We are nearing the final quarter of 2020 and the year so far has been unexpected (to say the least) and has forced many to re-evaluate what is truly important to them. The resolutions you made on January 1st are likely a distant memory, and you may feel a bit lost and unsure about next steps. In a recent blog we talked about not losing sight of your long-term goals but what about your immediate goals? Ones you can easily achieve before 2020 comes to a close? An allure of short-term goals is they offer more immediate gratification and help propel and motivate you to tackle those larger goals later on. In today’s blog we’ll look at the importance of setting short-term goals and some ideas to help you get started.
Importance of Short-Term Goals
Short-term goals can help with everything from minimizing procrastination to improving your focus. The key is to set goals that are easily achievable. We are wired for instant gratification and the problem many have with long-term goals is that they lose their motivation and fall off course. Having a short-term goal can help you stay motivated and productive because you know you will be reaching your goal in a shorter period of time.
Setting Short-Term Career Goals
Now that you know why short-term goals are important, let’s look at what makes a good goal and for that we recommend the S.M.A.R.T. goal technique. The S.M.A.R.T. goal technique stands for:
Instead of just naming a goal, you’ll also need to look at how you are going to accomplish the goal. If your goal is to get a promotion at work, you need to break down the steps to help you get there. This may look like doing additional training outside of work, putting in longer hours, and taking on more tasks and assignments. Getting a promotion would most likely be considered a long-term goal, but the steps you need to take to get there (like taking on more tasks at work) can be one of your short-term goals. Now what are some other short-term career goals you can easily complete in the coming months? Here are some ideas to help you get started:
- Read 1 book per month on leadership (or what is relevant to your career) for the remainder of 2020
- Attend an online industry conference within the next 2 months
- Watch a TED talk during your lunch break each week
- Improve your sales or productivity numbers starting with 5% this month and work up from there
While the above ideas are more general, we highly recommend using the S.M.A.R.T. goal method and personalizing some short-term goals for you both professionally and personally.
In closing, short-term goals can give you a sense of determination and purpose and help lay the foundation for something greater. Make sure to set goals that are attainable so you can stay motivated and celebrate your success!