What is your dream? If you had to do one small task towards your dream, could you do it today? For example, if your dream is to open a restaurant, the small task towards your dream can be calling a friend who runs a restaurant and checking if you can meet him.
When you break down a huge goal into smaller parts that work like intermediate goals, it does not seem too difficult to start, does it?
In this article, you will learn to break your one dream goals into many small tasks that can be completed within a few minutes. By completing one small task at a time, you will start making good progress towards your goal. In no time, the dream goal will be easy to achieve.
Have you always had long term goals that you never managed to make progress towards? This article will help you to break your long term goal into multiple short term goals. To make this easier I will even provide examples of short term goals for two use cases in this article.
In no time you will notice yourself making healthy progress towards your goals.
This article is Step 3: Breaking long term goals to short term goals of 3 phase transformation into super human productivity. You can begin right from step 1 by accessing the index here.
By this point, if you have followed the previous steps diligently, you would already have arrived at the goal that you are planning to achieve.
The only thought running through your mind right now could be that the goal seems massive. You might have your doubts about achieving them. You might even be confused about where to start.
- The Fear behind achieving the long term goal
- How to break down long term goal into short term goals
- What are examples of short term goals
- Make your short term goals easier less scary
- Pitfalls to avoid with short term goals
- Frequently Asked Questions
The Fear behind achieving the long term goal
Firstly, the fear associated with a long term goal is normal and not a reason to panic or give up even before you start. Furthermore, this is the primary reason why most people fail to achieve their goals. People fear the effort required or the failure associated or the unknown challenges that could arise. All these are hurdles to overcome no doubt. However, these hurdles look far more challenging before you start than they actually are.
Unless you get your feet into the water, you will never learn to swim. Once you do make an attempt to learn, the fear of drowning no longer remains within you.
Start off with fighting this mental battle that your goals are too hard to achieve. Bigger goals are as easy to achieve as smaller ones if you persist and refuse to give up.
How to break down long term goal into short term goals
If you have not figured out your long term goals yet, define your long term goals by answering 3 questions.
Do not look at your goal as one massive goal to achieve. Instead look at them as multiple smaller goals. Short term goals by definition are your targets for the immediate future.
Though there is no clear time measure, you can consider anything you target for this week, month or year as a short term goal. Long term goals are those which you aim for 3-5 years or more into the future.
If you worry about how to achieve long term goals by looking at your dream as one large goal to achieve, you will never get started. If you look at your long term goal as a series of short term goals, not only do you feel at ease but you start making progress too.
In this exercise, you will break it down into far simpler chunks. The breakdown should be as follows:
- Tasks to complete this week
- Tasks to complete this month
- Tasks to complete this quarter
Once you break your bigger goal into chunks like these, you will realize how easy it is to make continuous progress towards them. Accordingly, the key here is to set goals that are not too easy to achieve which do not challenge yourself. At the same time, do not set goals that are too hard to achieve. This can lead to demotivation and giving up half-way.
There exists a sweet balance which makes it neither too easy nor too hard. This balance pushes you to move out of your comfort zone. You should achieve them in chunks motivating you to push closer and closer towards your goals.
What are examples of short term goals
Let us take 2 examples of breaking bigger goals into smaller achievable chunks.
Case 1: The goal here is to build a successful travel blog to help all travelers with reviews of the best places to visit. The numbers used in the goals here are subjective. So please do not judge these numbers.
Someone who has no idea about starting off with a website can set less aggressive goals. Those with good knowledge over building websites and driving users to the website can set far more aggressive goals.
From the first look of it, this seems pretty challenging to do. It involves planning, research, building a website, reaching an audience, marketing the website and so on. If this is the thought that came to your mind, you are thinking about problems. Stop doing that.
This does not mean that you should ignore the challenges. Every long term goal has its own challenges. If you look at the challenges and only them, you will not even put the first step forward.
Breaking into smaller tasks which are easier to complete individually
Now, you will stop looking at the challenges first. Instead, you will start looking at what you can achieve step by step. All you have to do is follow this simple procedure to simplify a larger goal.
Do not worry about which smartphone app will I use or how will I organize all this. Do it the way you find the most comfortable. I will help you with organizing it on a later lesson – Effectively planning your day.
Do it on paper or notepad or a word document or an excel, whichever is the easiest for you. Just do it!
