Personal development courses and business coaches always recommend setting effective long-term goals—and for good reason. Long-term goals serve as a roadmap to your business success and motivation as you advance down your career path. But along the way, you might ask yourself, “What are long-term goals, anyway?”
We define long-term goals as objectives that you want to accomplish in the future. Long-term business goals require time and planning. They’re not small tasks you can do this week or this month. Heck, you may not even be able to accomplish them this year!
But even though the finish line is out of reach right now, you need to start on those long-term goals today! There’s no better time than the present to start working towards a better future. If you’re looking for guidance on how to set (and achieve!) long-term goals in business, look no further. We’ve got you covered with definitions and examples.
What Are the Different Types of Goals?
Unless we’re talking about sports, you might be wondering what we mean by “different types of goals.” Isn’t a goal just… a plain old goal? Yes and no. Goals are objectives we want to achieve, but not all goals are created equally.
There are two main categories of goals: short-term goals and long-term goals. Short-term goals are goals you can accomplish soon, but long-term goals take a while, even months or years. One of the habits of successful people is to set both short-term goals and long-term goals.
These goals mark milestones that will pave the way towards your future. Short-term goals and long-term goals may feel separate, but they work better together. In fact, combining the two while applying hard work and determination is a recipe for success.
Take a look at what sets these two different types of goals apart.
1. Short-Term Goals
A short-term goal is something you want to accomplish in the near future. By “near future,” we mean this week, this month or this year. Short-term goals generally have a much tighter time frame. Once the time frame goes beyond a year, you’re in long-term goal territory.
Aside from a shorter time frame, short-term goals are also generally smaller goals. This is so you can reasonably achieve the goal within its short time frame. For example, you can set a short-term goal to complete every task on your to-do list for the day or to make a certain amount of money for the month.
2. Long-Term Goals
A long-term goal is something you want to do in the distant future, as in 1, 5 or even 10 years down the line. Long-term goals generally have much broader time frames. They can even stretch from now until retirement. Because of this, long-term goals are typically much larger than short-term goals, since you give yourself more time to work on them.
In some cases, a series of short-term goals can feed into an overarching larger goal. Imagine you set a long-term goal to become fluent in another language to better communicate with coworkers in other parts of the world.
Obviously, a goal like this will take a lot of time to achieve. To continue making advancements on this larger goal, you can set several short-term goals that support your long-term goal. For example, learning a new word in that language each day or taking one meeting in that language per month.
What are the Different Types of Long-Term Business Goals?
So, now you know the definition of long-term goals and how they differ from short-term goals. But we’re not done yet. Now it’s time to learn the different types of long-term goals and how these larger goals apply in business.
No matter if you’re a solopreneur, C-suite executive or entry-level employee, long-term goals are key to your success. While your specific goals may be unique to your career path, the majority of long-term business goals generally fall into 1 of 3 buckets:
- Personal goals
- Professional goals
- Financial goals
Let’s take a deeper look at each of these long-term goals.
Personal Goals in Business
If you want to feel fulfilled in business, personal goals are essential. It may sound counter-intuitive, but without personal goals, your professional life will be uninspired. To set personal goals, you must identify your purpose in life. Then, you can use your personal goals to help keep you on track for achieving your dreams, all while staying true to what matters most.
These goals might not reflect in your bank account, but they’re priceless for your mental health and quality of life. For example, you might set a long-term personal goal to break out of your networking comfort zone. This can include additional short- or long-term goals, like improving your conversation skills, becoming more confident or working on your personal development.
These goals for your personal life can improve your overall happiness and well-being, so you can truly feel satisfied in life and business.
Professional Goals in Business
Business professional goals refer to your desired career path. They’re the objectives you set for yourself so you can retire satisfied with your business life. In other words, they’re your long-term career goals.
For example, you might set a long-term professional goal to receive a promotion in 2 years. Meanwhile, you can create actionable short-term goals, like negotiating better on sales calls or mastering a new computer program. These short-term goals benefit your end goal, preparing you to accept that promotion in 2 years time.
Financial Goals in Business
Financial long-term goals center around money. Financial goals play a large role in business, especially when lifting your career off the ground. When Dean Graziosi first started in business, he only had pennies to his name—so his short-term financial goals were to support himself.
However, Dean used those short-term financial goals to also support his long-term financial goals, like comfortably retiring his parents. Once he accomplished that long-term goal, Dean set a new financial goal: To provide his children with a life that has choices.
In business, your financial goals will include personal markers like Dean’s. They will also include operational figures that make staying in business possible. No matter what financial goal is on your to-do list—whether it be supporting your loved ones or breaking six figures with your company—setting SMART goals will help you achieve them.
