Why You Need Mid-Term Goals And How To Plan Them

Mid Term Goals

Mid-term goals fall into the grey area between short-term and long-term goals. Although you probably have a good idea of how to set short and long-term goals, determining what your mid-term goals are can be a bit tricky. Luckily, we explore several mid-term goals examples today.

Let’s take a closer look at what mid-term goals are and why they are important for you. Plus, how you can set your own.

What are mid term goals?

The majority of us have money goals. However, most of our goals fall into the short term or long term goals. What about goals that won’t happen right away but won’t take decades to achieve? That’s when mid-term goals step into the picture. They are meant to be accomplished in a five to ten-year timeline.

Short-term goals vs mid-term goals vs long-term goals

So what’s the difference between short-term vs. mid-term vs. long-term goals? Short-term goals typically take less than a year to accomplish. As you work on your short-term goal, you should see progress quickly.

On the other end of the spectrum, long-term goals can take more than a decade to complete. For example, saving for retirement could take decades to accomplish, which would definitely put it into the long-term goals category.

Somewhere in the middle lies a mid-term goal. You can take advantage of these smaller goals to tackle big tasks that will require more than a year or two to accomplish. But it shouldn’t take more than a decade to accomplish these goals.

We break down examples of different overall financial goals here.

The importance of having mid-term goals

The importance of goal setting cannot be understated. Although it might seem like you can skip the step of goal setting, studies have shown a positive correlation between goal setting and success. Essentially, without a goal in mind, you are unlikely to reach your full potential because life is bound to get in the way.

With that, the idea of setting goals is clearly important. However, why should you bother setting mid-term goals if you already have your short-term and long-term goals laid out?

You may have heard of SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. That last piece of the SMART goal puzzle — time-bound — is a key component and why mid-term goals are important.

A\lthough long-term goals are great to have in mind, it can be difficult to stay the course without mid-term goals in place that align with your long-term plans but allow you to enjoy the feeling of success along the way.

Basically, a mid-term goal breaks up the marathon mentality of long-term goals into more manageable components for you to tackle. With that, appropriate mid-term goals are key to your long-term success. 

Mid-term goals examples

Let’s explore some mid-term goals examples to help you better understand what they are. We’ll cover them in a variety of areas.

1. Finances

Let’s start with mid-term goals examples for your personal finances. A few great examples include paying down your student loan debt, saving up for a down payment on your first home, and increasing your net worth to a particular number.

Although these are big goals, they will likely take a few years to complete. This is opposed to long-term goals, like saving for retirement, which will likely take decades to work towards.

2. Career

Career goals can help to propel your career forward, and mid-term goals are especially helpful for this. A few career goals include finishing your degree, earning a certificate, or gaining a new skill.

Although your career path will involve unique goals, it’s a smart idea to set smaller goals for yourself to make them easier to achieve.

3. Skills

Want to learn a new skill? It can seem daunting when you start with a big goal like learning a new language or mastering a new musical instrument.

Instead of being overwhelmed, break up the big goal into smaller goals. For example, you might try to learn one new song on the piano as a mid-term goal. Over time, you can build the skill.

4. Education

Education can be a lifelong pursuit.  Depending on where your curiosity draws you, there are likely countless things to learn about.

Consider setting goals to learn one new skill at a time. If you are passionate about a particular area of your education, then think about making that a priority.

5. Side hustle

A side hustle can completely transform your finances. Not only can a new side hustle change your financial picture, but it also opens the door to new lifestyle possibilities.

Personally, my freelance writing career that started as a side hustle completely transformed my finances. Plus, I’ve been able to take control of my schedule, which is really important to me.

However, building a successful side hustle didn’t happen overnight. And it likely won’t happen overnight for you. Instead, you’ll likely need to hit some mid-term goals along the way to build a successful side hustle.

For example, you might have a mid-term goal of hitting a moderate monthly income. But this goal could play into your long-term goal of building a higher income through your side hustle and have the option to walk away from your job.

Want to learn more about building a side hustle? Take a look at our full guide to building your side hustle and also our list of unique side hustle ideas.

How to create mid-term goals from long-term goals

Convinced that mid-term goals are worthwhile? Here’s how to create mid-term goals that will help you reach your long-term goals.

First, take a look at your long-term goals. Find a long-term goal that matters to you and break it up into logic stages that you can accomplish in a medium time frame.

For example, let’s say that you have the long-term goal of building a real estate portfolio that produces enough passive income to fund your life. A great mid-term goal would be to buy your first rental property. So you take your big goal of having multiple rental units and break it down into smaller chunks.

One rental property will lead to two, then three, and so on. Before you know it your mid-term goals have led you to your ultimate dream goal! Another example would be getting out of debt. Let's say you own $15,000 in credit card debt.

Your mid-term goal would be to pay off $7,500 of your debt. Reaching this goal would drastically reduce your total debt and motivate you to keep going until you are part of team #debtfree!

Set mid-term goals for financial success

Mid-term goals can be a great way to keep building momentum towards your long-term plans. Whether you use them to set a strategy for your finances or another aspect of your life, this powerful tool can help you move the needle.

Want to learn more about goal setting? Learn more with our completely free financial courses and worksheets!

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