Short-term goals

A short-term goal is something you want to achieve soon.

That could mean today, this week, or this year.

Short-term goals can be steps towards bigger, long-term goals.

Short-term goals can also stand alone.

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Long-term goals

Long-term goals are things you want to accomplish at some point in the future.

Long-term goals typically take 12 months or more to achieve.

They are big goals that often need to be broken down into smaller steps to be reached.

Photo by Matt Noble on Unsplash


Sofia just started her final year of high school. She has a lot of goals, which are listed below. Which of these would be a long-term goal of Sofia's?

Become a civil engineer

Learn to play a song on the guitar

Be content

Obtain her high school diploma

Example: Short-term & long-term goals

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Short-term Goals

Enroll in a language class

Buy a guitar

Write my resume

Attend a concert

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Long-term Goals

Become fluent in another language

Graduate from college

Have deep & meaningful friendships

Start my own school


From the list above, which of the short-term goals listed is a step towards one of the long-term goals listed?

Enroll in a language class

Write my resume

Attend a concert

Buy a guitar


Now it's your turn!

List out 2-4 long-term goals that you have.

Remember, long-term goals are usually more than a year away from being achieved.

Now list out 2-4 short-term goals that you have.

Short-term goals are things you think you can accomplish anytime between now & one year from now.

Your short-term goals may very well be smaller steps towards your bigger, long-term goals.


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This Byte has been authored by


Tressa Thompson

Graduate Student in International Education at New York University