest of the time may be consumed in maintaining it. Nevertheless, the balance is something so beautiful that at the end of the struggle, you still think it was all worth it!

Very often, people who set long-term goals for themselves don’t see them through only because they don’t set the relevant short-term goals to take them there. Also, the reverse is seen wherein short-term goal setters are so caught up in achieving their goals that they either forget or can no longer see the long-term goals which were meant to be achieved using these short-term goals. Both of the above types of goal setters are unable to achieve what they want to. What is really needed here again is a balance between the two, where there is an eye on the long-term goal while you are on the way via your short-term goals. The two are intricately linked and a designing a workable pattern between the two is the only way to complete the picture.

An important aspect to achieve the kind of life you want is to set goals for yourself. Let’s see how:

  • First, know where you want to be.
  • Chart your route and mark the milestones you think will show your progress till you reach your destination.
  • Set your long-term goals, followed by short-term goals that act as markers.
  • Ensure that you do not stray from the route you have charted for yourself.
  • Reach the finish line well within the stipulated time.

Designing a realistic timeframe for your goals is as important in accomplishing them as the goals themselves. Working within a timeframe is helpful in achieving your goals well within the time you have allotted yourself. You could set up different timeframes for short-term and long-term goals. A short-term goal timeframe should go forward from day one, while a long-term goal timeframe should be workable backwards. Short-term goal timeframes could range from daily to weekly while a timeframe for long-term goals could range from years to a year to a quarter, working backwards.

Evaluating goals at intervals is important. Changing circumstances and times can at times make certain goals redundant. Re-evaluating goals can stem what can seem as a waste of time at a later date, if the person has to go along to achieve a goal that is no longer relevant or needed.

Know your long-term goals and work your way diligently towards them using the current situation and the moments at hand to make that big dream a reality.

Do share your thoughts on the same.

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  • Michael J. Spangle

    The ideas in this article are very much akin to the process of objective-based training. The trainee is first given the end goal or terminal objective (At the end of this training you will be able to perform…). Then they are given the short-term goals or enabling objectives (In order to accomplish the terminal objective, you will be trained on the following…). In establishing a viable plan that maintains the balance between long and short-term goals, it might be helpful to write them out in a similar fashion.