Short term goals are generally attainable between one month to one year. These tend to be the goals we set at the beginning of a new year, a new semester, or some new happening in your life (e.g. startup of a new relationship).
Short term goals are often not met for a variety of reasons:
- The time frame is too long to sustain the goal focus
- The goal is unrealistic
- You give up on the goal once you have a setback
Here are some suggestions for setting and achieving short term goals.
- Shorten the time frames – while setting a GPA goal for the semester is good, you can be more effective in setting goals for the next test or assignment in each of your classes.
- For each short term goal you set, create a very specific list of what it will take to achieve the goal. Then check each item on the list as you complete them.
- Make the goal something you can realistically achieve not something you hope to do. Every student aspires to have a 4.00 GPA, but we know that’s not realistic. Having a goal that is unrealistic, often results in simply giving up on the goal itself as soon as you encounter the first set back.
- Don’t treat goals as Achieved/Not Achieved. Think of goals as a continuum. It’s to say that you achieved 80% of the goal. What you don’t want to do is to set yourself up for failure should you not meet a specific numerical goal.
- Once you have been through one cycle of setting short term goals, as yourself: “What changes do I need to make in my goal setting/achievement process. Goal setting is something to be learned from experience.
- Maintain 5-7 goals at one time. At least two of those goals should be ones that “offset” the other ones. For example, if you set goals for personal health and relaxation.
Goal setting is one of those things you learn to do in college that’s not taught but experienced. Short term goal experiences are critical to your development as a person.