Setting goals helps you define specific objectives you want to achieve and sets a time-scale in which to achieve them. You might have personal goals such as losing weight or trying to learn a new skill.
In the workplace, goals might be linked to achieving targets or expanding a business. Setting short-term, medium-term and long-term goals assists in planning your route to accomplishing your aims.
Short-term goals are tasks related to specific time frames. They can be things that can be done in just a few minutes but should generally take no longer than 12 months to achieve. Short-term goals can set you on track and boost confidence towards achieving long-term goals, but do not require a huge amount of time commitment. A benefit of short-term goals is that you can achieve results quickly with them.
Short-term goals should be realistic and based around your strengths.
They can be linked into a longer-term goal. For example, you might want to double your income over a two- to three-year period, so a short-term goal might be to complete a short course over three months or find a second job.
Medium-term goals take longer to achieve and help to keep your motivation towards a longer-term goal.
They can often be extensions of short-term goals.
If you've completed an introductory course towards a new career, a medium-term goal might be to complete a degree or earn a professional qualification. According to SmallBusiness.co.uk, the time-scale for medium-term goals is usually between 18 months and three years.
Long-term goals are achieved over a longer period of time and are generally completed over a period of at least five years. They are often based around an individual's aspirations to make big changes to her life, such as making a complete change of career or building up a new business.
Long-term goals require a good deal of planning and real commitment. They should be broken down into manageable chunks, which is where short-term and medium-term goals come into play.
Write your goals down so that you have something to refer to. Be as precise as possible.
Define exactly what your goal is and set a time-scale for achieving it. Make sure any goals are practical given your other commitments, and that different short- or medium-term goals do not conflict with one another.
Try and include a system of rewards in your goal planning. After all, if you achieve your goals, you'll deserve a small celebration.