I recently made some short-term investments. The problem is I’m a long-term person. I write this blog not because of what I’ll get out of it tomorrow, but because of what I’ll get out of it in 10, 20, or even 50 years. That’s the kind of long-term thinking that life has taught me works for what I want.
One thing I noticed from the short-term investments I made is how distracted they made me from the long-term goals I have. That by being misaligned even in the timeframes, even if the investments serve the same purpose towards the same goals, one became more urgent than the other and urgency replaced everything else. This happens throughout our lives if we are paying close enough attention.
So something to ponder is how your different goals are aligned. Is everything short-term? If so, that’s probably okay, they will take up equal amounts of your focus because they have similar urgency. Is everything long-term? If so, that’s great because you can continue to peck away at the efforts required to get where you want to go. The problem is the mismatch.
The short-term erodes the long-term. Short-term is great, if it is a fraction of a long-term goal. To give an example of this in relative terms, since long and short are relative by nature, my wife is working on a marketing guide for customers to share what a project looks like and give them expectations about working with her. This is her long-term goal. She’s has many other activities going on so to sit down and write a ten-page guide to this is a significant undertaking it might take 3-6 months. However, she can outline this document, then every week write a single blog for he website that covers one section. Perhaps it’s half a page each week. When she’s covered every section with a blog, she can then edit the document together and have it available. This is the value of short-term goals building to long ones.
A bad example, one where short-term distracts from long-term is an example where a company is struggling financially because they need to rework corporate sales training sessions they provide which no longer are as valued in the marketplace. Sales are dwindling every year, and what they need is a new offering, but it would take a year to create that new training program and they need revenues to go up now. So they focus the company’s efforts on new marketing plans and gimmicks and discounts, and don’t spend enough of the company’s efforts on reworking their offerings. Their short-term ate away their long-term. Every year they will need more gimmicks, more discounts, and their offerings will continue to dwindle.
In the moment, it’s easy to miss the fact that your short-term goals aren’t always aligned with the long-term goals. However, it’s definitely worth checking in with yourself from time to time on them.
P.S. Don’t forget as a mentioned, long and short are relative. A long-term goal for someone could be a month, and their short-term could be a day. That’s okay. Everyone is built differently. Just recognize that in yourself as well.