Setting goals is a key part of personal and professional development. Whether you’re looking to take the next step with your career, move your body more often, travel to new locations, read more books, or any other goal—you’ll need a strategy to get there!

Effective goal-setting techniques can help you stay focused, motivated, and organized as you work toward your goals. It’s also worth noting that much of the progress happens throughout the journey—not when you reach your end goal. So try to enjoy the journey as it unfolds!

Short term goals vs. long-term growth goals

Short-term goals are specific achievements you’re looking to accomplish within a relatively brief timeline. That might be a few days or a few months, and these goals can serve as an entry point into your longer-term goals.

Long-term growth goals, on the other hand, get you where you want to be later in life. To start to develop an idea of what this means for you, ask yourself: What are my values? What does a life that’s designed around those values look like? What are my highest aspirations and plans for the future?

Because long-term growth goals are checked off years—or even decades—in the future, they’ll require a different approach than your short-term goals. More on that soon!

You’ve got experience with both types of goal setting—we promise!

While thinking of “goals” might be a little intimidating at first, we actually set both types of goals all the time in our early school years. The timeline and structure are baked into the goals themselves, so we often don’t even realize we’re working toward short- and long-term goals.

For example, when you were in tenth grade, perhaps you had a long-term goal to get accepted to your local community college. You knew that in order to get there, you needed to pass your classes with a certain GPA, take the right college admissions exams, and fill out the appropriate paperwork.

And maybe one of your short-term goals along the way was to achieve a “B” grade in Chemistry—that goal required you to buckle down and study throughout a specific semester in order to do well.

As an adult, creating the structure for your goals isn’t as obvious as it once was—it’s completely up to you. You likely already have the skill set you need to be successful; it just might take a bit of a mindset shift to be proactive about identifying and working toward your goals.

Think SMART for short-term success

In the short-term, you can set yourself up to win by thinking SMART when you identify your goals.

Specifically, goals should be:

Specific: Instead of saying, “I want to earn more money,” say, “I want to increase my earnings by 5% next year.”

Measurable: How will you know you’ve achieved your goal?

Achievable: Your goals should be challenging, of course, but still realistic!

Relevant: If your goal doesn’t matter to you, you’re not as likely to stay on track.

Time-bound: When is your deadline for completing this goal?

At Climb Hire, we teach SMART goal techniques in our programs. We believe that short-term goals keep Climbers (and alum!) focused and optimistic as they build a future they can be proud of.

Let’s say your SMART goal is: “I want to apply for Climb Hire’s Salesforce Administrator program.”

This goal is specific; you know you’ve achieved it when you submit your application. It’s measurable, for the same reason. It’s achievable; we believe in you! It’s also relevant because, in this example, you’re interested in building a career in the Salesforce ecosystem. And it’s time-bound because there’s an application deadline.

(Psst: if this goal is speaking to you, maybe you should apply!)

Once you’ve got your goal, break it down into the smaller tasks that comprise it and decide what timeline you’ll work with. For the application process, you’d want to first research what’s required to apply, as well as when the application is due. From there, chart out how and when you’ll gather the required information and get it all submitted on time.

There are many different ways to manage your time as you work on your short-term goals, and you should experiment to find what works for you. A couple techniques to try are time blocking, where you work in short bursts of time and then give yourself scheduled breaks, and the “Eat the Frog” method, in which you always take care of your hardest task first before moving on to other tasks.

In it for the long haul: Accomplishing long-term growth goals

Your long-term goals arise from your “big picture” vision of what your life will look like in the future. Just as you did with short-term goals, you’ll be breaking your long-term goals into smaller tasks and assigning deadlines to them.

For example, if your long-term goal is to work for yourself in ten years as a Salesforce consultant, the short-term goal you already set, to apply for the Climb Hire Salesforce Admin Learning Track, is the first step on the way. Now you need to find out what else it takes to get you from Admin to Consultant.

Perhaps it’s finding employment after you finish the Climb Hire program and then building up five years of experience. Maybe you look up networking groups you can join and set milestones along the way for yourself, like joining 2-3 networking groups the first year of your new career. There might even be other certifications that you add to the list that you can pick up along the way to strengthen your knowledge and expertise.

Because long-term goals take longer to accomplish, you’ll need patience and commitment to see them through. Be flexible—things may change, and you might even find yourself scrapping your long-term goal entirely to focus on something new! The important thing is that you’re growing as you go and allowing yourself to expand.

General goal-setting tips to help you along the way

Here are some of our favorite goal-setting tips—these work for both short- and long-term goals!

Visualize yourself achieving the goal or being in the future end state you desire. Your mind is a powerful creator!

Come up with some positive affirmations you can use to motivate and encourage yourself. Some examples include, “I am elevating and growing more each day,” and, “I am the creator of my reality.”

Find an accountability partner or join a supportive community—like the one we have at Climb Hire!—that can cheer you on along the way.

Consider using a goal-tracking app or another method of automating your goal-setting journey. Goblin.Tools is one of our favorites for breaking down your goals into measurable and easy-to-accomplish tasks!

Build in ways to celebrate small wins along the way! Going back to a long-term goal of working for yourself as a consultant, maybe you should treat yourself when you’ve made five new industry connections. It all adds up!

Go deeper with our upcoming Salesforce Learning Track

Setting goals for the near- and long-term is a powerful tool to create a life you love. By following these techniques for setting and pursuing attainable goals, you’ll be on your way to a fruitful future!

Want to uplevel your career, find a professional community of lifelong learners, and get more personalized goal-setting tips? Enroll in our upcoming Salesforce Learning Track!

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