Goals are classified into two forms: long-term goals and short-term goals. There is a difference between a goal you set for yourself on a long-term basis and one that you set on a short-term basis. To achieve a meaningful and purposeful life, we need to set some goals and carry them out in our day-to-day lives. . Let’s understand how do long-term goals differ from short-term goals. Therefore, you will be able to include and excel in them in your life.
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What makes long-term goals differ from short-term goals?
“Without dreams and goals, there is no living, only merely existing, and that is not why we are here. -Mark Twain
Rather than living aimlessly, setting goals and striving to achieve them can keep you active and will help you understand where you are heading in your life. There are times when we feel like our lives are tangled up and we are merely surviving. It happens when you don’t have any purpose or goal setting in your life. But if you have goals, it can lead to a better and more successful life compared to others. We now know that goals can be long-term or short-term, but they are different in nature. Let’s discuss what makes long-term goals different from short-term goals.
Key points on how long-term goals differ from short-term goals:
#1. Time factor
To make our uncertain paths more visible, we set up some vision, aim, or picture, and they are called long-term goals. At the end of those goals, we want to see a different version of ourselves. Long-term goals take years to achieve because their processes are lengthy. It can take 3 years, 5 years, or even 10 years. Whereas short-term objectives serve as the foundation of your everyday life, these are the pieces that round out your long-term goal path. Short-term goals are time-bound and may be completed in a matter of weeks or months.
For example, If you want to make writing your professional career, it will take many years for you to achieve success as a professional writer. But your short-term goals can be to brush up on your writing skills every day; join some short-term language courses; Learn new vocabulary every day, and take grammar classes. These can be done in a day, within a week, or in some months.
#2. Number of goals
Another difference between long-term goals and short-term goals is that you can set many short-term goals at one time, but long-term goals are certain in number. You can’t set too many long-term goals at one time, as it takes time to complete them.
For instance, you want to complete your 3- or 5-year degree course to land a well-paid job. These are your long-term goals: completing a degree course and getting a good job and they are limited. In the meantime, you can set short-term goals such as attending college on a regular basis, taking daily notes, passing a midterm exam, learning some additional skills, and joining the institution’s activity club. They are many but related to each other and can be done with a little effort.
#3. Patience and effort
In the case of long-term goals, patience is very much needed. You can’t expect it to be complete in a day, week, or month. They require numerous strategies, a plan, and the ability to track their progress. In contrast, short-term goals require more effort than patience. They require minimal planning, need no strategy, and can be done within a limited timeframe.
Your long-term goal is to buy a new house for the first time with your own money. It will cost an amount that may not be possible for you at that moment. However, as a short-term goal, you can save money in your account by the week or month little by little to reach that specific amount.
#4. Success or failure
Last but not least, with long-term goals, the outcome may or may not be in your favor. There can be chances of failure because the results are unpredictable due to certain situations in life. Short-term goals are more focused on results and have a better chance of success because they are predictable and realistic.
Setting up a business of your own can take a long time and lots of planning and effort. You can’t be sure of its success on the first try. But setting up a professional team, arranging training sessions, and developing skills in members to grow your business can give you positive results as short-term goals.
Therefore, the difference between long-term and short-term goals is quite visible. However, to reach closer to your long-term goals, short-term goals are almost necessary. They are different yet related.
A set of examples of long-term and short-term goals
- Lose weight to get in shape.
- Learn foreign languages and cultures.
- Complete a degree to enhance your career.
- Find your desired career or job.
- Create a professional network.
- Increase the value of your savings account.
- Learn to play a sport or other activity.
- Find a suitable partner.
- Save some reasonable money on a weekly or monthly basis.
- Spend some time in the morning walking for at least 40 minutes.
- Eat a healthy breakfast and meal on time.
- Study for 2-3 hours a day.
- Take short-term courses.
- Practice daily to enhance your skills.
- Keep track of your progress toward a promotion.
- Go for a drive or eat dinner with your family on the weekend.
How do you stay motivated and keep track of your progress toward your goal?
Setting up goals is a method of self-discipline and, at the same time, requires personal effort and patience. Hence, you must keep a progress report of your goals by writing them down on paper or in the notepad of your phone. You can stick them on a specific wall of your desk or on a post-it note. In this way, it will be easier for you to understand your progress. If you are falling behind on some days in order to meet your goals, try to adjust and complete them in your spare time. But don’t abandon it, thinking it is okay to jump up to the next level.
When you are feeling less motivated, take a breath, stop for a moment, and then think about why you have started it and how the results will make you feel. Whether it’s a long-term goal or a short-term goal, don’t give up in the middle. It will surely make a difference in your life.