Many people have set a goal in their life that they are focused on achieving. The most industrious of them will have gone one step further: they have set short term goals, steps that will successfully carry them toward their long term goal. Short term goals are necessary to realize a final objective, as they serve to take small, easily digestible bites of the pie of life rather than swallowing the entire pie at once and choking.
While having short term goals is a necessary step, it is just as essential to realize that achieving those short term goals requires a lot of work, as well. There are three key elements to practice that will help to reach those important small steps.
1. Keep short term goals achievable. Short term goals should be small steps that, one by one, will eventually lead to the top….your long term goal. They should be small enough to be attainable, while large enough to make an impact. These steps are meant to be motivating and encouraging, as each step that is accomplished will be a battle won. Make a list of the short term goals you have set, and review them daily. That review will keep you motivated and on track, and keep you continually aware of your progress.
2. Reward yourself for small victories. As each short term goal is met, reward yourself appropriately. After all, meeting a goal counts as a victory, and is meant to be celebrated. Only you can decide on a reward that fits the occasion, but remember that if your long term goal is losing fifty pounds, a reward should not involve a feast that will sabotage your efforts. Your reward should relate to your own interests; it could be treating yourself to a long walk or a trip to the museum. Anything that makes you feel good will act as a reward.
3. Remain flexible. When first setting your long term goals, you will be anticipating which short term goals seem to be helpful in reaching them. From time to time, these short term goals may need to be fine tuned or changed. It could be that one step was so successful that it eliminated the need for the next one on your list. Or, conversely, a short term goal may not have been as successful as it was originally designed to be, seemingly setting you back in your journey toward your long term goal. Stumbling blocks do not have to be a negative effect; after all, changing directions may sometimes actually be a bonus. Remaining flexible to change short term goals according to the situation will help you to stay on track toward reaching your goal.
Short term goals are an integral part of attaining the long term goals in life, so it is essential to understand how and why using them will help you be successful in reaching your final objective. Just as life is best taken one day at a time, goals should be approached in the same manner; one step at a time.