You may be an expert in your field, but it doesn’t matter if you don’t have the mental or physical capacity to execute your long-term vision.
The most skilled people are the ones who recognize that focusing solely on their goals puts the rest of their life out of balance. They calculate how much effort is required, the risk they’re willing to take, and leave room for error.
If you want to keep focused and get results, you must know the difference between your long-term and short-term goals.
Distinguishing your goals helps determine what you’re willing to endure, what’s the best strategy, and keeps you motivated. You understand that the hard work and sleepless nights have an end date and it’s worth it. Alternatively, you might have a long-term goal where you can’t afford to have sleepless nights. You need the endurance, strength, and vision to accomplish your long-term plan.
Knowing the difference between long-term and short-term goals helps preserve your energy.
The power of short-term goals
Short-term goals take one year or less to achieve. They involve quick bursts of focused energy and resources. You might have multiple short-term goals that produce fast results, though other parts of your life will suffer. You take the chance because the results are worth it. Short-term goals look like working two jobs for six months while spending less so you can pay off your debt.
Short-term goals impact other areas of your life—your health, relationships, and wellbeing. They help you focus only on what needs to get done. Implementing short-term goals doesn’t mean you don’t take little breaks, but overall you put all of your force into achieving your objectives.
The foresight of long-term goals
Long-term goals take five to 10 years to achieve. They call for consistency and endurance. They require strategy. They’re about only taking on what you can handle. They require you to consider available resources and those that you need. They require you to take small steps to gain significant results.
Though your long-term goals take focus, you cannot give them all of your energy. Your health, relationships, and the goal itself will suffer. You’ll lose motivation and get burned out or discouraged along the way. Instead, long-term goals might take up a section of your day or parts of your week. Having a long-term plan means you expect the unexpected. Life emergencies might take you away from your goal temporarily. But that isn’t a reason to give up. Despite obstacles, you get back on track and keep your vision ahead of you.
Successful people know the difference between these goals and don’t confuse the two. Short-term goals act as tiny achievements along life’s journey. They help you judge how far you’ve come and how far you need to go. Long-term goals are the big picture. Both give you direction.
You focus on how to best achieve your goals through reading books, watching interviews, and finding mentors who’ve already done what you want to do.
Most people see success after seven to 10 years. So while you think you’re failing, you just haven’t stuck it through long enough. While you think you’re far behind, you’re right on track. You’re hard on yourself instead of recognizing you’re breaking through.
“Eight years ago, no one would even talk to me about social media and marketing. So many of you are just playing for the short game. You’re crippled by your circumstances today, dictating your possibility for tomorrow. This is a long game. I’m driven by the climb”– Gary Vaynerchuck
Remember, your goals are personal. Only you can truly determine the indicators of your success. You decide when to give up, not when others tell you. Short-term might mean one month for you but four months for someone else. Don’t let anyone talk you out of your purpose.
If you want to succeed in whatever you do, you need to know the difference between long-term and short-term goals. You need both.
Short-term goals act as small wins along life’s journey. They help you evaluate how far you’ve come and how far you need to go. If you confuse the two, you’ll lose motivation before you start. You’ll give up before you gain momentum or strategy. Set long-term and short-term goals and you’re sure to win.