How to Set SMART Goals for Personal and Professional Life
In business, one habit cripples success more than any other. No, it’s not a lack of creativity or even a lack of skills. It’s a lack of honesty. When you set goals (long-term or short-term), you must be honest with yourself about how much you can reasonably accomplish within a certain period of time. Also, you must consider which short-term goals need to come first to lay the proper foundation for your long-term goal.
This is why setting SMART goals is crucial to business success. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound. Establishing SMART goals helps ensure that you’re honest with yourself about how long your goals will take, how your goals feed into your purpose in life and how you will track your goals over time. SMART goals take your goal-setting skills to a whole other level.
If you’re not familiar with setting SMART goals, here’s a brief explanation:
- Specific — SMART goals are distinct and specific, so you know where to start and what you need to do to accomplish them.
- Measurable — SMART goals are measurable and easily tracked over time. With measurable goals, you can quantify your progress and recognize when you’ve achieved your goal.
- Achievable — SMART goals are attainable and the steps to achieve them are within your control, even they will take time.
- Relevant — SMART goals are relevant to what you want to achieve in life. They align with your core values and purpose in life, so you don’t end up wasting time working towards something that doesn’t matter to you.
- Time-Bound — SMART goals have a defined end date. Even if it’s 10 years down the line, there is a time limit that helps you stay focused and motivated.
In life and business, you can set SMART short-term goals and SMART long-term goals. The only difference is that short-term goals are bound to a shorter time frame than long-term goals. With these qualifications in mind, let’s take a look at examples of SMART long-term goals in action.
In Action: Setting Long-Term Goal Examples
By now, you might be thinking, “So what is an example of a long-term goal in business?” We’ve got you covered with concrete examples that can apply to your career, no matter what stage of professional life you’re in. Whether you’re a recent graduate, entry-level employee, entrepreneur or going through a career change, take a look at these long-term goal examples.
Long-Term Goal Examples for a Recent Grad
No matter your age, becoming a recent graduate feels like turning the page on a completely blank chapter. With your new skills in your toolbelt, you can write whatever story you like. Use these examples of long-term goals for graduates to help you brainstorm the type of story you want to write.
- Acquire new technical skills: I will master basic coding skills in a scripting language, such as HTML, to become a web developer in 2 years.
- Hang my diploma: In 3 years, I will proudly hang my diploma in an office space that’s designated just for me.
- Earn a $100,000 salary: In 10 years, I will earn a $100,000 salary at my dream job.
Long-Term Goal Examples for Entry-Level Employees
The very definition of the term “entry-level” indicates that you’re starting at the bottom of the professional food chain. Fortunately, that gives you the underdog advantage! In business, the underdog advantage means that you don’t have to worry about what your peers think. You have a ton of room to improve, so you can build momentum and sneak up on your competitors.
Check out these long-term goals for entry-level employees to gain a bit of underdog motivation.
- Improve my social status: I will build a positive reputation in my industry by growing my personal network by 50 people in 2 years.
- Get budget approval from stakeholders: In 5 years, I will receive buy-in from all major stakeholders for my latest strategic initiative.
- Gain management experience: In 8 years, I will oversee and manage a team or department of my own.
Long-Term Goal Examples for Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurship can feel thrilling and terrifying at the same time. On the one hand, the world is your oyster, allowing you to set any goal you want. On the other hand, you really can set any goal you want… which can be a bit overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. Use these long-term goal examples for entrepreneurs to help you as you set your own entrepreneurial goals.
- Become a knowledge broker: Next year, I will take on 10 mentees to share my knowledge in my own mastermind course.
- Raise money to launch a product: I will crowdsource $2 million in 2 years to manufacture and distribute a new product.
- Achieve a work-life balance: In 5 years’ time, I will master a work-life balance by working 5 hours a day and using the rest of the time to connect with my family, friends and community.
Long-Term Goal Examples for a Career Change
In business, it’s common for your “dream job” change in the blink of an eye. As you get older and learn what’s truly important to you, it’s only natural for your professional career path to shift. If you’re on the brink of a career change, you might be uncertain about what types of long-term goals to set. We’ve got you covered.
- I will start a morning routine: Over the next 6 months, I will implement a morning routine that makes me feel confident and sets the tone for potential job interviews.
- Improve my communication skills: By this time next year, I will maintain eye contact and keep open body language with everyone I meet.
- Increase my income: In 3 years, I will increase my income to 50% more than I’m making right now.
The Value of Effective Goal-Setting in Business
The value of effective goal-setting in business cannot be stated enough. At its core, a long-term goal is simply a treasure map to all of your buried potential. Setting long-term goals is the key to unlocking your true purpose in your personal and professional life. With the above examples in mind, you can set SMART goals that lead to a golden future.
What are your long-term goals in business?
Send them straight to Dean’s personal cell when you text 480-400-9019 today!