Achieving goals is a lot easier when you have a plan. One of the best ways to accomplish your goals is by breaking them down into smaller pieces and setting achievable short-term objectives that will eventually lead to bigger, long-term results. In this blog post, we’ll discuss 27 different types of short-term goal examples for your personal life and professional life!
We’ve discussed previously a lot about long-term goals, monthly goals, micro goals, and how to make short-term goals work for you. But what are some short-term goal examples? We need to dig into this a little more.
Let’s start with SMART Goals
You’ve heard the acronym before: SMART. These are the elements that every short-term goal needs to have to be effective. It stands for:
- Specific – a short-term goal should be specific and clear.
- Measurable – the short term goal needs to have criteria or standards for success.
- Achievable/Attainable – short-term goals need to be realistic, otherwise you’re setting yourself up for failure! They also need to be attainable, meaning they are within your reach.
- Relevant – short-term goals should directly address the desired outcome and not have any unnecessary steps that go with it.
- Time-bound – short-term goals need a deadline or time limit for completion so you can measure progress on the way to achieving them.
Let’s look at some examples more in-depth.
Don’t say: I want to train for marathon.
Say: I want to train for a marathon next October and finish with a sub-4 hour time.
Don’t say: I want to walk more.
Say: I want to walk 3 miles per day.
Don’t say: I want to run a marathon next week.
Say: I want to run a marathon six months from now.
Don’t say: I want to train for a marathon (while 8 months pregnant).
Say: I want to work on rebuilding my core strength so I can start training for a marathon in 6 months.
Don’t say: I want to read 4 books.
Say: I want to finish 4 books by the end of the month.
Your short-term goals need to be short-term and short enough that you can complete them in a short period of time. For example, don’t set yourself up for failure by saying “I want to lose 20 pounds” if you’re not prepared to start an exercise regimen or change your diet. You need something more attainable like: “I want to walk 30 minutes per day three times per week for the next three months.”‘ Including a time frame you choose when you set goals is really key!
Goal setting with short-term measurable goals will help you set good goals for yourself and also lead you to accomplishing bigger goals you might have for yourself down the line. Vague goals will just frustrate and deter you, and medium-term goals can feel out of reach if you haven’t built up momentum. That’s why we love short-term goals!
100+ Short-Term Goals Examples for Personal and Professional Life
Improve a soft skill.
To set this goal, you could say you want to finish a course on public speaking in one month and then take on two public speaking opportunities in the two months following. Who knows, with your new found public speaking you could become an industry leader who is recognized for their hard work and perseverance.
Get organized for the next day.
Before getting into bed at night, you can be more organized by writing a to-do list for the next morning. This short-term goal will get you in the habit of writing out what needs to be done for tomorrow and you may even find yourself seeing your to-do list as a set of very specific goals for each day.
Get a new certification.
This short term goal will help you learn how to do something new.
You can start by saying that you want to take a certification course on advanced data analysis and then complete the associated project in one month. New certifications are great for longer-term professional goals or business goals that you want to set.
Improve your health: eating healthier, working out more, etc.
This short term goal is all about bettering your physical health. For example, you might want to say that you’re going on a diet and exercise regimen for one month so that in the next month you can drop two dress sizes. Fitness goals can be challenging, but breaking them down in to manageable short-term goals is a great way to overcome roadblocks.
Start drinking water instead of soda or coffee.
In order to reach this goal, you might say that you’re going to drink four glasses of water per day instead of caffeinated drinks like coffee or soda. This short term goal will help keep your body hydrated and healthy.
Improve your mental health: meditate more often or work through negative emotions with friends.
This short term goal is all about bettering your emotional well-being. For example, you might want to say that you’re going to spend some time each day writing in a journal and then opening up and sharing what’s on your mind with someone close to you.
Improve your physical health: eat healthier, work out more, etc.
This short-term goal is all about bettering your physical well being. For example, you might want to say that you’re going to start working on building muscle and reducing fat by eating an extra meal each day and then doing three workouts per week. Improving your health can feel like a really big goal, but improvement is all about small, consistent steps. Hence, the SMART short-term goals!
Design a morning routine that works for you.
In order to reach this short-term goal, you might say that in your morning routine each day you are going to take a half an hour walk and then again at lunchtime. In addition, on weekends you’ll be walking around your neighborhood or taking a hike.
Design an evening routine that works for you.
