Short-Term Goals…. Are they necessary? Do they help us achieve bigger aims?
If you feel that you may lose your momentum in the pursuit of the bigger picture, or getting to your targets is a slog… then try setting clear, short-term goals.
You may have several goals to achieve in your personal or business life. But you can’t achieve any of them unless you break down the bigger goals into shorter achievable targets, each target moving you that much closer to the eventual goal.
Long term goals are good, but, hey, they are still long term. Wouldn’t it be better to create short-term goals that are realistic and have a higher possibility of goal achievement?
Moreover, you can use a goal tracking app that will remind you every time you’re about to miss a deadline.
If you use short-term goals as stepping stones to your main goal, you’ll find yourself getting there quicker. The advice for short-term goals, mentioned in this article can be applied very easily to your personal life goals.
We will cover these in short term goals:
- What are short-term goals?
- Why short-term goals are important?
- Short-Term Personal Goals
- Short-Term Career Goals
- Short-Term Financial Goals
- Short-Term Study Goals
- Short-Term Business Goals
- Short-Term Health and Fitness Goals
- Best Goals Tracking Apps
What are short-term goals?
The short-term goals are ‘short’ for a purpose. They bridge the gap between where you are right now and where you want to be. These goals are, but not limited to; tasks, to-do’s to be accomplished within a short time frame not more than a year.
These short-term actions will help you to achieve your long-term bigger goal. It will help you to set your focus and see where you are heading, identify your next steps to take, and check your progress if you are in the right direction.
Expert Advice: If you realize that your short-term actions will not take you to your bigger goals, just stop and pivot over to your ‘Plan B’. It’s better to change the direction before the burnout stage. Use Kanban Boards for better goal visualization.
Why short-term goals are important?
Here are some of the points which explain the importance of setting short-term goals:
1. Short-term goals let you create effective strategies
What if you want to increase your company revenue by 30% by the end of the year? There are several strategies to achieve this year-end goal, such as; to invest in the marketing budget, decrease the price per unit, run seasonal promotions, and discount offers.
There are many ways to do it but things will be vague and lack effectiveness. If you have set short-term goals then it will be much easier to achieve these bigger goals that come eventually during the project lifecycle. When long-term goals are broken down into short steps, it will pave the path to achieve the target much easier.
2. Provides quick feedback
Getting feedback—positive or negative – can easily act as a motivation to set short-term goals. Setting short-term milestones assist you to align your other tasks to get to the bigger picture. That way you will have quick feedback in a relatively short time to help progress toward your goals.
For example, if you want to increase your customer base to 10,000 within six months, you devise a road plan for the actions to take to reach the user level. So, after a month you will have a clearer picture of whether your plan is working or not, and if you need to incorporate other strategies.
Short term goals give you clear feedback in a quicker way to enable planning adjustments and make improvements to achieve your organizational goal.
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3. Short-term Goals help kill Procrastination
Are you prone to the evil of procrastination? Setting short-term goals and combining it with some determination can do it for you. When your goals are small, clear and specific, the effort involved in accomplishing them drastically decreases—lessening the need to constantly procrastinate. So, plan to publish only 10 posts you had on your list or set aside 15 articles to be written and put up.
On the other hand, if your goals are big, they’ll take more effort making it difficult for you to get to the end. Don’t make a goal-achieving path vague; it will overwhelm you. So, breaking down your goals is very likely to prevent you from procrastinating.
4. Short-term Goals keep your Focus
Achieving a long-term target will often seem unrealistic. You may easily lose focus while you work towards getting it done. You’ll have many detours, you’ll have to backtrack and set your feet on the right path again. However, if you have clearly defined your short-term goals that are measurable, realistic specific you will find yourself with a converged focus.
Successful entrepreneurs who set a goal to achieve a million-dollar monthly revenue from their product never get to this point solely focusing on the big picture. They make a clear and deliberate roadmap to reach their ultimate goal. This is accomplished only after completion of smaller achievable actions. If you don’t know where to start and where you are heading; you will easily be lost in no time.
Now, I will explain 42 short-term goal examples to inspire you to achieve more and become insanely productive.
Short Term Personal Goals
1. Build a Morning Routine
An organized morning routine will help you to get disciplined in how to align your work schedule with the day you face ahead. Getting up early; morning exercise, healthy breakfast can improve your habits to build your morning routine.
Going through these steps and habits can bring ease and create harmony in your life, ultimately making you more prolific.
