Short Term v. Long Term Goals
Ep. 128
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    If you’ve been a long-time listener, then you know I am running a goal-setting workshop in January and it has gotten me thinking about all things goal-setting. So this week, I wanted to do an episode on the difference between your short-term goals and your long-term goals. Because one of the problems I see over and over again with my clients is that they’re constantly focused on the short-term goals without any idea as to the long-term vision. This keeps them hustling, running in circles, without getting anywhere. The key is to learn how to set long-term goals that will give you a North Star to make sure you’re on the right path while implementing smaller, short-term goals to actually get you there.

Show Transcript
Hello, my friends. Welcome to another episode. I am so excited that you are here. This one I think is going to be short and sweet. As you know, if you've been listening, I am running a goal-setting workshop in January and it has gotten me thinking about all things, goal setting. So I figured I should do an episode on the difference between your short-term goals and your long-term goals. Now, if you want help with your goals, I would love to invite you to still join. And there's still a week left of joining. So you can go to quitter to learn about this workshop. It's in January, it's four weeks training on every part of goal setting, big goals, long-term goals, short-term goals. How to actually implement how to get over procrastination, which I think is worth the entire price of the workshop, because you will inevitably run into the self-sabotage and we'll talk about why and how to get over that.
Anyways, lots of good stuff. So if you want to get further help, I would love to have you there at But I did want to talk about long-term and short-term goals. Here's the thing first off about goal setting and why you need goals. I honestly can't believe that I have to tell people why they should have goals. And I think there's such a bad connotation with goal setting. Like if you think about it, we literally laugh at people for setting goals like new year's resolutions has become a joke, right? We roll our eyes like, Oh, look, all these people now working out in January, they're going to stop by February. And because we're never taught like how to set the right type of goals, how to actually execute those goals, how to deal with that resistance and the procrastination that comes up, we assume that setting the goals is the problem, right?
Like just don't set new year's resolutions. That's the solution. That is not the solution. And I honestly can't believe I have to say that, right? Not having goals is not the solution. And let me tell you why you are always making decisions about your life. Always every single day, everything you do is a decision. Everything you don't do is a decision, right? Whether stay or whether you go, whether you keep doing the same things or you choose to do something else. The thing is, is that most of our decisions are made subconsciously. You're not actually like intentionally making that decision. And that is all goal setting is, is to take the time, time to intentionally think about the thing that you want to be doing, right? To get a little bit of a stepped back, grown view of your life. Where is the area that I want to be working on?
And a lot of us don't do this because goal-setting makes us feel horrible about ourselves because we use it as a tool to beat ourselves up instead of a tool to motivate ourselves to grow. And what we cover in the workshop is how to kind of figure out how you're setting the wrong kind of goals. If it's making you feel horrible, you're doing you're wrong. It should not be making you feel horrible. And here is another thing. If you listen to this podcast, you know, that we obsess over mindset and the fact that your thoughts are what causes your feelings, goals, can't cause you to feel anything. It's just a sentence, right? You pick something and let's say, your goal is I want to make this money 20, or I want to get healthier or whatever the specific goal is that doesn't make you feel anything. Your thoughts about that, or what make you feel overwhelmed, anxious, resistant, whatever the feeling is, or super motivated, excited, right? So goal setting in and of itself doesn't do anything, but you have to figure out what the right type of goals for you are so that you don't have a ton of thoughts that are negative around. So I just want you to understand how important it is to who really intentionally takes some time and figure out what you want to do in the new year.
The reason we don't have goals, I talked about this a little bit in the vision episode. What about why it's so important to have a vision? I think it's episode one 25. I talked about how the reason we don't have a vision. It's the same reason we don't have goals is self-preservation, right? We are afraid that we're not, can I actually do the work to execute? And then we'll feel horrible about ourselves, or oftentimes we just feel horrible that what we want seems so far away from what we have right now. And it makes us feel bad when we think about that gap. So we just decide, I don't even want to think about it. I don't even want to put that out there. I want to suppress it into my subconscious. I don't want to like dress it. And so we go on year after fear and there is no real change.
There is no real growth there. It's sort of sleepwalking. Right? And the thing is, is that you have to be able to face those thoughts and see what our dreams are going to inform? Like the things that you are going to do. And after the episode on vision, and I did another episode, one 24 was on the opportunity costs of staying stuck. And in that episode, I talked about how, when you stay, where you know, you've always been, and you think about everything that you're going to give up by leaving, also giving up all of this opportunity for something different. I got a couple of questions in my emails. Uh, it came up in my coaching program, similar versions of this question. And so that's why I wanted to do this episode on short-term versus long-term goals.
