Finding The Balance Between Short-Term And Long-Term Goals

Last Update on March 11, 2022 : Published on March 13, 2022
short and long-term goals

We all can decide what we want to do ahead in our career or what are our goals? However, the main challenge comes when we have to decide the “how” part. Like how am I going to achieve these desired goals? Deciding goals is an easy part while setting goals is a challenging one!

Setting our goals is important to position our life in the right direction. Hence, it is a powerful tool to define your success in terms of your goals. But, with the help of short-term and long-term goals, you can align your go-to action to reach your success point.

If the roadmap is created properly, your goals can be easily accomplished with full potential and they will also help in maximizing your performance. Having an understanding of the differences between short-term and long-term goals, you will be able to reach the right direction by establishing yourself properly.

This blog works as a mini-guide to understand and find the right balance between short-term and long-term goals in order to be successful and happy in your life.

Understanding Short-Term Goals in a Minute

Short-term goals are something we want to achieve really soon. Just by finishing a task or set of multiple tasks in a short period, we can call them short-term goals. Short-term goals bridge the gap between your current situation and your next step towards achieving something big in your life.

Examples of short-term goals are:

  • Taking a walk daily
  • Completing a project within 2 days
  • Finishing laundry, dishes, and all household work in a day
  • Developing a morning routine
  • Quitting smoking
  • Exercising two times a week
  • Reading a book every week

Overall, short-term goals help us to work together and provide us a step-by-step plan to achieve them in a short period.

Understanding Long-Term Goals in a Minute

Long-term goals are those major goals that take time and vision to be achieved in the future. The only difference is that they cannot be achieved right now, today, tomorrow, or in a week, they need vision, time, planning, and more.

Your big dreams or your planning are a part of your long-term goals which define your purpose in life and provide you a sense of direction. They are often related to your intentions and values of your future.

Examples of long-term goals are:

  • Earn a promotion
  • Earn a degree
  • Become a better parent
  • Learn a foreign language
  • Increase emotional intelligence

Differences between Short-Term and Long-Term

Short-Term and Long-Term goal

Below are the five major differences between short-term and long-term goals.

1. Time

As mentioned above, time is the major factor between long-term and short-term goals. Meanwhile, long-term goals require more time (a year) and short-term goals require less time (an hour, a day, or a week). Therefore, after deciding your goals, you must divide between your timelines so that you can accomplish them within the timeline.

2. Strategies

Short-term goals may or may not require strategies but long-term goals definitely need strategies and proper planning. In order to achieve long-term goals, you may have to divide them into small goals or steps to achieve them which require strategy. However, short-term goals do not require strategies, instead, they need the energy to complete them on time.

3. Focus

The best part about short-term goals is that you can work on multiple tasks simultaneously. Like, all you have to create is a to-do list and you’re ready to achieve them in a short period. However, to complete long-term goals, you cannot do multitasking as it may lead to disconnection.

4. Motivation

To accomplish short-term goals, you don’t need any motivation as they are created on a regular basis. However, to complete long-term goals, you need to be motivated every day. Many people struggle with motivation during accomplishing long-term goals; herein you can take the help of the SMART goal technique to achieve your goals.

5. Flexibility

Meanwhile, short-term goals are created within a short time or a deadline, they are easy to accomplish but they are not flexible. They require instant energy, motivation, time, and focus to complete them.

However, long-term goals are flexible as you can divide them into small steps according to your needs. For example, if you wish to become a better parent or a spouse, you can take small steps to achieve them according to your needs and priorities.


Short-Term Goals Long-Term Goals
Requires less time Requires time
Does not require strategies Require strategies
Work on multiple goals simultaneously Can only focus on one goal at a time
Easy to maintain motivation Struggles with motivation
Not flexible Flexible

Finding the Right Balance!

Life is complicated and we have to be in sync with all the goals (be it short or long). Finding the right balance between the two is real art. Additionally, you don’t get to choose between the two types of goals, you will need the help of both goals to call yourself successful. During the journey, self-acceptance, prioritization, needs, creativity, and interests may help you to achieve your goals.

Additionally, you can also learn how to set your goals from here.

I hope this blog helps you to find the right balance between long-term and short-term goals/ comment down your views on the same.

Thanks for reading!

About The Author

Aayushi Kapoor
Aayushi Kapoor

Aayushi is a Content Creator at Calm Sage. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Food Technology and a Master's Degree in Clinical Nutrition. Her constant interest in the improvement of mental health, nutrition, and overall wellness embarked upon her career as a “full-time educational writer.” She likes to make an asynchronous connection with her readers. Her mantra for living life is "What you seek is seeking you".

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