2. Keep a Daily Journal
Writing is a cathartic habit that can eventually present a solution to your problems as well. It can play a vital role in formulating and organizing those scattered thoughts in your mind into potentially successful ideas.
Keeping a journal allows you to align your routine and getting out of the complex scenarios you face in your daily life. Unleash your personal creativity and enrich your personal life by writing at least one page in your daily journal.
It enables you to plant yourself in the present with the routine of writing down your thoughts as a form of meditation. If you are already a pro writer, then this habit will improve your writing craft immensely. Even if you are alien to the writing habit, then it will help you in generating self-awareness.
3. Double your productivity level
If you want to excel in your career, achieve your professional goal, and get things done on time, then you should double your productivity with the help of a task management software, nTask. In the world of tech, you cannot manage all your work by creating a to-do list on a piece of paper, or remembering your schedule by yourself if you manage complex projects.
You will need a robust application that can help you to double your productivity level and save much of your time to focus on more critical tasks. You don’t need to worry, as you can use nTask free forever to get started with the boost your productivity to the next level. When you get successful in improving your productivity with the help of the nTask management software, you can get a step ahead of your team members and grow your skillset.
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4. Practice Daily Family Ritual
If you practice a daily family ritual, this will help create a sense of belonging to your family members. It brings your family members closer and strengthens ties. This short-term goal bolsters you to face tough times with ease if you are staying close with your family members.
As a family member, the rituals will teach your children family values like kindness, compassion, and responsibility.
5. Explore Something New Every Day
Have a sense of adventure and be spontaneous!
Unleash your inner capabilities by trying out something new every day. Learn a new skill; learn about new terms and words and try to use them in your daily conversation. When you adapt to this habit, you will tune your brain to learn new information quickly and with ease (Apart from keeping away Alzheimer’s).
Learning new things will keep you motivate and lift your morale, especially when you have to go through a tiresome and monotonous routine. Follow some popular blogs that talk about new things to get inspiration for your new adventure for the day.
6. Develop One Good Habit Every Month
You might have never thought of it this way: a good habit dictates your daily life. Many of your actions are not done by choice or coincidence, but by the habits you adopted over a time period.
Habits are a powerful force that drives your thoughts and actions. They are something you can fall back on when you are feeling blue. So, you must focus on building one good habit each month to improve your decision making.
7. Attend a Personality Development Seminar
Other peoples’ experiences can be a source of deepening your knowledge and enlightenment. So what better way to learn than from professionals who are experts in their respective areas? You must keep it in your monthly checklist item to attend a personality development seminar in your locality.
Attending such a workshop is a good way to improve yourself. It gives you an opportunity to expand your network and eventually learn from them as well.
Eventbrite is a good place to search for the next event you might be interested in.
8. Leave One Bad Habit each Month
Self-assessment time! You need to assess yourself and work out what are those habits which you must leave out. If you plan to leave some common bad habits associated with time wastage, leave out unproductive activities. These activities vary from person to person, but some common examples are social media, smoking or anything else.
How to know that you have a bad habit? It’s really simple. Just think of the things you do that don’t turn out to be useful or healthy for you.
Short Term Career Goals
9. Organize your work station
If you want to increase your productivity at work then you must organize your workstation and declutter as you go by. Side effects may include getting things done on time and increased productivity.
10. Get a professional certification
Companies mostly promote and hire individuals based on their level of knowledge, experience and skill set. Moreover, they encourage employees to improve their competence with the latest work trends and practices.
Getting a certification will show your willingness to work and achieve better results for your organization’s success. Apart from this, more certifications will help you build a healthy resume and LinkedIn profile. You know what? The certifications that are in high demand help you to get in a good company or an office for that matter.
11. The early bird experience
You need to get to the work early to set your pace and deliver projects on time. If you are someone who gets late all the time then this is the moment for you to set this short-term goal and improve your productivity.
Moreover, you can get more confidence in your job or any event you attend.
12. Improve your communication skills
Good communication skills are fruitful in your career in many ways. They also help out in case of workplace conflicts, team presentations, and communication with clients.
If you are in the customer support department or in sales then communication skills are a must to have to deal with customers’ queries and helping them out in solving their problems.
13. Attend networking events
Networking is your ticket to collaboration and learning from your industry’s point of view. You should go to the networking events relevant to your industry and department. This is your ticket to success.
This opportunity will help you to learn things about your interest and get other people’s advice on your project(s). If you are seeking a coach or mentor to help you out in your career then attending the networking events will be beneficial.
