How Setting Short-Term Goals Can Improve Your Performance

short term goals - feature image

From professional to personal ones, the goals you set in your life will impact your performance in many ways. Setting short-term and long-term goals draws on the concept that your conscious ideas guide your actions. You’d be surprised with how you can manifest dreams when you set goals.

Perhaps you have an idea of what you want to achieve, but do not know how to get there. This is where goal setting comes in. Objectives are the targets to which we direct our proverbial arrows; from relationships, career, and everything in between.

What Are Life Goals?

Goals are the objectives you aim to achieve. A short-term goal is what you plan to do in the near future. It can mean today, next month or the coming year, something that can be achieved through goal setting. This is the process through which aims are attained.

It is based on the premise that pre-thought ideas affect action and that human behavior is regulated by the goals. This is why some people give better performance in tasks than others.

The starting point is to formulate an idea of what you want to achieve say in about a year. Put it down in writing and prioritize it. Remember; the goals set affect your actions and emotions.

The more you value your goals, the more intense your efforts will be to attain them, and the more the success you are likely to experience. Identifying novel ways of pushing your abilities can also enhance self-confidence, self-efficacy, and the development of an internal locus of control. [1]

life goals

4 Key Principles Of Setting Short-Term Goals

Once an individual has set certain targets to achieve, they tend to develop a more pronounced performance. It is exceptionally important to set goals when you start something new. It means that setting clearly defined short-term goals guarantees better performance. Here are the key principles of goal setting.

1. Clarity

Both short-term and long-term goals need to be measurable, leaving no hint of misunderstanding. They should be explicit about the desired outcome. Clear objectives help an individual to understand the task ahead of them and measure results. If you are setting challenging goals, it is important that you strike a careful balance to ensure the right degree of performance is met.

Too easy or too tough goals can affect motivation negatively, so ensure they are challenging but realistic and attainable.

2. Commitment

You can only achieve a goal when you understand and agree to it. How attached are you to the goals you set? This is the only degree to measure your determination and ability to reach them.

When an individual is committed, performance tends to be higher and stronger. If you are committed to complete cleaning and to organize your house, for example, and realize your performance is below average, you will be more likely to change strategy to get to the finishing line.

3. Challenge

Make your goals challenging enough to inspire you to strive to reach them. Easy to attain objectives tend to be demotivating and can come across as unimportant. The goal should be challenging enough to test your character and raise your self-worth in a way that makes you feel you accomplished something.

For instance, if you are planning to lose weight, you could set a target of about 2 months to shed off 10 pounds. It means that the amount of effort put into a certain task is directly related to the weight of the goal.

4. Feedback

You need to listen to internal as well as feedback from other people to gauge your performance. Feedback allows you to adjust your strategy where necessary to reach your goal.

If your performance is way below your target, then you will need to reflect on your ability and tweak certain areas for attainable results. You may not be in a position to evaluate the effectiveness of your strategies when feedback in unavailable or is delayed.

key principles

The Difference Between Long And Short-Term Goals

Short-term goals are categorized between 6 months and 3 years, while it may take between 3-5 years to accomplish long-term goals. Sometimes, short-term goals can be achieved in 2 months while long-term goals could take more than 5 years to complete.

Usually, long-term goals are propelled by short-term goals. For instance, if you aspire to become a medical doctor, several short-term goals must be met. You must first pass your entrance exams and apply to a medical school.

long vs short

How Short-Term Goals Make Your Life More Successful

No matter the field you are in, setting short-term goals is a step that cannot be skipped. Usually, these goals have a ripple effect across all domains of your life. These include:

  • Improved career prospects and a sense of identity
  • Improved mindset and attitude
  • Improved personal health and a desire for self-improvement

gain success

Steps For Achieving Success With Short-Term Goals

Setting achievable short-term goals can get you closer to success. But how should you achieve this? These steps should help you attain your dreams:

1. Define your aspirations: Determine the areas you need to improve. For instance, are there areas you need to improve in terms of finances, career, relationships, health, and etcetera?

2. Focus on what’s different: Find out the small things you are not doing right. Is there a different way your goal would be approached to achieve success?

3. Approach your day as if success happened: Everyday, think about success as if it had already happened. Notice how your mind gets inspired to focus on achieving. Once you begin living your best hopes, you get closer to your achievement.

steps to success


If you have already set goals for yourself, by nature, the most challenging ones will have complexities and hurdles. Gain riches by setting goals. They may be daunting and overwhelming when approached without proper planning. Be sure to break down the tasks in a systematic manner, being careful to simplify each. Begin with the tasks that are easier to complete.

Setting goals is an essential practice that assures an individual of a more fulfilling and happier life. Both short-term and long-term goals give your life purpose, motivation, and direction. You get something to strive for and make changes to improve your life.

Using these principles should help you set effective and attainable, aims dramatically increasing your chances of achieving them.