Long-term goals: How they aid professional and personal development
Imagine one of your investors or board members asking, 'What is the organisation's five-year plan?' It can feel daunting.
5 MINUTE READ
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October 2, 2018

Imagine one of your investors or board members asking, 'What is the organisation's five-year plan?' It can feel daunting. It's the same feeling you get when your high school counselor asks, 'Where do you see yourself in 10 years?' and wants to dive into your personal goals.

Setting long-term goals doesn't have to be stressful. Long-term goals help you set a target and provide motivation for all the hard work that will help you get there. Read on to learn more about this key aspect of goal-setting and how careful planning drives business success.

Long-Term Goals vs. Short-Term Goals

Both long-term and short-term goals serve specific purposes in any business plan. Long-term goals are considered future plans or aspirations that should be realised by meeting short-term goals on a regular basis.

Long-term goals are generally goals that you plan to accomplish in a year or more. People set personal long-term goals for themselves by envisioning what they want their future to look like, then set short-term goals that help them get there.

In contrast, short-term goals are the stepping stones that help an individual or organisation thoughtfully and intentionally work towards larger goals. Short-term goals are met in the near future. You can have monthly goals or weekly goals, but they are typically accomplished in less than one year.

Personal Short- and Long-Term Goal Examples

Individuals are wise to develop both long- and short-term goals to further their personal development. Good examples of personal long-term goals could be:

  • Complete a triathlon after 18 months of training
  • Buy a home in two years
  • Retire by age 60
  • Learn how to speak French in one year
  • Earn a higher education degree in two years

These are all great personal long-term goals, and short-term goals can be considered the baby steps that make the larger aspiration a reality over time. For example, let's take those same long-term goals and apply two short-term goals to each one:

  • Complete a triathlon after 18 months of training
  • Run 30 miles, swim three miles and bike 60 miles per week
  • Lose 15 pounds before the race
  • Buy a home in two years
  • Save $20,000 for a down payment
  • Improve your credit score by 50 points
  • Retire by age 60
  • Contribute $100 to a personal IRA every month
  • Increase the percentage you contribute to your 401(k) by 1% every year
  • Learn how to speak French in one year
  • Invest in a language software program and take daily lessons
  • Hire a tutor to provide lessons on a weekly basis
  • Earn a higher education degree in two years
  • Enroll in a Master's degree program
  • Attend night school classes while continuing your career path

Professional Short- and Long-Term Goal Examples

The same principles that help individuals reach personal aspirations with goal planning can be applied in the business world. Relevant examples of long-term organisational goals include:

  • Get recognised as one of the nation's best places to work within the next three years
  • Increase revenue by 50 percent in the next two years
  • Decrease employee turnover by 50 percent in the next two years
  • Improve employee productivity by 40 percent in the next year

These goals may seem lofty, but applying short-term goals breaks them into bite-sized chunks that make them easier to manage:

  • Get recognised as one of the nation's best places to work within the next three years
  • Develop an employee engagement team to identify areas for improvement
  • Start a new benefits program that attracts new talent and promotes employee satisfaction
  • Increase revenue by 50 percent in the next two years
  • Set and enforce new monthly sales quotas
  • Hire a new vice president of sales to implement new strategies  
  • Decrease employee turnover by 50 percent in the next two years
  • Make a financial commitment to provide incentives for high performance and loyalty
  • Start a new perks program with benefits such as gym memberships and healthy snacks at work
  • Improve employee productivity by 40 percent in the next year
  • Launch a company-wide survey to identify barriers to productivity
  • Measure and track productivity with performance management software

How to Use the SMART Goal Framework to Accomplish Goals

If you haven't heard about the S.M.A.R.T. goal setting method, consider learning more about how it can help you reach personal or professional goals. Developing S.M.A.R.T. goals is a great way to measure progress towards reaching short- and long-term goals.

There are many S.M.A.R.T. goal templates available that not only help you create a plan, but also help encourage accountability towards goals with Promise-Based Management. Using Promise-Based Management can help make any goals come to life by fostering adherence to commitments in a public place while boosting employee motivation and engagement.

Make Goal-Setting Simple With Software  

Samewave is social performance management software that makes goal planning simple for teams and individuals alike. Our software features robust communication tools and automatic reporting tools that streamline the goal-setting and measurement processes. Meaningful and dynamic visual reports help you and your team understand and measure progress towards your longer term goals so you can stay on track and reach your targets.

Discover how you can make your long-term goals a reality with software that makes it easy, and maybe even fun. Create goals, automatically track progress and increase productivity today with Samewave. Best of all, Samewave is free, so sign up today to get on your way to reaching your most important goals.

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