In order to reach this short-term goal, you might say that in your evening routine each day you are going to read for half an hour and then spend some time planning out the next day. In addition, on weekends you’ll be reading a good book or watching a movie with your spouse.
Clean your house from top to bottom.
In order to reach this short term goal, you might say that in the next month you’re going to spend an hour each day cleaning your house from top to bottom. This will help keep your home clean and tidy as well as give you some alone time where you can get lost in a project.
Prepare for a 5k.
This short term goal will help you get in shape. For example, let’s say that you’re going to train for a few weeks by doing short runs each day and then join your friends at the local Friday night run.
Find a hobby you love.
This short term goal might say that you’re going to spend an hour each day doing something you love and then look into joining a club or attending your first meetup.
Get prepared for the next holiday season (i.e., buy gifts).
To reach this short-term goal, you could start by saying that in the month of October you’re going to spend an hour each day shopping for presents and then get them wrapped in the month of November.
Take a course on something you want to learn more about.
This short-term goal will help you learn more about something that interests you. For example, let’s say that your short term goal is to take an online course on how to play the guitar in one month so that next year when it comes time for family gatherings with your relatives who play music you’ll be able to sit in and jam with them.
Cut out all unhealthy drinks out of your diet.
In order to reach short-term goal, you might say that in the next month you’re going to cut out all unhealthy drinks like soda and coffee so that by Christmas time your body will be used to not having them.
Clean off your desk at work.
This short term goal is about maintaining a clean workspace. For example, you might say that you’re going to spend 30 minutes every day cleaning off your desk and then another hour at the end of each week sorting through papers. Who knows, you may even inspire your team members and boost productivity!
Design a short-term fitness goal (i.e., run a mile, do an exercise routine).
This short term goal is all about improving your physical health by working out regularly. For example, you might say that for the next month you’re going to run a short mile each day and then at night do some simple exercises.
Practice mindfulness meditation.
In order to reach this short term goal, you could start by saying that in one week’s time you’ll be practicing mindfulness meditation as soon as your alarm goes off in the morning. This is a great way to stay off social media and find more peace in your day-to-day.
Clean out your car.
This short term goal is all about maintaining a clean vehicle so that you can be safe on the road and avoid getting tickets for driving around with junk in your backseat. For example, you might say that each day next week you’ll spend 30 minutes cleaning out your car until it’s sparkling.
Organize your recipes into a notebook.
This short term goal is about organizing all of your favorite family recipes so that you can hand them down to the next generation or even come up with new dishes by combining two different ones together. For example, you might say that for one night each week in the month of October you’ll spend an hour organizing your recipes.
Reach out to someone you haven’t spoken to in a long time (i.e., send an email, make a phone call).
To reach this short term goal, you might say that for the next week you’re going to take 30 minutes each day reaching out to different people from your past. There are many different ways to reconnect!
Set a quarterly performance goal.
This short term goal is all about setting a specific, measurable and achievable objective that you’re going to work on for the next three months. For example, your short-term goal might be “reach out to 50 new potential customers each week in the month of October.” Setting short term career goals can offer confidence and clarity if you’re not sure where to go next with your work.
Update your resume and LinkedIn Profile.
This short term goal is all about updating your resume and LinkedIn Profile. For example, you might say that for the next month you’re going to spend an hour every day working on editing both your resume and LinkedIn profile so that by December they are up-to-date.
Build a capsule wardrobe.
This short term goal is all about building a capsule wardrobe so that you can spend less time deciding what to wear in the morning or your outfits are more versatile for different occasions. For example, you might say that in November you’re going to have one week where every day you’ll only wear five items from your existing clothing collection.
Host a party.
This short term goal is all about hosting a party so that you can have an excuse to get your friends together and catch up with them after not seeing one another for a while. For example, you might say that in December when everyone gets back from their holiday travels you’re going to host a big dinner party where everyone brings something instead of a Christmas gift.
Start flossing regularly.
This short term goal is all about maintaining strong and healthy teeth so that you can avoid cavities or even worse health issues later in life like tooth loss or gum disease. This is also an example you can set for family goals, to encourage your whole family in a very small way.
Make a short term plan to save money (i.e., cut back on going out with friends).
This short term goal is all about making a short-term plan so that you’re able to start saving up some extra money to either buy a gift or go on an adventure. For example, you might say that for each month in the next three months you’re going to cut out some of your favorite activities so that by March you’ll have saved up enough money for a short vacation with friends and family. Personal finance and financial goals can take all forms, but the important thing is to set them and accomplish them.
