Maybe it stems from the long-time tradition of setting a New Year's resolution or an ingrained ideal that a goal should be something you're reaching for on a far-off horizon? Either way, it's time to reevaluate your approach for goal setting altogether. Besides, when was the last time you actually stuck to your new year–new you resolution beyond Blue Monday?
A recent article for Inc. provides persuasive evidence about the importance of daily goals versus long-term ambitions, and much of it has to do with the way in which we see results and, therefore, success. It argues that we often use long-term goals as a crutch to avoid making changes in the here and now, but it just so happens that change occurs in the present, not in a future that we cannot control. In order to actually make change, you have to see it in real time, and the only way to do that is by making immediate alterations. Look at it this way: If you have a huge project due next month, chances are you're not hunkering down at your desk to spend the day getting started, but if you have the pressure of preparations for a meeting in a few hours, we're betting you'll get to work on those ASAP. Goals work the same way, as it's easier to let long-term ambitions slip away. By holding yourself to daily and even hourly objectives, actual results will drive you further to success. In other words, long-term goals can often be the easy way out—but a much less productive tool.
Read more about long-term versus short-term goals over at Inc.com, and educate yourself on these science-backed ways to keep your goals this year. Have trouble setting goals? Learn how with this top book and hit both your personal and career-related targets.
What's your secret to achieving your goals? Tell us in the comments below.