When I think about what it takes to have success, I think of goals. Goals are key because they create direction for people once they have drive to do something. Goals are very important in obtaining your vision for the future. Without a goal nothing is ever accomplished.
All goals must be S.M.A.R.T. goals. The acronym S.M.A.R.T. stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. There are four timeframes for which leaders must set goals. The four timeframes are long, medium, short, and immediate term.
Long Term Goals Long term goals are the goals you set for 10 – 20 years down the road. In setting the long term goals, you must have a big picture view of your future. Where do you want to be? What are your financial goals? Where do you see your career? What are your goals for your family? What goals do you have for relationships, i.e. family, spouse, coworkers, friends, etc? You must think long term when setting these goals.
Medium Term Goals Once you have set your long term goals, you must begin thinking about what it will take to get there. What I consider the medium term goals are the goals that you set for 4 – 6 years out. These goals are for the milestones that you must hit in order to reach your long term goals. As you work towards these goals, you must regularly review your progress and determine whether or not you are on schedule to reach the goals.
Short Term Goals The short term goals are those that you set for 1 – 2 years. These goals also must be set with the long term goals in mind. Short term goals are also very important for reaching your long term goals. These short term goals are the mini steps that lead to the big picture goals.
Immediate Goals Immediate goals are the goals for the very short term of anywhere from 1 week to 6 months. These goals are set for the things you must do right now to make the other goals happen. You should set short term goals regularly.
You should regularly review your goals. When possible, review your goals once a week so that they are always fresh in your mind. One thing you must also remember is that just because you set a goal for yourself doesn’t mean that you can’t change it as time goes by. You can adjust your goals as time goes by if your desires change. Your goals don’t have to be set in stone, but without goals you will not achieve anything in life.