Some of us are born to be long-term goal makers (maybe those who work in health, or those who research with a large scope, or those who train for the olympics), while others are more short-term.
The way I will describe it is short-term goal makers set the scope of their goals to be 1-2 months each, while long-term goal makers can set their goals to be 3-12 months each. Neither is superior over the other. Just different for different stages of life.
My theory is that the younger you are, the more short-term you will be in order to be flexible and acquire as many unique experiences as you can. As you get older, you naturally look more long-term as responsibilities pile on.
At this current stage in my life, I happen to be a short-term person.
I like putting in lots of effort upfront on something, have a pressing deadline, and seeing the rewards soon after.
I get a certain motivation at having pressing deadlines. It might be that last minute procrastination technique that so many students use to accomplish their work.
My effort is best managed when used at the start of an exciting new project. Maintaining effort during a project is possible, but more difficult over a certain period (over 8 weeks?). Then effort begins to ween.
The rewards that come after give me satisfaction and motivation for the next challenge. I bring in all of the ideas I had learning from the previous projects to innovate on the new projects or goals I create.
But I wanted to try something new. I spent the first quarter of this year attacking my goals in a 3-month chunk. This was a test of my ability to challenge my goals in a long-term frame.
Some things I noticed:
- the quarter felt extremely long
- I began losing motivation halfway through
- My results suffered, aka I procrastinated things because I had “90 days to finish”
- Iteration was difficult because I didn’t want to stray too far from my initial goals
- I felt stuck on many things
So it’s safe to say that I’m more short-term than long-term right now.
Rather than chastise myself for being more short-term than long-term, I believe that I should simply adapt to the kind of person I am now. If future thoughts or events convince me to be more long-term, then I will adapt for that as well. But I accept who I am in this present moment.
It was a great learning experience for me, and I think it would be interesting for anyone else to experiment with 1 month, 2 month, and 3 month goals, to see where they fall on the spectrum.
From here on out, I’ll be attempting a 2-month goal scope in order to transform my health, exceed at my career, and create amazing content for my audience.
I’m excited to share more as I experiment!