14. Get feedback on your work
It is not a good practice to go toward your long-term goal achievement without getting feedback on your work. What if you are going in the wrong direction and ruin all your efforts? This is why you create short-term goals and it is really important to get feedback from your peers or manager along your path.
Ensure your direction on every step and quick feedback from your team or manager will help you achieve your goals easily. It will allow you to make adjustments to your strategies and action in an effort to achieve goals.
15. Focus on the next step
Once you achieve the first short term goal your next action should be to focus on the next step. This will help you avoid being distracted along the way to achieve goals successfully and reduce end-time delays while keeping your focus on the next step you can easily progress on your action plan.
nTask helps get the focus on your projects and tasks by setting start and end dates, task dependencies and project milestones to help you focus on your project timeline.
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16. Develop confidence
Do you want to meet your long-term goals? Your team needs to think that they can achieve them as easily as you can. Urge to meet the target depends on the level of confidence in your team.
How you and your team can develop confidence? You can do it by breaking down big goals into short achievable targets or short-term goals that have lots of milestones lined up. Once you start to accomplish small goals, you will develop the confidence to meet your long-term goals naturally.
This is the reason the ‘Sprint’ system is used by the software and tech teams to meet small targets through small speed bursts.
17. Remove Procrastination
If you feel lazy, overwhelmed and procrastinate at your job, it will be hard to meet your job goals and deliver your projects on time. You need to work the way to remove procrastination by making your work interesting and fun to keep you motivated.
This is a useful short-term goal you should set this year to make you productive and grow your career by breaking down work into small wins.
18. Get Early to Work
If you want to achieve your long-term career goal, then you should have a short term goal of getting to work 20 minutes earlier every day. This is a good step to show that you are a hardworking and professional resource who take the work seriously.
Getting earlier to work gives you ample time to organize yourself and preparing better for your work meetings. Your boss will really like the resource who is always on time and ready to take on new challenges. Moreover, this will give a happy start to your day 🙂
Short Term Financial Goals
19. Eliminate Your Credit Card Debt
If you want to focus on your personal finance then you should eliminate your credit card debt as they eat up a big chunk of your monthly income. Outstanding debts will be a big burden on your pocket and affect your finances.
More importantly, the debt burden will also affect your health. Paying them off will give you relief. You will be in less stress if you remain debt-free and spend your money on things you really need. Removing your debt burden will help you meet your financial long-term goals.
20. Reducing your monthly expenses
This is really an important short-term financial goal if you want to save money for a special purpose. In order to save some bucks for your year-end event or for emergency cases then you should start reducing your monthly expenses.
You can start off by reducing those expenses which are of less importance for you and start doing your monthly groceries from wholesale stores where you can get more discounts. This is a good way to save up money by the end of each year.
21. Track your monthly budget
If your goal is to have financial security then you should start tracking your monthly budget. You can do it by keeping an eye on your monthly bank statement and utility bills. As you start tracking your monthly budget, you become aware of your monthly spending habits and can learn how to stop wasting your finance on useless things.
You may know that when you enter a grocery store, a bakery or a garment shop you do impulse buying and end up exceeding your monthly expenditure limit you have set. It can be a useful short-term financial goal to track your monthly budget to learn where you can reduce your expenses to save more.
22. Create multiple income streams
Even if you love your business or job for that matter, you can look to create multiple income streams to help you financially. You can have multiple income sources without getting into big hassles. How about doing a bit of freelancing in your free time or investing in real estate etc.?
This is a helpful short-term goal if your goal is to get early retirement. If you don’t want to quit your job, you can start a side business or get into partnership with your friends. With this goal in place, you can easily pay-off your medical bills or debt.
Short Term Study Goals
23. Submit your assignments a week before the deadline
If you want to relieve yourself of study-related stress and get ahead of your classmates, then submitting your projects, assignments, and term paper ahead of time will be advantageous.
This will tell how well you have managed your time and demonstrate your commitment to the projects assigned to you in front of your professors. You will be left with more time to do fun activities rather than spending weekends working on your class assignments.
24. Spend your free time in the library
You can develop your learning skills and your mental ability through reading. It helps to grasp knowledge that can result in better grades eventually.
Reading books, research papers, and journal articles to utilize your free time in the best way.
25. Spend less time on TV
According to a report, average American adults spend 5 hours a day in front of the TV screen. Students can use this time on reading and studying their course books, or working on their school projects.
