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Setting Short-term Professional Goals to Achieve More

Published on
March 29, 2023
Set and achieve short-term professional goals with these tips and increase productivity and success.

Have you ever set a goal but found yourself struggling to stay motivated and see it through to completion? This is a common challenge, but it can be overcome by setting shorter-term goals that align with your long-term aspirations.

Studies have shown that breaking down larger goals into smaller, more manageable steps can lead to increased motivation, accountability, and, ultimately, higher success rates.

A study by the University of Pennsylvania found that people who set shorter-term goals were 33% more successful in achieving their long-term aspirations than those who only focused on the big picture.

So here are a few tips for setting practical shorter-term professional goals:

Be specific about the outcome

When setting a goal, it’s essential to be specific. Instead of saying, “I want to get promoted,” try setting a goal like, “I want to earn a promotion within the next 12 months by demonstrating my leadership skills and exceeding my performance targets.”

To add clarity, write down what you want to achieve on a note-taking tool like Routine and meditate on it for some time before committing.

Make them measurable

Make sure your goals are measurable so that you can track your progress and make adjustments along the way. For example, instead of saying, “I want to be more productive,” set a goal like, “I want to increase my productivity by 25% by the end of the quarter by prioritizing my tasks and eliminating distractions.”

Set realistic deadlines

Deadlines are essential in setting goals because they give you a sense of urgency and hold you accountable. However, it’s important to set realistic deadlines that allow you to make steady progress without feeling overwhelmed.

Protip: You can add these deadlines to a calendar app like Routine to ensure they don't get lost.

Celebrate your wins

Celebrating your successes, no matter how small, is vital to staying motivated and maintaining momentum. Take time to reflect on your achievements and acknowledge the steps that helped you get there.


By setting shorter-term professional goals, you can increase your motivation, stay focused, and ultimately achieve more.

Whether you’re looking to get promoted, increase your productivity, or build new skills, breaking down your aspirations into smaller, more manageable steps will help you get there.

Got feedback? Let us know on Twitter @RoutineHQ.

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