Tasks to complete this quarter:
- Understand Search Engine Optimization(driving users from Google) and put it in place for the posts that you have written
- Reach 500 followers on Instagram
- Reached 1000 likes on Facebook
- Post 25 posts on various travel locations
- Build traffic of 3000 monthly visits for the website
Tasks to complete this month:
- Figure out how to host a website using WordPress
- Purchase a theme and start post first 5 posts on the website
- Build an Instagram Page and add 10 posts
- Build a Facebook page and reach 100 followers
Tasks to complete this week:
- Think of possible names for the website
- Check for domain availability
- Ponder over doing this alone or doing this with another partner
- Pick up 5 places to write about
Case 2: The goal here is to build a successful Vietnamese Cuisine restaurant to showcase your culinary skills. To bring the taste of your staple cuisine and the beauty of your customer service culture to the world. Again, the tasks below are subjective and vary from person to person based on knowledge of the industry.
Here is how you can break it down
Tasks to complete this quarter:
- Start completing the registration formalities and the other associated government procedures
- Look for chefs, helper cooks, and the service staff
- Build a promotional video to provide a sneak peek of your restaurant as an idea
- Complete the final budget for getting started and running it for the first 12 months
- Apply for a loan to cover the gap between the investment required. Consider the pros/cons of adding another partner to reduce individual investment.
Tasks to complete this month:
- Estimate the budget required to set up the restaurant
- Break the budget down into various areas. Assign numbers for kitchen set up, interiors, ambiance, manpower, promotion and so on
- Identify areas to reduce cost
- Visit 5 possible areas to open the restaurant and find out the rental cost and the market involved
Tasks to complete this week:
- Think of a name for the restaurant
- Research and come up with 5 best possible areas to open the restaurant
- Network and identify a person who has good experience in the restaurant business. Set up a meeting with him for inputs
Once you have created this breakdown, keep it saved on your phone or computer. If you have written it down on a notebook, keep it safe. You will need this list in the next couple of days.
Make your short term goals easier less scary
Once you have completed this breakdown, all of sudden the tasks to complete this week do not seem intimidating at all. How difficult is it to think of a name for the website or the restaurant?
Of course, it might take quite some time to narrow down to the final name. But to get started with the thinking, all you need is a few minutes of your time along with a notebook and a pen.
In fact, many of your tasks this week might seem so easy that you might even feel like starting right away.
You might feel like adding even more tasks to complete this week. This is because you have time at your disposal and the motivation in your belly all of a sudden.
This is the magic behind breaking bigger goals into simple tasks. What once seems formidable does not seem that hard anymore. I bet you, within a week or two you will notice making great progress towards your goals which you never before thought was possible.
Pitfalls to avoid with short term goals
While you are on this process, a word of caution before trying to go too fast. Initially, it is important to make progress towards your goals even if it seems a little slow. If you try to set goals that are too rapid, you might find it difficult to achieve them. You might lose confidence and give up too early. Make slow progress for a year takes you way further than moving very rapidly for the first month followed by being inconsistent.
Frequently Asked Questions
Improve the sales for the upcoming quarter by 3%
Reduce the time required to deliver the order by 5 minutes within this month
Reduce the average waiting time a customer has to remain on hold while calling the helpline by 30 seconds within the next 45 days.
Finish revising 3 chapters of the subject by the end of this week
Find an internship offer which helps my long term goal before the semester exams begin
Improve my skills in math and score a grade of 8.5 or above
Short term career goals varies based on the profile and the career aspiration. I will list down short term goals for an entrepreneur and employee.
Short term career goals of an entrepreneur running a restaurant:
Innovate and add 2 new items to the menu within the next 2 weeks
Explore online marketing and increase the sales for the quarter by 8% or above
Cut down the end of day wastage by predicting the expected sales volume for the week using past data
Short term career goals of an employee seeking growth:
Think of 1 innovative project which will add value to the organization and help me gain better visibility
Take up the online course XYZ on Udemy to improve my skills in managing people
Automate the manual report generation process to reduce 20 man hours spent per month
Keep in mind, for achieving your goal, consistency, and perseverance is the key element. Once you understand the trick behind breaking long term goal into many short term goals, you will be in a goal completing spree in no time.
To summarize, the crucial part of this exercise is to break goals. Spend time breaking down your long term goals into medium sized quarterly targets. These goals are again broken down into monthly targets. In the next step, these turn into weekly targets. Finally, you manage to transform these targets into daily tasks to do.
So what are your short term goals? Have you managed to break your long term goal into an actionable task? Drop a comment to let me know. If you are unable to break it down, leave a comment and I will reply help you out in your journey.
This article is Step 3: Breaking long term goals to short term goals of 3 phase transformation into superhuman productivity. You can begin right from step 1 by accessing the index here.
Maxim Dsouza has spent over a decade experimenting and finding various time management techniques to improve his productivity. He strongly understands the fact that time is a limited commodity and tries to make every second count. He has extensive experience in leadership in startups, small businesses, and large corporations.
He has helped people of different professions and age groups gain clarity on their goals, improve focus, revise their time management skills and develop an awareness of their psychological cognitive biases.