So the questions were something like, if I'm feeling stuck right now, and I don't want to give up the opportunity, you know, I don't want the opportunity costs of staying stuck. I want to like have something better. I feel like I'm wasting my life where I am, but in order to go after this thing that I want, like, I need this job right now. Like I need to financially set myself up or, you know, a lot of people I think felt like, well, I want, my vision is really big, but what I'm doing right now, isn't in line with that. But I need to do this for whatever reason. Or if I want to set myself up for that division, I have to do something right now. They don't really want to do. And I think a lot of people felt like maybe I was saying that that's not what you should be doing.
Like should just be going kind of like full on after this dream life. And that is not what I'm saying. And that's why I really wanted to do this episode. There is a difference between short-term and long-term goals. If you've ever heard that quote, it's been attributed to different people. So I'm not exactly sure who actually said that regional Virgin, but it goes, we overestimate what we can accomplish in a year. And we underestimate what we can accomplish in 10 years. That is the absolute truth. And I think the problem with goal setting is most often we are just focused on short term. Like you don't have a vision of what you actually want, want, you don't have that North star. And so every year it seems like a great idea to set goals, right? You're like, all right, I guess I should look at like, what do I want to do?
But I feel stuck. So I'm just looking at like the very next step of what I should do. Should I change my job? Should I, you know, I don't know, take on some kind of new project side hustle, whatever. And we're just looking at that year and a lot of us, because we feel unhappy in the current situation that we're at, we're looking to change it quickly so that we can not feel that unhappiness. We think that if we get this thing if I just get the side hustle going, and if it doesn't happen in six months, then I don't want to do it because like, I just need something that's going to change my life right now. And I don't have to tell you the problem in thinking like that. Right? And this quote, I think really does do a wonderful job of explaining that like 10 years, your entire life can look different.
I mean, completely one 80 different that might not happen in one year. And when you can get your short-term goals to be aligned with a long-term vision, like a long-term goal, then you can kind of set yourself on this road where you don't have to have everything happen in one year. And a lot of times when you have that long-term vision, when you have that long-term goal, then you can sacrifice in the short term because it is for the good of what you are doing. I'm going to give you some examples, but what I want you to see a lot of times when we are in situations that we hate, or we think we ate, we don't like whatever. We have a lot of negative thoughts about the reason there's so much hopelessness in a lot of people in these careers is because there doesn't seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel.
It's just the same every single day. And I think a lot of times we think like, this is all it's going to be, unless I make some kind of like drastic change. So it's just going to be like this year after year after year. It's like every day, I'm just kind of Groundhog's day. And I think that's what leads so many people to feel really so stuck and so hopeless. But when you have an idea of what you want to do, long-term, let's say your goal just becomes like, I want to work for myself. I want to build a business where I have flexibility on my timing and I don't have to answer to somebody else. And I want to replace my income. I don't have to make that happen this year, but I can make decisions then about my career to be in line with that.
So maybe I decide I have to stay in this job for another year or two years. And that's okay. Like maybe my goal then becomes, okay, if I'm going to go jump into entrepreneurship, then I want to pay off my student loans as much as possible. I want to save up a runway. I want to get clear on like the niche that I'm going to be working on, whatever all of that stuff can be worked on while. So you stay in the job. And what happens is again, because your thoughts are what create your feelings. Oftentimes from what I see is with my clients, like they, all of a sudden are so much happier in that current job because they're now ease a light at the end of the tunnel. There now is a decision of like, okay, maybe it won't be this year, but I am looking at the next 10 years.
I'm not just looking at this year, looking at where do I want to go? Is this leading in that direction? And can I sacrifice this year and do things maybe that I don't want to do to put myself in a better position to give my future self more leverage in the thing that I want to do. But when you're only focused on a short term goal, when you're only focused on this year, it becomes really difficult to know, is this going to be in line with what I want to be doing a good analogy? I think a lot of times when we look at anything that we deem like an overnight success or all of a sudden, like we look at kind of that tip of the iceberg and you're not seeing the work that went into anybody building anything. And the analogy I like is about ice melting stick with me.
So ice melts at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. And if you put a piece of ice on a table, in a room that's 25 degrees and you warm up that room, nothing happens between 25 to 26, 26 to 27, right. 27 to 28, 29 to 30 to 31. And then at 32, it starts melting and everyone looks at them and it's like, that's the part where it was this big shift, but it wasn't right. It required like the same amount of energy that took to heat up that room from 25 to 26, 27, 28, 29 is what led to the ice being able to melt. Right? And that is the same thing with every one of us in what we are building or what you are creating in your life is like, everything builds on top of each other. It's not like one random year is going to be responsible for the rest of your life.
When you start with this goal-setting stuff, it is about every year taking stock, like learning how to do it the right way. So it doesn't deflate you and every year tweaking and seeing what path you're on and seeing if it's still aligned and deciding which direction you are going to go. So I want to give you my own journey as an example. And I want to talk a little bit about, like, when I say even a vision or sometimes the long-term goal, sometimes a long-term goal is not as clear, right? So the decision isn't, I want to have a seven-figure business selling, you know, this type of a product or service. And so I'm going to start chunking it down. If you have that clear of a vision, then great, that will make goal-setting that much clearer for you. And I think it becomes clear as you kind of find your North star, but in the beginning, it may not look that way.
So for me, when I left in 2014, when I left the law and I was completely lost, I didn't know where I wanted to go. I didn't know where I wanted to end up, but I did say that what I wanted, the vision that I wanted was I wanted to work less. I wanted to work for myself. I wanted to have work that I felt super excited and passionate about. I wanted to grow and learn new skills and prove to myself that I could create something out of nothing. Like there was a lot of things that I wanted to do. I just didn't know how I was going to do it, but I knew that the vision was, you know, I remember at that time I had to make a real decision. I'm like, do I just go back and get another job now, financially, I was in a place where I can make that decision.
So everybody's, decision-making calculus is going to be different and that doesn't make it right or wrong. Like we all have different decisions that we have to make. And for me at the time, I knew I didn't have that much time because I actually was spending a lot of the time with my newborn child and taking care of him. But I also was thinking like, do I just go back and get a job at a nonprofit? Do I try to do something that is outside of law? But I was getting really clear on what I actually wanted and what I didn't want. And I knew that ultimately my vision was to work for myself and create my own schedule and have more flexibility and work less. And I knew that I would be kind of prolonging that if I went back into another employee situation. And so even though I didn't know anything about entrepreneurship or what I was going to do, I kind of decided like, I am just going to dive in and figure this out.
So when I look back over six years, my life is now completely different. I mean, I am a different person and everything in my life looks different now. Right. But in 2014, if you look at 2014 or 2015, every single year, it doesn't look like there was huge strides at that time. Right? The first year I was mostly lost and it was mostly taking care of a newborn baby. And I was just committed to doing things when he was sleeping or during nap time. And I knew it was going to be a slow year. I knew I wasn't going to make huge strides. The second year was when I decided to build the photo booth company. Again, it was at a snail's pace. I knew that I only had a certain amount of time every week. I knew that building a product was going to take a long time.
And I also knew when I started out, I knew that it wasn't going to be my end. All thing. I knew I wasn't passionate about that, but I figured I need to take a step. I need to do something to give myself a little more clarity. I need to prove to myself that I can do this. I know that I will learn more about entrepreneurship by trying this then by sitting on the sidelines and reading about it or just listening to podcasts, right. So I have to get in the game and start building something. And even if it doesn't work out, I don't care. I just don't want this year to be wasted on me, sitting around waiting, thinking about what I want to do. So the second year, which was like 2015, I was building a product. So on the outside, you didn't see anything.
Like I had no company. I was mostly like finding designers, going back and forth, trying to find one that could do it for the cost that I could do it. Finding materials, figuring out everything about photo booth businesses. Right? The third year was when I launched that business and I started learning more about marketing and I started learning about sales. And again, it wasn't like a huge knockout success. I ended up in that year, building it into a pretty good side hustle that I didn't have to. It was like passive, which again was my vision. My whole goal was like, I want to build this into something where I don't have to be a part of the day to day. Like I don't have to do a ton of work. And so I learned about passive income streams. I learned about how to create it in a way that it didn't require a lot of me.
I kept learning about entrepreneurship the fourth year. So 2018 now was when I launched this podcast again, I didn't really have an understanding of what I was going to do. I was just like, this is a conversation I want to have. I feel very drawn to doing this. I don't know why I want to do it. I felt super exposed and terrified, but I decided to do this. I did it for a whole year without ever trying to monetize it or created it into a business because I wanted to see where it was going to lead me and what kind of business I wanted to create out of it. The fifth year was when I launched this business and I have to look back, but I did not make that much money. I can't, I honestly don't remember exactly how much I made, but that with the photo with business, it was a good amount of money on that I was making on the side, but it wasn't anything to call home about.
