1. Skip to content

What is a Short-Term Goal?

A short-term goal is something you want to do soon. Short-term goals can help you make big changes.

A short-term goal is something you want to do in the near future. The near future can mean today, this week, this month, or even this year. A short-term goal is something you want to accomplish soon. Something that will take you a long time to accomplish is called a long-term goal.

Both long- and short-term goals can help you in your career. Short-term goals help you think about what you can do right away. Short-term goals can help you manage your time. Short-term goals might seem small, but completing them can lead to big accomplishments in your life and career.

Practice identifying short-term goals.

Directions: Look at the pair of pictures. Point your mouse on the picture you think shows a short-term goal.


Talk to the teacher after class.

Go to community college.

Get married and have a family.

Apply for a job.

Learn how to speak English fluently.

Deposit a check this afternoon.

Buy healthy groceries.

Buy a house in five years.

Arrive on time for work.

Become a supervisor at work.
To become a supervisor at work takes time and hard work. This is not a short-term goal.
You can arrive on time for work starting today. This is a short-term goal.
Buying a house in 5 years is not a short-term goal.
You can start buying healthy groceries right away. This is a short-term goal.
Depositing a check this afternoon is a short-term goal.
Learning to speak English takes time. This is not a short-term goal.
Applying for a job is a short-term goal.
It takes time to start a family. This is not a short-term goal.
This is a short-term goal.
This goal will take time to make happen. It is not a short-term goal.

Sometimes accomplishing short-term goals can help you achieve one big long-term goal. For example, arriving to work on time everyday can help you get promoted to a supervisor job.

Next Steps: