What Are Good Short-Term Goals? [7 Goals To Get Started]

What Are Good Short-Term Goals? [7 Goals To Get Started]

Short term goals are the building blocks toward reaching bigger and brighter futures. We emphasize this on a regular basis in our other blog posts. Goal planning requires some critical thinking and a natural balance between long-term goals, short-term goal, and lifetime goals.

You can’t be 100% effective with only one piece of the pie. Short-term goals often fail for various reasons, but usually, it has to do with prioritizing and learning not to run around like a chicken with its head cut off. We will cover that in this post as well and get you well on your way to dominating your goals this time around.

The Short-Term Goal Mind Set- Keep in Mind- They Are Short-Term for A Reason

When setting short-term goals keep in mind that they are designed to be short-term for a reason. They shouldn’t be overly complicated. They may require some work to complete, but they should be within reach. The long-term goals come into play later down the road.  When you begin stacking these short-term goals together is when the magic starts to happen.  

Once you learn to put the important things first, find goals that truly matter to you, things can get simpler in nature. You need to search for a purpose and analyze why these goals are essential to complete. What will finishing one of these goals today do for you next month, next quarter or even next year? Will it increase your bank account? Will it get you that much closer to understanding something new? It’s important to understand the true benefits of your goal before diving in too fast.

Why Are Short Term Goals So Essential to Goal Setting and Growth?

This is an essential factor to discuss when it comes to goal setting. Short term-goals are essentially crossing off the easy task on the path toward the tough jobs.  Let’s break down an example of this. Your goal may be to get into your favorite college of choice.  This, however, is not a short-term goal.  With, plenty of short-term goals you can, however, be set up in a positive way to help you reach this significant goal. Here are a few examples.

–    Prepare A Budget for College

–    Create the Perfect Application

–    Read Books on How to Study in College

–    Scout My Favorite Schools Campus

These things that seem so small with all that excitement you have built up, add up to the fundamentals of reaching the bigger goal. They are necessary and help prepare you immensely. People don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan. Break down the master goal and make it into possible, achievable small steps that prepare you that much better than the next guy chasing the exact same thing that you are chasing.

Take A Moment to Prep, Reflect and Analyze the Next Steps

Now it’s time to break these down and get you ready.  It all starts with some critical thinking and figuring out what’s going to take priority in your life.  Start by jotting down these goals with anything that comes to mind.  After you get some ideas down of what needs to be done, it will be easy to flip them around and begin analyzing which goals need to come first and take priority. We will get to the prioritization section of these goals in this post shortly.

Let’s Get You Fired Up and Ready to Fight- Time to Take On The World

Now that you have some of these goals on paper, you should be at a point where you are beginning to feel a little excitement. This is normal. Once we see something, we may be able to accomplish on paper, our minds start racing and wondering “what if?’ This makes perfect sense. Achieving things and getting things done feels fantastic.  Again, at this point in the process, your mind should be excited and saying, “what if I can pull this off”.

Everything seems to move smoother and faster when you get into a routine. Now that you’re jacked up let’s keep you in that mindset and prep just a bit more before giving some example of goals to set for those of you who are stuck finding the best targets to start with.

The Light at The End of The Tunnel- Short Term Goal Happen Faster Than You Think

Okay, so we are somewhat pumped, and I want you to stay in that mindset. The best way to ensure you stay in this motivated mode is to realize that short-term goals aren’t going to take a lifetime. They will be completed, and accomplished way faster than you may think.

Always remember this when things get tough. It will help you to remain focused. Knowing you’re not far away from the finish line can be that last little spark you need to push through.

Run A Prioritization Work Sheet- Create A Finish Line- Clearly Identify Importance

Here’s the last thing needed before diving into further examples. Prioritizing the goals becomes crucial for growth and getting things done in the proper order. Let’s say you have read this far and have a few goals picked out. Let’s assume it’s 3-5.  That’s great, but it can also be confusing. The point is that you need to narrow the focus and set the goals in a manner that makes logical sense to accomplishing something.

