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LONG-, MEDIUM-, AND SHORT-TERM AIMING FOR 5-YEAR GOALS
I’m not someone who is into New Year’s resolutions — to me, it’s all about setting and keeping goals. This is something I practice both in and outside of the office, and I encourage others to do so as well. One of the things my team does every year is get together and set goals, not only for the office, but also as individuals. We’ve been doing this for a few years now and have had a lot of success with it, especially this past year. I’m a firm believer that you need to have a long-term, a medium-term, and a short-term goal. It follows that the short one must fit into the medium, and the medium into the long — if you don’t do this, it’s highly likely that you’re not going to meet the goals you’ve set for yourself. By breaking them up into three parts, you make them more achievable than if you were to head straight for your goal without a clear idea of the steps you need to take to fulfill it. Everyone in the office starts off by writing a list of 15–20 things they want to accomplish or receive at the end of five years. Then, they go back through the list and break them down as best they can. Once everyone has a long- term goal in mind, they look at the 2-1/2 and six-month marks to decide what they need to do to achieve their five-year target. The list that each person writes down becomes a letter of sorts, addressed to our future selves, that we open after one year to see how much closer we are to our aspirations.
One of our office targets was to work toward making our office operate more efficiently and smoothly. After each passing year, with the whole team working toward that goal, we’ve noticed a remarkable difference — it’s worked out better than we ever thought it would.
“I’m a firm believer that you need to have a long- term, a medium-term, and a short-term goal.”
When my team makes personal goals using the same method, I’ve seen them include things like wanting their children to go to college, returning to school themselves, eating healthier, or traveling more often. They then set their three targets of what they need to work toward in achieving that goal. When the letters are opened on Dec. 31, it can be immensely satisfying to see their progress. We’ve been doing this as a team for a couple of years now, and we’ve seen huge successes, but occasionally some goals are never achieved. No matter what happens, the thing that remains crucial in all of this is the long- range goal. When everyone opens that letter from the prior year, they ask themselves, “Am I working toward it? Am I not? Do I need to reevaluate it? Do I need to be more serious?” This method has worked well for me. One of the goals I put into motion was to speak to my children more often. All of my kids are
grown and live away from home, which can make it hard to talk to them on a regular basis. There were times when I would go months without speaking to them. This wasn’t something I wanted, so I sought to change it. Now, every Sunday is dedicated to “family night,” when I call my kids, and have a good long chat with each. Sometimes we get on a conference call, and sometimes we don’t, but I enjoy what we have now, compared to what it was in the past. It’s a time for us to catch up with one another and learn about each other’s lives. If you’re planning to set up goals for the new year, this can be an excellent method for you to try. From all of us at Travis G. Black & Associates, Happy New Year!
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