Rarely we talk about the STG’s ( short term goal). Often people talk about the long term goals and barely consider the importance of shot term goals. In fact STGs are the most important link to achieve the higher things in life. If you set up a STGs, it immediately develop a sense of discipline and force you to inculcate tiny new habits to complete the seemingly possible task. It also kills the tendency of procrastinations. Because if you’re feeling a little stuck, a little frustrated with where you’re at, short term goals are a great way to get yourself out of that funk.
Well, short term goals are the goals that you can complete in the short term. Generally they can be accomplished within 12 months, but personally the short term goals that I set fall within the 3-6 month range. Long term goals on the other hand are goals set out a little further. Technically, long term goals are anything that take longer than 12 months to accomplish, but again, long term goals for me start at around the 18-24+ month range. And then medium term goals are there to fill in the gaps.
So if short term goals are between 3-6 months and long term goals are 18-36+ months, medium term goals fall within that 6-18 month range. Here’s really what you need to know about the timeline of goal setting though… it’s dependent on you.If you set a goal to complete something by next week, that’s short term. From that perspective, if you set another goal for 6 months from now, that’s more of a long term goal in comparison. So the whole short, medium, long term thing is flexible and based around the timeline that you set.
Short term goals vs medium term vs long term:-
Here’s a quick example of how short term, medium term, and long term goals work:
- Short term: save up Rs 1,00,000 within 6 months
- Medium term: save up Rs 3,00,000 within 15 months
- Long term: purchase a car within 36 months
As you can see, each level denotes a different amount of time required to achieve that goal – 6 months, 15 months, and 24 months.That could’ve easily been 6 days, 15 days, 24 days. Or 6 weeks, 15 weeks, 24 weeks. The time doesn’t matter, just the perspective that it’s set in.6 months comes before 15 months comes before 24 months. So from that perspective you have short, medium, and longer-term goals. Don’t get too caught up on the timing, just recognize that short term goals are the ones that you are immediately working towards, long terms goals are the furthest out, and medium term goals fall somewhere in between.
Why are short term goals important? The benefits of short term goals :
As I say short term goals are extremely important. In fact, short term goals are generally the only kind of goals that you should set for yourself. Even if a goal is long term , then break it into a short goals and take one goal at a time and keep on connecting the subsequent chain of goals along with it. And the nice thing about these kinds of goals is that while some lasted for one or more years, they were all initially goals set in the short term. Short term goals are great because they allow you to test a hypothesis. To try out a better, more ideal future for yourself without committing the rest of your life to the cause. And here’s something else to keep in mind:
Short goals lead to long term results.
If you test out a short term goal for a few months and decide that it’s one you’d like to continue, you can extend your timeline and continue to work on that goal. Long term then, you will have a collection of goals you are working towards that you know are a good fit because you already tested them in the short term.Whereas if you set long term goals, you’d be locked into a future that you hadn’t tested yet. Short term goals are like dating someone for two years, evaluating the relationship along the way, and then getting married.
Short term goals examples :
With all that in mind, it’s probably helpful to give you a few examples of short term goals that you could potentially set for yourself. Well, here you go:
- Career: Look for a new job by applying to one new job posting each day for three months.
- Financial: Save up for a future home by tracking your expenses every day for the next six months.
- Social: Build up your current friendships and be socially active at least once a week for the next four months.
- Health: Be healthier (and maybe lose a little weight) by eating “healthy” four to five days per week for the next three months.
- Education: Go through one lesson of an online course once per day for the next month.
As you can see, these goals are all based in the short term and are focused in different areas of your life. One thing that you may not have noticed though, is that they are all within your control.
Do not look outside of your control :
You can control how much you read each day, but you can’t control how much your coworkers read. So if you set a goal to read more than them, you have no idea how often they read, how fast they read, what kinds of books they read. They may be reading kids books while you’re reading novels. It’s outside of your control. So instead, you could set a goal to personally read one to two books each month by reading around 30 pages a day. You can control that, and therefore, influence your goal setting success.
Trust me. Goal setting can be tough and you want to make sure you have as many things going your way as possible. So when setting goals for yourself, be sure to set ones that you can actually influence and control.
Moving forward with your short term goals :
Use short term goals to your advantage. Start setting them and start working towards your long term vision. It will take time, but it’s better than the alternative of making no progress at all. You just need to take one step forward each day and with time, you will have a mountain of amazing results to show for it.