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Balancing Short-Term Goals with Long-Term Vision

The quote "If you want to achieve something ridiculous, you must put in ridiculous effort" has been my mantra for the past three months. Being able to live by that quote has been MUCH harder than I had anticipated. Despite thinking this was the best way to balance school, work, and several STEM passion projects, I found myself juggling all three at the same time. That "ridiculous effort" I needed? I started questioning if it was enough to get me to where I wanted to be.

As I quickly realized, this mindset was unsustainable. I soon realized that I wasn't making growth in the areas where I truly wanted to grow because I didn't do adequate preparation before charging towards my STEM professional and personal goals. I neglected my short-term objectives because I was focused on the end goal. Rather than neglecting the smaller steps toward the bigger picture, I advise you to take them one step at a time. Considering each challenge and task from the perspective of short-term goals has made the path toward my long-term goals clear. I am now running full speed on the right path, rather than one that leads nowhere I want to be.

Here are some tips to get you started on the path to achieving your long-term goals:

  • Take time to articulate and refine your long-term vision, considering factors such as mission, values, and desired outcomes.

  • Regularly revisit and refine the vision to adapt to changing conditions and priorities.

  • Anticipate potential obstacles and develop contingency plans to mitigate risks and capitalize on emerging opportunities. This proactive approach allows you to respond swiftly to challenges without derailing progress towards your long-term goals.

  • Do not be afraid to share your plan. Embrace feedback and insights from others along the journey. Actively seek input from team members, stakeholders, and mentors, and use their perspectives to refine strategies and adjust courses as needed.

  • Conduct a thorough assessment of short-term goals, considering factors such as urgency, importance, and alignment with long-term objectives.

  •  Identify key milestones and milestones that contribute directly to the long-term vision, prioritizing them accordingly.

Trying to juggle every "big vision" you have will only result in you working ineffectively towards it. List your goals, break them down into short-term ones, and work towards them sustainably. In the long run, taking that time can save you an abundance of brain power. When you embrace these principles and take actionable steps to balance short-term goals with a long-term vision, you will be able to navigate complexities, seize opportunities, and drive sustainable success. 

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