Pick the goals that align with your values first.  Pick what needs to be accomplished first and which goal will relieve the most weight off your shoulders. This could be something tiny, or it could be something a little more critical.  The important thing is that although you don’t want to forget about the other goals you wrote down, you do need to force yourself to pick the first and most important short-term goal to begin with first.

Without completing this first step, you will be chasing yourself in circles. Not prioritizing goals will give you that resemblance of people you know that are all over the board with ideas and what they are doing next.  Build out a worksheet to handle this effectively.  Start sliding your goals into slots based on importance. Then, merely start acting. That’s it. Nothing overly complicated. Just a few decisions to make and some actions to take and you begin tackling the entire list quickly.

Short Term Goals Example 1- Time Management- Efficiency and Cost Friendly

This is a great area to begin setting smaller short-term goals with. People waste time in massive amounts. They always have and always will. Those of us that can learn to make more of the 24 hours in a day can shift into a position of more power and allow us that much more time to execute and get ahead of the competition. This is a tremendous overall area to set short-term goals with.

Examples of Time Management Goals

Here’s a good look at some of the time management goals you could begin implementing today.

–    Learn to Focus

–    Learn to Make Decisions Faster

–    Learn to Organize Task and Jobs That Need To be Completed

How Do I get Started?

To get started it helps dramatically to find what’s currently killing the hours in the day for you. If it’s television, eliminate it. If it’s scrolling the Facebook feed, turn the cell phone off. Whatever it is, the best way to get started is to reduce the time sucking activities and pick one of the short-term goals above to implement first.

What Set Backs to Expect Along the Way

With time management short-term goals, the setbacks are more evident than you may think. It’s usually the smallest things in life that can de-rail these goals. Social media, tv time, time out with friends are a few examples.

Short Term Goals Example 2- Developing A New Skill or Trying Something New

This is an area of short-term goal setting that is designed to be a little bit scary. It should take you out of your comfort zone and make you somewhat hesitant to begin.  The important thing with these goals is not to let it get too much bigger than you. Start small. Let’s check out a few examples of these goals to clear up the confusion a bit.

Examples of Developing a New Skill or Learning Something New Short-Term Goals

Here are a few short-term goals that could put you on the path towards learning something new.

–    Read A Related Book or Listen to A Related Podcast/YouTube Channel

–    Start A New Hobby Course (Shooting, Archery, Fishing)

–    Take an Online Course

How Do I get Started?

To get started with these goals it’s important that you find an area that interests you. A big reason these goals tend to fail is due to just losing interest over time. You need to stay engaged and see an ending point to reach the finish line effectively.

What Set Backs to Expect Along the Way

The typical things in life and common distractions will come after you with these goals. Life will get in the way. That’s a guarantee.  Whether it’s family, work, or other complications, something will try and convince you that you need to shift your time elsewhere. This is where it becomes essential to stay laser focused until you start developing a new skill.

Short Term Goals Example 3- Choosing the Right Crowd- Surrounded by Inspiration

Yep, sometimes the clock runs dry and it’s time to cut the dead weight. We need to slowly position ourselves away from those who tend to drag us down on a consistent basis. We need to be surrounded by people who want us to succeed and by others who also are driven and successful. The more you hang around people not aligned with your vision, the faster you become to act like them. Here are a few ways you can get started.

Examples of Choosing the Right Crowd Short Term- Goals

Let’s look at what this could mean or what this looks like. Here are a few examples of these short-term goals to help give you some ideas and inspiration.

–    Turning Down Invites to Hang Out with Friends (That Are Not in Line with Your Goals or New Lifestyle)

–    Cutting Contact with Negative Influences

–    Making New Friends in The Correct Scenarios and Applications

How Do I get Started?

This is a tough goal to get started. No one wants to cut ties with the people we are accustomed to being around. Unfortunately, it needs to happen in many circumstances for you to reach the point that you are trying to achieve.  A lot of people can hold us back and slowly de-rail our goals before our eyes. You need to do some self-analyzing and really figure out who the poison in your life may be before beginning.

