There are many reasons to set goals. The most important is so that you can get things done. One of my greatest failings is not completing something that I have started. I jump from one project to the next. Without deadlines, targets to aim at, and objectives to achieve, I run around like a headless chicken, frantically busy, but getting nothing done.
When you set a goal it is important to remember that there are different types. So make sure that you don’t become overwhelmed with so much to do at once. Or depressed because it is going to take so long to get anything done; you need to set goals that fall into the different types.
There are essentially five types of goal
- Immediate: Twenty-four hours to one week
These are quick, they can be part of your to-do-list. Things you want to achieve today and this week. Immediate goals can also be part of a longer-term aim.
- Short-term: Eight days to three months
These need more time, and probably more thought. They are what you want to achieve in the next few weeks to 3 months. Again, short-term goals can be part of a bigger one.
- Intermediate-term: Three to twelve months
These are things you want to achieve by the end of the year. You can also accomplish intermediate goals by completing immediate and short-term ones.
- Long-term: One to five years
What you want to achieve in the next few years. Most businesses use a 5-year strategic plan to ensure continuity of growth. Some people start to think about retiring five years before they plan to stop work. You can design a one to five-year plan to help you get to a life changing goal.
- Lifetime: Five years and beyond
As the name suggests, this is a plan for an ultimate dream. To climb Everest, to make a billion dollars, to win an Oscar. These are all lifetime goals. They are often made up of many short-term, intermediate and long-term ones, and require a well-described plan of action, and may include multiple people (family, work, etc.).
If all your goals are lifetime ones, it will be a long time until you see success. By planning to have goals that will be achieved in the immediate, short term, intermediate, and long term, you will be constantly achieving success, which will inspire you to continue to set goals and grow!