The Importance of Having Short-term Goals - Examined Existence

The Importance of Having Short-term Goals

We all know goals are important, especially long-term goals.  But as we focus on long-term goals, we sometimes forget the many things we must accomplish in order to reach our goals.  Goals like graduating from college, reaching $1 million dollars in net worth, losing 100 pounds, or becoming CEO of a company are long-term goals for many of us.  But to get to those goals, we often neglect all the work we have to do before we reach those goals.  The many steps we have to take are otherwise known as our short-term goals.


Short-term goals serve as mini-milestones on your way to your bigger goals.  Without short-term goals, the road to your bigger goals becomes murky, because you do not have very specific guidelines on how to get there. For instance, in order to accrue $1 million in net worth,you have to ask yourself what you need to do first.  First, you must first accumulate your first $10,000, then $100,000, then $200,000, then so on.  How will you do that?  Start a business?  Buy your first rental property?  Start saving $1,000 a month to invest?  Pay off all your debt?  These short-term goals are things you need to think about and take action on in order to reach your goal of having a $1 million dollar net worth.  To fully realize yourself your long-term goals should be coupled with short-term goals, as well as a daily and weekly to-do list.  The value of short-term goals is to keep you on track on the road to achieving your long-term goals.  It helps create action.  A goal without action is just a dream.

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Short-term goals keep you on track, but they do not appear out of thin air.  In order to make short-term goals viable, you have to break your long-term goals down.  Break your short-term goals down and assign an appropriate timeline for them.

To me, a long-term goal is anything longer than a year.  So if a goal has a time frame of more than a year from when you set them, you need to break that goal down to mini milestones.  Doing so will allow you to stay the course and get there in the appropriate time.

And remember, whether they are long-term goals or short-term goals, your goals should fit the SMART goal criteria.  They must be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

About the author


Netflix enthusiast, horrible speller, jiujitsu hobbyist, weekend drinker, and occasional poker player. Favorite quote is "[o]ut of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars."