People around you always talk about visions, goals, and plans. They talk about both personal and professional goals. The same happens at workplaces; your team needs goals to achieve the long-term plans of an organization or company. First, we need to look at what short-term goals are and why do you need to set short-term goals for yourself and your team.
What’s the difference between short and long term goals?
Understanding the differences between a short-term goal and a long-term goal can help you identify your way to success, Here’s how these types of goals differ from each other.
Goals that you, your team, and your company want to attain within one year are called short-term goals. Short-term goals are smaller milestones that are necessary for consistent personal or professional growth.
A 5-year or longer period goal is called a long-term goal. This can be a vision or aim that determines what the person, team, or organization wants to achieve in a lifetime.
Short-term vs. long-term goal
Short-term goals have a limited timeframe; that is why you have to be more responsive to the plans you make. In a broader perspective, some organizations define short-term goals as the targets they want to achieve within 5-years or 2-3 years.
Long-term goals are the goals 5-year or beyond. Sometimes these goals expand to 10 or more years. Long-term goals can be visions that are realized after achieving many short-term goals. If you or your organization wants to achieve something long-term, you can put it into smaller fragments of short-term goals and then achieve the vision step by step.
Both short-term and long-term goals are essential, but to stay more specific or focused on long-term targets, you must develop short-term goals in your personal and professional life.
This discussion will now analyze the areas where short-term goals are critical to you and your teams.
Why do you need to set short-term goals for you and your team?
There are many things you would like to achieve in your personal life, and so is your professional life with your team(s). Both are very crucial to your growth. If you think your personal life does not need a target, you cannot grow mentally or emotionally; similarly, if you think your teams can achieve anything without a goal at hand, they will remain directionless.
The direction is the first step towards why you need to set short-term goals for you and your team.
How short-term goals direct your personal plans?
Everyone wants his/her own home, and you want to build one near a beach. Buying a home is a personal goal, and very few achieve such goals within a limited time. People plan for years to have a home. If you have to take a loan, you have to earn enough to pay it back. If you want to build one, you have to earn money and save.
In either case, this goal is not a short-term one. To achieve this goal, you have to put that in fragments, i.e., short-term goals, to see how you can earn enough to pay back the loan for your home. You can start by doing a small job and then renting a small apartment. You will continue to work until you become a manager at a firm.
This develops year-on-year to the point you own your own business and earn enough money to buy a villa near the beach.
This long-term goal comes with a lot of short-term commitments that you make to yourself to accomplish a vision of a home near the beach.
How short-term goals direct your professional plans?
Since you own your own business, there comes the point in your life that you have earned enough and learned some very crucial skills through your job. You want more in your life; you open a new business. Initially, it’s a small venture which you want to turn into a big company. This is a vision or a long-term goal.
You need to set up small short-term goals to achieve a big one. You will start pitching your service or product, and your team will take small orders or projects. Later with experience and time, you can take increase your team members and deploy resources for bigger projects.
This takes a lifetime to achieve the success of running an enterprise, and this can be achieved by setting smaller milestones.
How to set up short-term goals in your team?
Here are some key ways on how and why do you need to set short-term goals for you and your team.
Make specific goals. For instance, for starting up a business, you will see whether you need a business partnership or loan, or both. How many partners (team members) do you need, and how much time do you need to start a business. You start making specific goals with your team:
- Choosing a business name
- Setting up partnerships
- Registering with a regulatory body
- Starting date of the business
These are the few goals you may have in your mind when the idea of business pop in, and then you start working on that. These are all examples of short-term specific goals and can be achieved with a year.
- Here are some more examples of short-term goals in teams.
- When, how, and where to pitch the projects?
- Which software to use for business operation and team planning?
- How to manage projects through team planning?
- How to budget, manage, and allocate resources?
- How much to earn in one month/ one year?
It is important that whatever goal you choose for yourself and your team has to be realistic and attainable. They say, “Aim as high as you want, and you will get it,” but if you would never register a startup, you cannot see it growing into an enterprise one day. For making it an enterprise, you need to team up with people and do the work no matter how small your team is.
This is when you may understand why you need to set short-term goals for yourself and your team. If you are not realistic about it, you can’t achieve it. With a new business and smaller teams, you may not complete a project whose costs and resources exceed your income and human resource capacity. Make sure you are realistic in both.
- Some examples of realistic goals are.
- Set an attainable profit target based on cost analysis
- Develop realistic workflow sheets within an attainable timeframe
- Manage workload distribution
- Choose an economical and handy software for team management and team development
As a smaller team, you have to be aggressive in your approach to promoting your business and completing your task. This is vital to the survival of your startup initially. The more aggressive you keep your flow of work and short-term team goals, the more easily it will get to achieve them.
Even as a big company, you need to be aggressive about your product and service. The reason Apple is always in the top ten brands is the aggressive innovation strategy it keeps in its mobile phones and other products.
As a company or a startup, you should be consistent with your short-term goals. Try to maintain similar goals for projects of a similar nature. Never compromise on quality, and keep on pitching your services for the projects you want to achieve. The consistent short-term effort will bear fruits in long term.
For instance, Nokia lost its market share for not being consistent in updating the features of its mobile and bringing innovations in its mobile technology.
Besides innovation and technology, you also need to have planning software with you and within your teams to understand the significance of setting short-term goals.
How to use planners for setting short-term goal
For setting short-term goals for yourself and your team, you can use planning software. This software comes in many features that help you design a complete goal chart to achieve your company and long-term personal goals.
Planners for personal goals
These planners help in setting both short-term and keep you reminding about them by using alerts or reminders.
You may have health goals. You want to stay healthy for the next 5-years. Personal planners for health care let you look into weight management tools. These suggest exercise, count walk steps, and give health alerts.
Similarly, if you want to invest your money in a house near the beach, some planners help in organizing your personal and professional financial plans. With these planners, you can set short-term goals to seek where you want to save money or invest to pay back on your loan for the beach-house
Future Advisor is used for setting personal short-term day-to-day and financial goals.
Planners for team management
There are a variety of management tools for teams that help them to manage projects and work. These planners include workflow sheets, timelines, or Gantt charts. These tools help you to build your timelines for achieving various projects’ short-term goals. ProofHub, Trello, and Asana are very effective team management tools in achieving short-term project-related goals.
You need both short-term and long-term goals to grow personally and professionally. Before starting to work on any long-term goal, you must know why do you need to set short-term goals for you and your team so that you may achieve the aims you have for yourself and your team/organization.