Study a new language (i.e., learn basic phrases and vocabulary words).
This short term goal is all about studying a new language so that you can communicate with your family or friends more easily. For example, you might say that for the next two weeks you’re going to spend 15 minutes each day practicing learning how to introduce yourself in German. Learning a new skill like a language can stimulate your brain in a new and exciting way.
Write down three things you are grateful for every day.
This short term goal is all about making sure you’re able to appreciate the present moment so that you can be more happy and grateful in your life. For example, for each day next week you might spend five minutes writing down three things that made you smile or think “life is good.”
30 Short Term Career Goal Examples
Here are 30 short term career goals and examples for improving your professional life and increasing your productivity across your career.
- Enhance Communication Skills: Take a public speaking course to improve articulation and confidence in presentations, enabling more effective communication with team members and clients.
- Master Excel and Data Analysis Tools: Complete an advanced Excel and data analytics course to efficiently analyze and interpret data, facilitating better decision-making.
- Networking and Relationship Building: Attend at least two industry events per month to expand professional network and foster relationships with potential collaborators and mentors.
- Improve Time Management: Implement time management techniques like the Pomodoro Technique to increase productivity and meet deadlines consistently.
- Develop Project Management Skills: Enroll in a project management certification program to learn how to efficiently plan, execute, and close projects, ensuring optimal resource utilization.
- Stay Updated on Industry Trends: Subscribe to industry-specific publications and attend webinars to stay current with the latest trends and innovations in the field.
- Expand Digital Marketing Knowledge: Enroll in an online marketing course to learn about SEO, social media marketing, and content marketing strategies for better online visibility and engagement.
- Enhance Leadership Abilities: Seek out leadership workshops and seminars to develop skills in team management, conflict resolution, and decision-making.
- Cultivate a Growth Mindset: Read books and articles on personal development and growth mindset to foster adaptability and a willingness to embrace challenges.
- Improve Multitasking Skills: Practice multitasking through daily task prioritization and delegation to increase efficiency and productivity in a fast-paced work environment.
- Learn a New Language: Take language courses to broaden communication capabilities and potentially tap into new markets or client bases.
- Become Proficient in a New Software: Master a specific software tool relevant to your industry to increase efficiency and provide value to your team or clients.
- Become Certified in a Specialized Skill: Obtain a relevant industry certification to demonstrate expertise and stand out in a competitive job market.
- Enhance Creative Problem-Solving Skills: Engage in brainstorming sessions and participate in workshops that encourage innovative thinking for effective problem resolution.
- Improve Conflict Resolution Skills: Attend conflict resolution workshops to learn effective strategies for handling disagreements and fostering a positive work environment.
- Develop Presentation Skills: Practice delivering compelling and engaging presentations regularly to build confidence and influence stakeholders effectively.
- Improve Negotiation Skills: Engage in negotiation workshops to become a more effective negotiator in both professional and personal situations.
- Enhance Customer Service Skills: Participate in customer service training sessions to learn techniques for providing exceptional service and building strong client relationships.
- Improve Financial Literacy: Take courses in financial management to gain a better understanding of budgeting, forecasting, and financial analysis.
- Foster a Culture of Diversity and Inclusion: Participate in diversity and inclusion workshops to promote a more inclusive and equitable workplace.
- Improve Cross-Functional Collaboration: Actively seek out opportunities to work on cross-functional teams to build a deeper understanding of different departmental roles and objectives.
- Improve Stress Management Techniques: Attend stress management workshops and practice mindfulness techniques to maintain focus and composure under pressure.
- Build a Personal Brand Online: Establish and consistently update professional profiles on platforms like LinkedIn to increase visibility and credibility in your industry.
- Become a Subject Matter Expert: Focus on becoming an expert in a specific area of your field through in-depth research, workshops, and practical application.
- Enhance Decision-Making Skills: Seek out workshops and courses on critical thinking and decision-making to make more informed and effective choices.
- Develop a Content Creation Skillset: Learn to create compelling written, visual, or multimedia content to effectively communicate ideas and messages.
- Improve Conflict Resolution Skills: Attend workshops and seminars to learn effective strategies for handling disagreements and fostering a positive work environment.
- Strengthen Data Privacy and Security Knowledge: Stay updated on data protection laws and take courses on cybersecurity to ensure compliance and safeguard sensitive information.
