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Should goals be long-term or short-term? Do you need both short-term and long-term goals? Here, Stefan Söderfjäll answers questions about these different types of goals.


Many times the mistake is made that we only formulate long-term goals that usually extend from three months onwards. And those goals are of course important for us to be able to make more long-term decisions, plan, add resources and do long-term planning and so on. But they do not have much effect on the actual behavior on a daily basis. And since goals have as their main function to actually influence our behavior, we also need to formulate goals that are significantly more short-lived than that. And there is really no shortest period of time around which it makes sense to formulate a goal.

When we are going to perform a behavior, carry out an activity or carry out various sub-projects, we can always try to formulate goals with these activities and sub-projects. And the importance of having a long-term goal, is that we can then formulate the short-term goals based on the long-term goals.

If we lack a long-term goal picture or a direction with the business, it will be difficult to formulate short-term goals, because we have nothing to reconcile them with. But the short-term goals, they are the ones that affect our behavior. They are the ones who give us the opportunity to feel that we are making progress. They are the ones who help us to continuously learn and develop.

About Stefan Söderfjäll

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology Stefan Söderfjäll has studied our human behavior for over 20 years. Stefan wants to bring out research-based knowledge, above all about how we behave in working life. Stefan Söderfjäll is one of the owners of the Swedish digital tool for goal control, GoalEnvision. GoalEnvision is a powerful tool for you who want to set goals together in the company. GoalEnvision provides tips on successful goals and a simple methodology to get everyone to get the right things done.

About By Stefan Söderfjäll, author and PhD in psychology

Stefan Söderfjäll is a Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology and has spent more than 20 years bringing out research-based knowledge about how we behave, especially about how we behave in working life.

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