Bring more focus to your goals

Tuesday 19 November 2019
Often we can get caught up in the big picture – but no masterpiece could be created without the individual brush strokes
an open book with the following text: wish for it, hope for it, dream of it, but by all means do it

When creating goals, there’s a temptation to focus exclusively on the long run. As a New Year’s resolution, you might decide to save to buy a house in a year. Though the intention may well be correct, the problem is that without a clear route of getting there, the pay-off seems too distant and unattainable. This is why long-term goals alone often end up as dreams that never come to fruition.

Short-term goals can provide a solution to this problem, providing incremental steps towards that long-term objective. Rather than just aiming to save for a house deposit, cut out small expenses that are avoidable, such as lunch on the go or an extra pint at the pub. Through these more specific objectives, you can start to have a grasp on the long-term goals that initially seemed impossible.

Instant results

Short-term goals are usually simpler and easier to achieve; they require less energy, time and effort and provide immediate feedback. Behavioural psychology finds that people respond positively to even the smallest achievements. That satisfaction spurs them on to stay motivated. The effects can be seen as they happen – and each step gets you closer to the big-picture goal.


Breaking a long-term goal into smaller parts increases the likelihood of staying motivated and enthusiastic. It provides a specific time frame for each step, creating a sense of urgency which translates into faster, more intensive work. As we can see our progress as we tick off each step, giving us the motivation to do more. This all makes your longer-term objectives become progressively more attainable. It’s part of the hidden psychology of list-makers!


If you know that you want to become better at managing your time, it can feel like an intangible goal with a lack of specific steps to get there. Likewise, when faced with a huge and important project, it can be hard to know where to start – we find ourselves feeling anxious, jumping between tasks and making mistakes.

The only way you can achieve those goals effectively is to create a clear plan with defined steps. That allows us to establish a path in the correct direction. They indicate where you are headed, allow you to monitor how you are progressing and will lead you to your eventual goals.

Achieving a longer-term goal

Short-term goals are a component of a bigger dream. They give you the satisfaction that you have achieved every detail. They transform the unfeasible into reality. Don’t just dream of running a business – work on getting experience in different areas, such as accountancy, customer service, and team-leading, which will lead to you gathering the necessary skills over your career.

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