I think I have a pretty good sense of what I want to accomplish in life, but my question is this —

Do I need to be setting specific short term goals to accomplish my goals?

Of course I could be wrong, but at this point in my life, my personal philosophy is that setting short term goals is not a “hard” requirement to achieving my goals. Sure, I do set short term goals from time to time (both in life and work), but I think the big picture is much more important overall. If I know where I want to get to and what I want to achieve, I can’t help but have a huge amount of confidence I’ll figure out how to get there.

So, do you think Michael Jordan had specific goals for each game — or do you think he just had the long-term goal of winning championships and being considered the greatest NBA player in history? Did Barry Bonds have a goal of hitting a home run every 3 games (or whatever the specific stat is) throughout his career to pass Hank Aaron?

Of course, I don’t know Michael Jordan or Barry Bonds, so I don’t have the answer to those questions. But if you do know them, or at least have a theory you want to share about the best way to achieve your goals, feel free to leave a comment.


  • Do you “need” to set specific short-term goals? Probably not. Should you consider doing it anyway, probably so . . .

    We get a sense of positive well-being when we can check off a goal from our list. Our accomplishments power us. Whenever we accomplish something in the short term, it gives us more power to work on our long-term goals.

    Just my 2¢ from my 48 years of life experience.

    Mr Positioning
    Stanley Bronstein
    Attorney, CPA, Author and Professional Speaker

  • Instead of specific goals, I do regular reviews of my day. I look at how my day went, and if I could have done anything better. I bring a packed lunch so I don’t waste time going out. I focus on one task (such as follow up) solely before moving on to the next task. I learned that from Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations. There is much more efficiency in doing this, this, this rather than this, that, and then some other thing. I think about my appointments, for example, and review the results I am getting from meeting with different people. Better than short term goals are regular reviews to cut out the fluff. I’m a machine when it comes to efficiency and productivity. That’s my goal because I’m not willing to work into family time — I’ve got to get as much done at the office as possible.

  • Wade-
    I definitely think I can improve in the productivity category, though I’m not sure I’ll ever get to the point where I am a machine like you are 🙂

    Stanly-
    I totally agree they are useful, and it does feel good to check off a goal from our list.

    Thanks for the comments.