While employees might see the big picture of their careers, they may lose sight of the details that lead up to it. Looking at short-term goals examples can help you decide on crucial steps that lead to your long-term objectives. Understanding and establishing realistic goals can make you productive at work, foster job satisfaction, and influence career development.
Short-term goals increase momentum towards your career targets and achievements. However, you need rock-solid commitment and dedication to see results from them. This article explains what short-term goals are, provides examples of short-term goals, and highlights tips to set and improve them.
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What are Short-term Goals?
Short-term goals are goals you set out to complete within the next year or sooner using clearly defined objectives. For example, if you want to get rid of credit card debt, you might set short-term financial goals to identify how much you need to set aside from your monthly income over the next 12 months and to create a payment plan you can stick to.
Setting milestones in the form of daily or weekly goals, like routine tasks and weekly meetings, makes them easier to achieve, unlike bigger career aspirations. Your short-term goals keep you focused on the tasks at hand, help you track progress, and sustain motivation in the long run.
It’s essential to differentiate goals from objectives. Goals refer to desired outcomes or results, while objectives are actionable steps that lead to said outcomes.
Where are Short-term Goals Used?
- Personal finance
- Health and fitness
Why are Short-term Goals Important?
Short-term professional goals are drivers of long-term success. Here is why they are essential.
- Reduce procrastination. Specific goals optimize your efforts and mitigate procrastination, setting you on a clear path to achieve your life goals.
- Sustain focus. A measurable goal helps you keep track of progress in your daily life and determine achievable actions to take for reaching your long-term goals.
- Fuel motivation. Small achievable goals set within a clear time frame deliver results quicker than big goals. This boosts motivation, increasing momentum to keep marching forward.
- Boost career success. Frequently establishing and accomplishing goals keeps you focused on improving your professional life. Without them, distractions and low morale creep in, preventing you from long-term achievements.
Real-World Examples of Short-term Goals
A common source of frustration, either in professional or private life, is setting goals that are not specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. In short, it means not having SMART goals. So, here are some real-world examples of short-term career goals.
- Improve productivity
- Acquire a new certification
- Organize your workspace
- Improve your communication with coworkers
- Be punctual to work
- Get a work-life balance
- Work on a personal project
- Improve your professional skills
- Be observant
- Improve your networking skills
10 Great Examples of Short Term Goals
Short Term Goal Example 1: Improve Productivity
Scaling up workplace productivity translates to better performance. The first step to improved performance is understanding productivity metrics like quantity, quality, and efficiency. Next, revamp your work method or find a new approach that raises your productivity level over a given period of time.
Measure your performance level based on organizational goals like customer satisfaction and retention, reducing business overhead, revenue, and profit expansion. Channeling attention and effort to these metrics can help you reach long-term financial goals.
Short Term Goal Example 2: Acquire a New Certification
Technological innovations cut across several industries, and employees who are conversant with them can stay ahead of their competitors. To stay relevant in your field of work, you should embrace lifelong learning and use your spare time to upgrade your skills.
Companies are shifting from demanding a college degree to seeking different hard and soft skills types. Acquiring certification from a bootcamp or other online learning platform serves as hard proof that you can deliver on the job, on top of giving you a sense of achievement.
Short Term Goal Example 3: Organize Your Workspace
Having a disorganized workstation slows down productivity as you waste time rummaging through the pile for the document you need. Clearing up your office area and organizing your desk keeps things simple, allowing you access to essentials with ease and without wasting valuable minutes per day.
In addition, an organized and decluttered workspace will showcase your organizational skills to your coworkers. Overall, an organized workspace reduces stress and improves time management.
Short Term Goal Example 4: Improve Your Communication With Coworkers
Set a short-term goal of improving communication skills among coworkers. This is vital in building professional relationships and becoming an industry leader, whether you’re working remotely or in a physical location.
Attend company events or have lunch with them to start a conversation. After all, you’re dealing with humans at work, not just learning the latest technology or hurrying to meet deadlines.
Short Term Goal Example 5: Be Punctual to Work
Getting to work 15 minutes earlier gives you the space to reflect on the day’s task without distractions from other people when work begins. As a result, you can organize your work area, prioritize tasks, schedule them, and make plans to complete them. Work-related commitment indicates to your employer that you are dedicated to your work.
Short Term Goal Example 6: Get a Work-Life Balance
The urge to do more work and invest more hours in career-related activities can be overwhelming, pushing you beyond your limit. Burnout can happen as a result, affecting your mental health. Taking time out for yourself is crucial to balancing career goals and taking care of your health. Consider careers that offer a good work-life balance.
Short Term Goal Example 7: Work on a Personal Project
Besides increasing income streams, personal projects offer the chance to learn about subjects you’re passionate about. Some of them include writing, photography, and renovating your home. You can experiment without worrying about deadlines or other work-related constraints as you would at the workplace.
Short Term Goal Example 8: Improve Your Professional Skills
Identify the hard and soft skills you need to boost your current performance and focus on honing one within 30 days. Apply it to work and check for improvements. When you deliver impressive results with these skills, pick up another one and repeat the process.
Similarly, learning to reskill in case of a career change is essential for your professional development and keeps you up-to-date with industry trends.
Short Term Goal Example 9: Be Observant
Observing how other employees execute their tasks is a valuable way of identifying better work processes. Also, seek feedback to identify areas of improvement. A personal development note or diary is handy for highlighting activities in your personal life.
Short Term Goal Example 10: Improve Your Networking Skills
Human relations are essential for career success, and networking skills can help you achieve it. Build your professional network by attending company events such as product launches and programs specific to your department. This connects you to learning opportunities and industry leaders to boost your career growth.
Pro Tips: How to Stick to Your Short Term Goals
- Set SMART goals. Keep your goals SMART, that is, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. This eliminates vague goals from your roadmap to success, propelling you to your ultimate goal.
- Make your goals a habit. Set aside 15 minutes in a day to work on your goals. Repeat the process until it becomes a habit and you see results.
- Socialize with successful people. Hang out with industry leaders who’ve contributed positively in their field or your line of work. This offers valuable insight to learn from their story, refine your steps to avoid mistakes, and optimize your effort to pursue your dreams.
What Should Be the Next Step in Short Term Goal Journey?
You can set objectives for achieving your career development goals by making a career development plan. Additionally, it helps you allocate resources to activities that align with your goals judiciously.
Short Term Goals Examples FAQ
A short-term business goal refers to a company’s business targets within one year. Common examples include Implementing new marketing strategies to reach more customers, cutting down production costs, and increasing sales and profits.
Interviewers ask career goal questions to determine if your career goal aligns with company goals. Also, they want to know if the job role syncs with your long-term goals. Common questions include where do you plan to be in five years, how do you plan to achieve your career goals, and what skills do you need to improve your performance in your current role.
Some popular short-term personal goals are starting an exercise routine, creating an emergency fund, curbing bad spending habits, and contributing to a community project. These goals are measurable and relate to you specifically. Everyone’s personal goals are different.
Common examples of student goals include launching a career, improving academics, improving grades, securing an internship, and securing a scholarship for college.
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