And now I'm in the sixth year of this business. I have grown my platforms by leaps and bounds. I have like 125,000 followers on Tik TOK, almost 20,000 on Instagram, this podcast as a, I don't know, hundreds of thousands of downloads, my business will do more than six figures this year, which is a replacement of my legal career. I'm doing something that I'm so passionate about that I love so much, but I want you to understand that. Like, if you look at year to year, it's not that much growth. Like it's small incremental steps that add up that compound and become huge. And what I have learned in those six years is life changing, completely life changing. I mean, the things that I've learned, what I can apply, my marketing and sales skills, what I can apply by brand building audience, building podcasting experience. Now coaching, I have no doubt that I can create another business.
If I wanted to pivot this, if I wanted to do something completely different, I have no doubt that I'm going to scale this to even bigger. And the thing is, is now looking back, I think I don't have to have any of that happen next year. Right? My goal setting is not for just 20, 21. I look at like, where do I want this business to be in five years? Because I know in five or 10 years, my whole life will look different again. And I can't really even imagine how big it can be. I think it's very hard for us to know exactly, but you better believe I have a crystal clear vision of where I want it to go in like a general sense. I have an understanding of where I want this brand to go and how I want to grow it and how many people I want to help and the impact I want to have.
And then I get to work on my yearly short-term goals based on that. And sometimes that means slowing down. Sometimes that means like building something that I know isn't going to be super fun or glamorous or focusing on, maybe, you know, the end stuff. That's not what everybody sees, but I know is going to set me up in two years, three years, four years. And so I want you, when you're thinking about your life right now, and you're thinking about your 20, 21 goals, it's not just about 2021, right? It's not just about how much can I, you know, can I take on to fundamentally transform my life in one year? It's about like, how do I start using these building blocks every single year, the years are going to pass. I'm going to make decisions about my life. How do I make them intentionally to start stacking on top of each other?
And how do I do that to go into the direction that I want to be going? And then it becomes easier to make the sacrifices in the short term goals. So it makes it easier to stay in the job that you might have to stay in for another year or two or five, or maybe it becomes easier to not invest in yourself or your business right now, because you're going to save in order to whatever, do whatever you need to do. I just want you to start thinking about those two things. So it doesn't mean that if you have to do something in the short term, that's not exactly what you want to do. Then somehow you're giving up all this opportunity costs or you're staying stuck. Or that means that you're, you know, not doing it right. I don't want to ever relay that message.
But I do think the clearer you become unlike where is the direction I want to be going in. You don't have to have a solid idea. Like as I get more clear on what my North star is, I get a clear vision of where I want it to go. And so it becomes easier to even do the short-term goals, but I'm telling you, when I started in 2014, I had no idea. I just knew a direction that I wanted to go in. And every person that I have either worked with, or that I've become friends with through this podcast, seeing them on their own journeys, every single one of them is just like one step on, you know, build on top of the other. And there's tons of pivots in that, right? But it's just generally going in that direction that they want to go. So I want you to think about what is that long-term vision that I have for my life. What is that long-term goal that I want to have, and that doesn't have to be like a smart goal. It doesn't have to be like specific and measurable because you're thinking longterm. If my life could change in the next 10 years, if I literally could tell you that you could have a completely different life in 10 years, what does that life look like to you?
If you could have anybody else's life, let's say anybody else's business. I don't even care if you choose Beyonce, if that's truly something you would want, like if your dream is to perform in front of millions of people, then that's the vision that you need to kind of investigate. Why do I want that? What part of do I want, what drives me from that? What, what do I think my life would be like if it was that right? Get an understanding of where you want to go. If you're not limiting yourself, if you're not looking at like what's realistic, if you're really saying, okay, in 10 years, my whole life can be different. What is that vision? And then work backwards on what do I have to do next year to put me in a better position towards that? What do I have to build on where every single year it'll add?
And like, I'm telling you in six years, my life looks completely different now. But every year I dealt with a lot of frustration of like, it's not changing fast enough. I still don't know what I'm doing. You know, I had a lot of those thoughts. And now looking back, it's easier to see. And so I don't want you to have that same frustration. I want you to know that, like, even though we're overestimating what we can do in a year, once you're aware of that, you can not do that. You can say like everything doesn't have to change in 2021, but I can start mate taking steps in the direction that I want to go. So I encourage you to sit down and think about where is the longterm vision of where my life is going. And then how can I break that down into short-term goals for this next year to start taking steps in that direction? And if you need more help and you want more guidance in how to do this with some worksheets exercises, we'll go through a lot of this together. I want you to join.
You can go to I hope to see you there. Thank you so much for listening. I can't tell you how much it means to me. If you liked the podcast, please rate and review us on iTunes. It'll help other people find the show. If you want to connect or reach out, follow along on Instagram and Facebook at lessons from a quitter and on Twitter at Twitter podcasts, I would love to hear from you guys and I'll see you on the next episode.