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3.2: Setting a Time Frame for Your Goals

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    Once you have defined the areas in your life for which you want to set goals, then you want to think about the time frame in which you want to accomplish those goals.

    Let’s say your goal is to complete your degree in project management in four years. That is a measurable goal and certainly attainable. However, the end time is four years away. What happens during those four years? How do you know if you are meeting the necessary smaller steps along the way? Should all goals have the same timeline?

    It is important to feel a sense of accomplishment when you set and attain goals. Part of a comprehensive plan is to set goals that have different time frames: long-term, mid-term, and short-term goals.

    Setting a Time Frame for Your Goals

    Not all goals can or should be accomplished in the same time frame. As you create your plan of setting and attaining goals and to get a comprehensive vision of your future, include the following time frames:

    • Long-term goals. Long-term goals represent major targets in your life. These goals can take 5 to 20 years to achieve. In some cases, they will take a lifetime. They can include goals in education, careers, personal relationships, travel, or financial security—whatever is most important to you.
    • Mid-term goals. Mid-term goals are objectives you can accomplish in 1 to 5 years. They include goals such as completing a course of education, paying off a car loan, or achieving a specific career level. These goals usually support your long-term goals.
    • Short-term goals. Short-term goals are the ones you can accomplish in a year or less. These goals are specific achievements, such as completing a particular course or group of courses, hiking down the Appalachian Trail, or organizing a family reunion.

    Setting your goals to include long-term, mid-term, and short-term time frames will not only help you create a more comprehensive plan but also allow you to more easily identify your accomplishments along the way.

    3.2: Setting a Time Frame for Your Goals is shared under a CC BY license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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