- Build a Personal Advisory Board: Identify and connect with mentors or advisors who can provide guidance and perspective on career decisions and growth opportunities.
- Enhance Cultural Competency: Take cultural sensitivity and diversity training to better understand and work with a diverse range of colleagues and clients.
30 Short Term Personal Goal Examples
These goals are based on personal goals and metrics you might set for yourself to improve your personal development.
- Exercise Regularly: Commit to a specific workout routine, aiming for at least 30 minutes of exercise five days a week to improve physical fitness and overall health.
- Meditate Daily: Practice mindfulness meditation for 10-15 minutes each day to reduce stress, increase self-awareness, and promote mental well-being.
- Improve Time Management: Implement a daily planner or time-tracking system to prioritize tasks and make more efficient use of your time.
- Read One Book Each Month: Set a goal to read a book each month to expand knowledge, gain new perspectives, and enhance cognitive abilities.
- Practice Gratitude Journaling: Take a few minutes each day to write down things you’re grateful for, fostering a positive outlook and improving mental well-being.
- Limit Screen Time: Set specific time limits for screen usage to reduce digital distractions and create more time for meaningful activities.
- Improve Sleep Routine: Establish a consistent sleep schedule and practice good sleep hygiene habits to ensure restful and rejuvenating sleep.
- Learn a New Hobby or Skill: Dedicate time to learning something new, whether it’s cooking, painting, playing an instrument, or a new language.
- Reduce Consumption of Processed Foods: Gradually replace processed foods with whole, nutritious options to improve overall health and well-being.
- Practice Mindful Eating: Focus on being present during meals, savoring each bite and paying attention to hunger and fullness cues.
- Cultivate a Daily Writing Habit: Set aside time each day to journal, write creatively, or reflect on personal experiences to enhance self-expression and self-awareness.
- Limit Caffeine or Sugar Intake: Set specific goals to reduce consumption of caffeine or sugary beverages to improve energy levels and overall health.
- Volunteer or Contribute to a Cause: Dedicate time to a charitable organization or cause that aligns with your values and interests.
- Practice Regular Self-Reflection: Allocate time for introspection to assess personal growth, accomplishments, and areas for improvement.
- Maintain a Clean and Organized Living Space: Establish a routine for cleaning and decluttering to create a more productive and pleasant living environment.
- Limit Social Media Usage: Set specific time limits for social media platforms to reduce distractions and improve focus on meaningful activities.
- Strengthen Relationships with Family and Friends: Allocate quality time for meaningful conversations, activities, and support for loved ones.
- Attend Personal Development Workshops or Webinars: Seek out events or webinars that focus on self-improvement, personal growth, and building essential life skills.
- Set Financial Savings Goals: Determine specific savings targets for short-term expenses or long-term financial security, and create a budget to achieve them.
- Improve Communication Skills: Actively practice active listening, effective speaking, and non-verbal communication to enhance personal and professional relationships.
- Practice Patience and Resilience: Cultivate patience in challenging situations and develop resilience to bounce back from setbacks more effectively.
- Limit Negative Self-Talk: Recognize and replace negative self-talk with positive affirmations and constructive thoughts to boost self-esteem and confidence.
- Explore New Cultural Experiences: Attend cultural events, try new foods, or engage in activities that expose you to different perspectives and traditions.
- Set Boundaries for Work-Life Balance: Establish clear boundaries between work and personal life to maintain a healthy balance and avoid burnout.
- Improve Flexibility and Mobility: Incorporate stretching exercises and activities like yoga or Pilates to enhance flexibility and mobility.
- Improve Emotional Intelligence: Practice recognizing and managing emotions in yourself and others to strengthen interpersonal relationships.
- Learn Basic First Aid and CPR: Enroll in a basic first aid and CPR course to gain essential life-saving skills and knowledge.
- Cultivate a Green Thumb: Start a small garden or care for houseplants to connect with nature and experience the satisfaction of nurturing living things.
- Practice Random Acts of Kindness: Regularly engage in small acts of kindness, such as paying for someone’s coffee or offering a helping hand, to spread positivity.
- Set Boundaries for Screen Time: Allocate specific times for screen use and establish screen-free zones to promote better focus and quality time with loved ones.
- Practice a Creative Outlet: Engage in a creative activity like painting, drawing, or crafting to express yourself and foster a sense of accomplishment.
