Creating achievable goals can be as basic as using the mnemonic SMART. I have seen many times, where highly motivated people fail to achieve success because they did not set goals.
Goals can be broken down into short term and long term.
Short term goals are typically defined as being between 6 months and 3 years. However, I have found that it is often necessary to set goals as short as weeks and months.
Long term goals are defined as goals being set for 5-10 years out. Again, there is no hard-set rule for how far out these goals are set. You may have several long term goals that have a range from a few to several years.
Don’t be afraid to evaluate and adapt while working towards completing your goals. It is likely that as you accomplish one short term goal you will need to adjust a long term goal to stay on track.
Goals should be:
- Specific: Who What, When, Where, Why, Which…
- Measurable: Establish solid criteria for measuring completion. Think, how much? How many? How will I know?
- Achievable: Plan wisely and provide enough time for completion. Stay focused and think positive.
- Realistic: Your goal is probably realistic if you fully believe it can be accomplished.
- Timely: The goal must have a time frame. “Someday” will not work. This week, month, year, etc..
Continuous evaluation and making new goals as the shorter goals are accomplished will give you the advantage. Most likely it is the long term goal you are reaching for. As you complete the shorter term smaller goals reassess and make new ones.