Long term goals are different from short term goals because they take more time and planning to achieve. The US Chamber of Commerce explains it this way:
Short term goals can be finished within a six-month to three-year time frame while long-term goals may take anywhere from three to five years (or even longer).
Short-term goals tend to be small tasks that help you get closer to achieving your long-term goals. Research has shown breaking down your objectives to small steps help you accomplish larger goals. Another study even found that people feel modest goals are easier to achieve.
Long term goal examples
American Family Insurance put together a great list of long term goals examples. A few of them include:
- Developing a career plan
- Becoming a better spouse
- Earning a college degree
- Buying a home
- Saving your finances
Your long-term goals should be based on the dreams and desires you have for your life. It's good to spend time reflecting on what matters to you and what makes you happy.
Short term goal examples
Infinity, a work management company, provides some good examples of what short term goals are. The examples they listed include:
- Finish an online course
- Connect with industry professionals
- Exercise on a regular basis
- Drink more water
- Walk more
All of these goals are ones that can either be easily accomplished in a short time, or help you to accomplish a bigger goal for the future. Reflect on what are some small habits you can start to make your life better.
Long term vs short term career goals
To help you further know the difference between the two, let's break down different types of goals into long-term and short-term ones. Short-term career goals are ones that generally help you do better at your job now, where as long-term goals are end goals of where you want your career to go.
Short term career goal examples:
- Earning a new work certificate - Improving your knowledge can make you better at solving problems in your job. It can also add to your credentials for future career opportunities.
- Increasing your sales numbers week to week - When you increase your sales numbers week to week, you increase your earnings in the short-term. You also show your superiors how hard-working you are, and potentially open yourself to promotional opportunities.
- Improving your time management skills - Getting better at time management can help you be more productive at work in the short-term. In the long-term, it prepares you for whenever you'll have to take on big projects that will require you to be at your most productive.
Long-term career goal examples:
Start a successful business - Creating a profitable business is a long-term goal for many people. Accomplishing this often requires continually gaining knew knowledge and regularly developing your skills.
Get promoted to a senior position - Getting to a senior level position is a common career goal for those following the traditional 9 to 5 career path. Accomplishing this goal often requires building years of experience.
Be in the career of your dreams - A lot of people are often currently working at a job they don't care for. Similar to starting a business, achieving the career of your dreams takes building the necessary knowledge and skill-set that will lead you to that path.
Long term vs short term financial goals
Short-term financial goals are about doing what you can to improve your finances in the interim. Long-term financial goals are about planning ahead to set yourself up for the financial situation you want in the future.
Short-term financial goal examples
Earning more - It's possible to achieve earning more in the short-term through taking on side gigs. One can also look into selling things as well.
Saving more - Choosing to save more can be as simple as cutting out a service you're currently subscribed to. You can also decide you're going to put a certain amount in your savings each week.
Investing more - Investing in a stock or business can be done in one day. You just have to go on an investing site and invest the amount of finances you're comfortable with.
Long-term financial goal examples
Saving enough to retire at 35 - Retiring at an early age takes long-term planning. It's figuring out what you're going to do to save up enough or figuring out a passive income business to start.
Earning a six-figure salary yearly - It takes most people a few years to earn a six-figure salary yearly. Decide on a career path you're passionate about that might get you to that level. You could also consider the next goal as a possible way to do it.
Investing real estate property - Investing in real-estate will probably require you to build up a certain amount of wealth. You also have to plan out other things such as where you'll buy real-estate and how you'll buy it.
As all of these examples illustrate there's a clear difference between making a goal for the long-term vs the short-term. Use the short-term ones to help your life better now and make yourself more likely to achieve your dreams in the future.
Create the long-term ones to give yourself something big to pursue. Use those type of goals to inspire and motivate you. Using long-term and short-term objectives together will help you achieve a more happier and successful reality.
Feel free to share in the comments what some of your short-term and long-term goals are. I hope the examples given inspire you to strive for more and achieve more.