If you want to take a break from your studies than it is better to spend time on sports or on your hobbies as this will improve your creativity. This way you can become productive and helps in networking with other people.
26. Know your professor
This is the first lesson you will learn about professional networking that will help you out in your future career. When you get to know your professor and get in their good books than you, will give you more attention during their lectures.
It is the best way to learn from an experienced professor and they can help you out in your course materials. You will realize this short-term goal benefit when you get a worthy recommendation letter from your professor when applying for the universities and help in landing your first job.
27. Build your ability to take notes in lectures
Effective note-taking activity will improve your focus on the class lectures and helps in organizing information. It will help you to keep awake during your lecture and engage your brain to think.
Good notes help in preparing for the exams and preparing your assignments. You might not remember everything during a class lecture, so taking notes is a good habit to equip yourself to do more in studies.
You can take notes on your writing pad for starters. However, smart students use note-taking apps to help in becoming more efficient and productive.
Short Term Business Goals
28. Reduce business overheads
This is the short-term goal that fits the best with small and medium-sized businesses. If you want to make your business profitable then there are two ways to do this; either increase your revenue or reduce your overhead cost. Period.
You will need to do a thorough analysis of your business overheads (in-direct costs) and work our how to reduce the expenditures without affecting your business operations. The best short-term actions to reduce it are using technology, becoming paperless, and reducing debts.
29. Improve business productivity
It is always a good idea to set goals to improve your business and team productivity. It directly impacts your key business metrics and financial statements.
You should adopt the best practices to boost your team productivity like eliminating distractions, organizing the workstation and work processes. Smart businesses use productivity apps to help organize their daily tasks, meetings, projects and helps in team collaboration.
30. Incorporate social media marketing
Social media is a good channel for performing marketing activities for startups, professionals, and consultants. You can leverage these social channels to engage your audience by sharing useful content and use it as a customer support portal.
If you have some budget to invest in advertisement then social media is a good option to start with a low budget. Having a social presence will help build your online presence. Another important thing is that people search online or on social media before making a purchase decision. Thus, use social platforms wisely will help build your business.
31. Develop MVP (minimum viable product) Ahead of Time
If you are planning to launch a new product next year then it is a good approach to launch an MVP to test if it finds a market-fit. Launching a completely new product without proper research and testing might end up in complete failure and ruin your investment in the project.
It is a safe way to develop an MVP with minimum features and launch it as a beta version in a specific market. If your target market loves your MVP then it is okay to invest time and money to see it reshape into a usable final product.
32. Improve your customer service
How do you improve your customer satisfaction score and communicate with your clients for your product or services? You work out to make your customer service phenomenal by handling customer queries and complaints efficiently.
If you lack good services to your customers and have an angry bunch of people, then improving your customer service standards should be your immediate short-term goal. You should realize the importance of customer feedback and incorporate them to improve the feedback score from people at the other end.
33. Know your competitors
This is an important short term goal example to remain in business for the long term. You should regularly research your competitors on what they are doing currently in the market, what product they offer, their pricing strategy, the companies with which they collaborate, their content and marketing strategy. This will help you develop the product and service better than your competitors.
You know that the customers choose that company that offers the best product/service at a suitable price. You should get help from online competition research tools such as BuzzSumo, Ahrefs, and Follwerwonk.
34. Learn about market trends
If you want to grow your business’s sales volume and revenue then you should become familiar with the current market trends. You can leverage the industry reports, expert advice and predictions, and financial statements of market leaders. In the short term, it is a useful starting point to get benefits from other’s research. Moreover, you should also do first-hand research yourself by executing customer feedback surveys, vendor surveys, and make a report that will help in your decision making.
Make use of the online trend tools that can help you identify the in-things in the online market sphere such as Alexa Rank and Google Trends. This can also help you draft your branding, content, marketing, and sales strategy.
35. Develop a new product
You can’t rely on a single product or service for a long time. It’s the time that you diversify your business for its stability and growth. If you don’t have multiple product lines then you should consider developing a new product and add to your portfolio of offerings.
After a few years of experience in the industry, you have adequate knowledge and data generated from customer feedback about what new product you should develop to gain more users. It’s the right time to have a look at that information and create a new product in the short run to help you secure the business future.
36. Create an employee incentive program
To make your employees work hard for your business with full dedication you must incorporate an employee incentive program. The incentive program may include both tangible and intangible perks (especially for startups who have limited resources). Even a small appreciation helps in motivating your employees.
