All this month, GenTwenty is looking to the future and how we can all excel at planning for and accomplishing our goals. While it’s good to look ahead, it’s also important to realize that sometimes the bigger picture is actually a collage of little pictures. Similarly, short-term goals can be great building blocks for long-term goals. If you are looking to achieve something big, you may want to start small, and here’s why.
Short-term goals provide a checklist
Short-term goals can provide checkpoints on the route to long-term goals. Each short-term goal should be considered a step towards gaining the success you seek. Even our most mundane routines are made of checklists; we call them “habits” and they are the reason we do the same thing, the same way most days.
In fact, when things go awry, we tend to blame not sticking to the checklist: “I didn’t hang my keys on the wall when I came home. Now I can’t find them, and I’m late for work.” Having short-term goals will give you the strategic steps to make sure your plans—big or small—are successful.
They grant a feeling of ongoing achievement to keep you motivated
New York Time’s Bestselling author and CEO of Owner Magazine Chris Brogan said, “Everything we do to be successful comes from little victories. When someone takes notice of our success, it looks like something big. It feels like one big moment. But always, and I mean always, it comes from a series of little victories.” Accomplishing a short-term goal is a small victory, and you should celebrate it as such. Feel good about your progress, and use it as fuel to move forward. After all, you’re one step closer to your destination.
Short-term goals are more flexible
Having short-term goals gives you more opportunities to troubleshoot your plan. Sometimes things just don’t go the way we mapped them out, and unfortunately we can’t always foresee the twists and turns in the ever thickening plot of our twenties. Each time you accomplish a short-term goal, you have the opportunity to regroup and modify your plan if necessary. This will keep you from veering off course, as you can periodically ensure that your short-term goals are leading you in the right direction.
Short-term goals make your long-term goals more realistic
Consider your long-term goal as an unfinished jigsaw puzzle, and your short-term goals the little pieces. As you slowly put the fragments of the puzzle together, the image you’re creating becomes clearer. Visualizing your goals is key to achieving them. Setting short-term goals allows you to better realize the end goal, and reminds you that something tangible lies ahead.
We’ve got loads of advice on how to pursue your goals, but we’d love to hear from you. What goals or accomplishments lay ahead for you? What practices have you found of use on your quest for success? We could all use a little advice; share yours!