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How to Write Short Term & Long-Term Goals

You want to travel, but first you need to save money. You’d like to get a dog, but your living situation is not conducive to caring for a pet. If you really thought about it, you could probably come up with a dozen different goals that you’d like to accomplish right now.

To begin, figure out which ones you can do in the short term, and which you will need time to work on. Get a pencil and paper because the first step is writing a list of goals.


Things You’ll Need

  • Pencil
  • Paper


Writing Down Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

Long-Term Goals

1. Write down all of your goals on one list.

Don’t worry if they’re obtainable or not. This step does not have to be accomplished in one sitting. Give yourself about a week to ponder this project.


2. Scrutinize your list.

Many of the goals will obviously be either short term or long term. “Get a new job,” for example, is something you probably want to accomplish sooner rather than later. “Go to Italy” is a goal that may take time since you’ll need to schedule a vacation, save money, and tie up any loose ends like pet care, child care, and getting a house sitter.


3. Highlight your short-term goals in one color and long-term goals in another.

You’ll probably find a few extra goals on your list that may not neatly fit into either category.


4. Determine if your non-categorized goals actually belong on a different list — your “bucket list,” for example.



Formating Your List

How to Write Short Term

1. Think about the presentation of your goal list.

If you’re the type of person who needs nothing more than a piece of notebook paper and a pencil, there’s no reason to get unnecessarily creative. If a neatly organized, computer-generated list will be more inspiring, you can easily create a document that will appeal to you.


2. Search for a template online, at Microsoft Office Online, for example

You can also create a table on a blank document from Microsoft Word, or another program you have on your computer like Excel or PowerPoint.


3. Make two columns.

One should be titled “Short-Term Goals.” The other should be titled “Long-Term Goals.”


4. Add a third column for a date.

This wouldn’t be a list of short- and long-term goals if you didn’t set a deadline.


Tips and Warnings

  • Be sure to include only those goals that you have the power to accomplish. Winning the lottery, for instance, is wishful thinking, not a goal.
  • Scratching a goal off your list will give you a sense of accomplishment.


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