What Set Backs to Expect Along the Way

Expect some push back with this goal.  People will continue to want to do what’s best for them and not you. Friends may continue to pressure you to go to events or hang out. Other people may find different clever ways of spreading negativity to you. Regardless of which occurs, just keep in mind that it’s highly likely this won’t go as smoothly as planned. Stay disciplined, remind yourself of why you are doing it and ultimately you will get to where you are trying to be.

Short Term Goals Example 4- Beginning A Career or Starting A New One

This can be scary as hell. This area of short-term goal setting has a lot to do with just becoming a happier person overall. Some of us may have secure jobs and have been contemplating taking a leap for many years. Well, it’s time to take that leap, but that doesn’t mean you have to jump fully yet. Set some short-term goals that can make the transition that much easier and possibly even safer. Here are a few examples that can help break this down further.

Examples of Beginning A New Career Short Term Goals

If you are in this boat (which is a favorite boat to be on) it’s essential that you start small and really lay the best bricks and foundation the best that you absolutely can. Many of us have families, and it’s critical that we continue to provide financially during this transition. Start slow but don’t lose the vision. Staying in a job that you absolutely hate is not good for anyone. Here are a few examples of how this could work.

  • Begin Developing an Online Presence Before Quitting Your Current Job
  • Begin Planning and Budgeting Your Life as If You Already Had the New Job
  • Begin Planning Growth, Expansion and Other Avenues of Continue Improvement Before Making the Leap

How Do I get Started?

This goal it’s not necessarily tough to get started, it’s tough to make the final leap. I would be willing to bet that many online businesses are started as an idea, the creation makes its way to paper and the individual just never gets the courage to quit the stable job. You have the road map, you’re ready and have a great plan. You just never take the leap.

To get started with this short-term goal, get the ideas out of your head and on paper. The only thing to always remember is once you feel ready, you just need to get going. Don’t second guess it, don’t talk yourself out of it. The best things in life are always placed right on the other side of fear. Make the leap.

What Set Backs to Expect Along the Way

Fear is going to be your most significant setback with this goal. Don’t let over-analyzing and fear hold you back from taking the final leap.  It may be tough, but ultimately, you will be okay and grow and develop along the way.

Short Term Goals Example 5- Begin A Healthy Lifestyle and Start Eating Healthy

These are the short-term goals that tend to get the best of me often. These are tough. So many distractions and opportunities present themselves that can de-rail you quickly. It’s important to keep these goals simple in the beginning until you begin training your mind to remain disciplined. Here are a few ways to get this done effectively and get you started toward that healthy lifestyle.

Examples of Short-Term Goals for Creating A Healthy Lifestyle

  • Limit Alcohol Consumption
  • No Eating Food After 8pm
  • Walk 1 Mile Per Day

How Do I get Started?

This is another goal area that’s easy to get started, just tough to stay on track. To get started you need to have an apparent reason why you are wanting to make such a significant change in your life and what benefits it can bring you in the future. This will help you stay motivated and focused when times get tough.

What Set Backs to Expect Along the Way

The typical things that derail all of us with this area of goal setting. The friend inviting you out for dinner. The signs of all the ever so popular fast food restaurants. These goals can be easy to “cheat” often. Dig deep, have a strong reason behind the goal and stick to it. It will get easier.

Short Term Goals Example 6- Begin Ladder Climbing to That Promotion at Work

This is an area of short-term goal setting that is usually a building block or a piece of a long-term goal. Nonetheless, it will take a bunch of short-term goals to begin climbing the corporate ladder and getting you into the position you want to be at your current job.  This is a path millions of Americans still take to earn a living. It’s important we show you a few examples of where you can begin acting to prove you are the M.V.P at your current employment.

Examples of Short Term-Goals You Set to Begin Advancing Your Career

–    Work More Hours or Volunteer for More Responsibility

–    Get Trained to Become A Leader

–    Do 1 Extra Task Per Week to Show Grit and Work Ethic

How Do I get Started?