37. Incorporate SMART goals
As soon as you have set your short term goals for your business and personal development, its time to get to the next level by making your goals SMART. The SMART goals are defined as a goal that is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. If your short-term goal is to increase the revenue, you can make it SMART by defining it more clearly like, increase the company revenue by 10% by the first quarter of the next year. Now, your short-term goal has met the SMART criteria.
SMART goals can make your work easy and help you to keep full track of it. This will help your team to easily achieve even tough goals.
Learn more about SMART Goals in this blog:
Short Term Health and Fitness Goals
38. Cut back on calories
This is the first step in your short term health goals. You need to cut back on calories to help remain fit and spend a healthy life. If you aim to reduce your weight you should eat fewer calories so that you can easily burn them during the day. Reduce the food quantity will be difficult to carry out in the long term, so you may opt for healthy foods that have lower calories.
You can keep track of your calorie intake by counting them. Check out these apps that can help you in tracking your nutrition and calorie count.
39. Get up early
Getting up early can help you meet your fitness and health short term goals. Moreover, you can become productive by waking up early. Even successful people say that if you want to achieve more in life, then wake up early. If waking up early is a hurdle for you, then check out these tips to become a morning person.
You can spare much time for yourself by waking up early, you can go jogging, take the fresh air and early breakfast will help in improving your immunity level.
40. Join a gym or fitness boot camp
Want to lose your weight? And improve your fitness level? You should think to join a gym or a fitness boot camp. Exercise helps in building your muscles, cut your fat, improve your immunity, and help in living a healthy life.
So, if you have not taken this step, now is the time to set this health and fitness short term goal to join a fitness club. Get help from expert trainers to prevent any injury and do the exercises in the right way.
41. Stop eating out in restaurants
It is a difficult thing, but if your priority is to improve your health then you should stop eating out in restaurants, especially, leave out fast food. As explained in the point above, fast food can boost your calorie level and create long-term cardiovascular, obesity, and other problems.
It is wise to cook food at home and make something healthy for yourself rather than eating out, or making a home delivery from a restaurant.
42. Get to your ideal Body Mass Index (BMI)
If you really are a fitness freak, then this short term goal example is for you. You need to keep track of your BMI, to reach the ideal fitness level. Body Mass Index or BMI is the ratio of body weight in kilograms and the height of the person in a square meter.
A high BMI means you have more fat percentage in your body. It is screened for weight category and shows your health and fitness level.
Best Goal Tracking Apps
Apart from tracking your goals on pen and paper, you can use several goal tracking apps as mentioned below:
nTask is one of the best goal tracking application that offers robust features that can help both individuals and businesses in goal achievement.
It is specifically designed to make sure that all the activities performed by you and your team, be properly filed and tracked. All team members can stay informed of all the changes regarding tasks, projects, meetings, issues, etc. nTask help in keeping everything in check and makes sure that you succeed in meeting your goals.
The project feature of nTask can help you manage your project’s financial goals and gives you the ability to align your workflows using Gantt Charts.
- Project planning
- Task dependencies
- Milestones (Goals)
- Budget management
- Financial Summary
- To-Do list
- Team Collaboration
- Time Tracking and Timesheets
- Meeting management
- Risk Matrix
- Free plan
- Premium plan at $2.99/user per month
- Business plan at $7.99/user per month
Try the Best Goal Tracking App for free!
Signup for nTask and see for yourself how your productivity level improves within days.
Wrike is another goal tracking app used in project management. It helps track your tasks and project with the ability to track the goals.
The features like Kanban boards, task lists, and reporting can make it easier for users to manage projects successfully. It is more suitable for software and tech companies following the agile methodology.
- Task planning
- Task tracking
- Resource management
- Task timer
- Rule-based workflows
- Free plan
- Professional plan starting at $9.80
- Business plan starting at $24.80
3. Microsoft Projects
MS Projects is one of the oldest project and goal tracking tool. It helps you generate spreadsheets that can help you track entities in your projects.
It comes with easy integration with Microsoft Office Suite 365 applications. The desktop-based tool of Microsoft Projects is loved by the project managers to manage their workflows.
- Portfolio management
- Status tracking
- Task collaboration
- Gantt charts and task dependencies
- Paid subscription starts at $7/user per month.
As it turns out,
Short-term goals are just as much important as long term goals. In order to attain your bigger goals, you need to commit to a list of short-term goals.
Follow the aforementioned short-term goals examples and go incorporate them in your life as time goes by. I would love to hear out your experiences through the comments section below. Good luck and have a great day ahead!
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