20 Short Term Financial Goals Examples
These goals are financial goals that you can set in achieve in a short amount of time.
- Create a Monthly Budget: Establish a detailed budget to track income and expenses, providing a clear overview of your financial situation.
- Build an Emergency Fund: Aim to save at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses in case of unexpected financial setbacks.
- Pay Off High-Interest Debt: Prioritize paying off credit card or other high-interest debts to save on interest payments and improve financial stability.
- Increase Retirement Contributions: Raise your contributions to retirement accounts, such as a 401(k) or IRA, to secure your future financial well-being.
- Save for a Specific Purchase: Set aside funds for a planned purchase, like a new gadget, furniture, or a vacation.
- Track Daily Spending: Monitor and record all daily expenses to gain a clear understanding of where your money is going and identify areas for potential savings.
- Reduce Unnecessary Expenses: Identify and cut out non-essential spending to redirect funds towards more meaningful financial goals.
- Start a Side Hustle: Begin a part-time venture or freelancing to increase income and diversify revenue streams.
- Negotiate Bills and Expenses: Contact service providers to negotiate better rates on utilities, insurance, or subscriptions to save money.
- Invest in Continuing Education: Allocate funds towards courses, workshops, or certifications that can enhance your skills and boost your earning potential.
- Contribute to a Health Savings Account (HSA): Maximize contributions to an HSA to save for future medical expenses and take advantage of tax benefits.
- Start a Tax-Efficient Investment Strategy: Explore tax-efficient investment options, such as index funds or tax-free municipal bonds, to optimize your portfolio.
- Open a High-Interest Savings Account: Choose a savings account with a higher interest rate to maximize the growth of your emergency fund or other savings goals.
- Review and Adjust Insurance Policies: Assess your insurance coverage to ensure you’re adequately protected without overpaying for unnecessary coverage.
- Automate Savings and Investments: Set up automatic transfers to your savings and investment accounts to ensure consistent contributions without the need for manual intervention.
- Invest in Home Energy Efficiency: Make energy-saving improvements to your home, such as installing a programmable thermostat or upgrading insulation, to reduce utility bills.
- Participate in Workplace Benefits: Take full advantage of employer-sponsored benefits, such as matching contributions to retirement accounts or flexible spending accounts.
- Explore Refinancing Options: Investigate opportunities to refinance loans or mortgages to potentially lower interest rates and reduce monthly payments.
- Diversify Your Investment Portfolio: Review and adjust your investment mix to spread risk and potentially increase returns.
- Save for a Down Payment: Set a specific savings target to put towards a future home purchase or investment property.
- Start a College Fund: Begin saving for your children’s education expenses by opening a 529 savings plan or a dedicated education savings account.
- Track and Improve Credit Score: Monitor your credit score and take steps to improve it, which can lead to better loan terms and lower interest rates.
- Set up an Automatic Bill Pay System: Arrange automatic payments for recurring bills to avoid late fees and maintain a good credit history.
- Explore Tax Deductions and Credits: Investigate available tax deductions and credits to potentially reduce your tax liability and increase your overall savings.
- Review and Optimize Investment Fees: Analyze investment fees and consider moving funds to lower-cost options to increase your overall returns.
- Research and Consider Real Estate Investments: Explore opportunities for real estate investments, such as rental properties or real estate investment trusts (REITs).
- Learn about Personal Finance Topics: Dedicate time to reading books or attending workshops on personal finance to enhance your financial literacy and decision-making.
- Create a Will or Estate Plan: Take steps to create a will or estate plan to ensure your assets are distributed according to your wishes.
- Increase Charitable Giving: Allocate a portion of your budget towards charitable donations to support causes you believe in.
- Explore Passive Income Streams: Research and invest in opportunities for passive income, such as dividend-paying stocks, peer-to-peer lending, or rental properties.
- Set Specific Savings Goals for Short-Term Dreams: Define specific, achievable savings targets for short-term goals like a dream vacation, home renovation, or a special event.
In Summary: Short Term Goals Examples
I hope these examples of short-term goals inspire you to set good short-term goals for yourself starting today. Whether you want to learn a language, start flossing regularly or host a dinner party these short-term goal examples are sure to help!
Setting and achieving those short-term goals will also help you when you want to set larger, long term goals, because remember, a larger goal is just a bunch of small goals put together. So set your short-term goals, break them down, and rock them!
What are your good short-term goals for the near future? We’d love to know and root you on!