Well, first. You need a reason and a position you are gunning for. Just doing these things to get a raise is one thing. You need to get detailed and know the position within a company that you want. These two approached are completely different. It’s important to set these goals to correlate with the place you ultimately want to be.  Take a minute to reflect on what you are trying to accomplish and who you need to impress to get there.

What Set Backs to Expect Along the Way

Always remember, you are not the only person that wants to achieve what you are gunning for. Everyone you work with now wants the exact same thing. More power, more money, and more prestige. Be ready to take on the competition, ethically to keep pushing through these short-term milestones.

Short Term Goals Example 7- Become A Better Spouse

I don’t think many of us want to admit that we are doing a poor job towards our spouse. Sometimes life gets in the way, and it’s essential to re-focus some energy on our relationships and marriage.  It doesn’t have to be anything crazy. Just something to prioritize an essential area of your life.  Here are a few ways you could get started setting short-term goals to get your marriage back on track.

Examples of Ways to Set Goals to Become A Better Spouse

This an area many of us probably don’t want to admit we need improvement on, but sadly, we most likely do. Here are some little goals you can set to start making a difference in your relationships or marriage.

–    Schedule A Date Night

–    Learn to Listen

–    Start A Hobby Together

How I Get Started?

Out of all the goals we have discussed in this post, this is by far the easiest to get started. Save a little time at the beginning or end of each day and make it a point to converse with your spouse. Right down some problem areas you are having in your relationship and find romantic, smart ways to get back on track using short-term goals.

Maybe this is, to do something romantic once a month for my spouse. Whatever it is, it’s just essential to begin and show a little love from time to time.

What Set Backs to Expect Along the Way

Life, in general, is a setback you can expect to derail you in this situation.  Kids can get interfere and stress from work can get in the way. The list goes on and on for days at the things that could put an end to the party, but it doesn’t need to be like this. Find ways that no matter what occurs during the day, you must tell yourself that no matter what you are making it an absolute must not let these goals go un-noticed.

The improvements in your overall life by achieving these little goals could begin to leak positivity in many other areas and build some momentum. Stay focused and caring, and you will do just fine in this area.

Goals Mean Absolutely Nothing Without Action- Consistent Action Is Needed

Always remember that no matter which area you plan to set goals or whatever it is you expect to get started, it means absolutely nothing without action.  There is a difference in doing what’s convenient and doing what’s needed.  Success isn’t easy. The people who are committed, no longer make excuses and stop blaming others for bad fortunes. Act or your goals or they will crumble right before your eyes. That’s a promise.

Worst Case Scenario- Start with Habit Goals- 1 For Work and 1 For Home

So, if you made it this far into the post and you are still struggling to find a place to get started, I wanted to make sure I try and give you one last idea to get started. If you have been attempting brainstorming and just can’t find what works for you, then let’s start with something much more comfortable.  Pick a simple habit goal. This could be something as easy as

–    Showing Up to Work on Time

–    Organizing Your Home

Here is why this is so important.  Doing this will prove to you that you are capable of writing down a goal, visualizing it and getting it done. This builds up some momentum and confidence that will ultimately prove to you, and your mental self that you can re-capture your own mind and giving yourself commands to get something done is 100% possible.

Once you learn this part of the equation, you can come back and redo your short-term goal setting and this time, I guarantee you will be much more focused and more apparent on what you are trying to get done.

When Are You Going to Set Your Short-Term Goals and Begin Achieving?

Short term goals are the most critical step to getting on a path to success. Try and eliminate your mind and present circumstances from interfering with your mindset.  If you don’t drown out all the other noise, your mind will have a tough time getting laser focused in the right areas.

Get focused, clear your mind and get very specific about what you want and start planning and acting. The small things in life accomplished will build into something much bigger down the road. Keep at it!

So, what short term goals do you plan on setting after reading this? What’s your action plan and how are you going to stay motivated? Drop a comment below.

About the author

Joshua Martin