There might be affiliate links on this page, which means we get a small commission of anything you buy. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Please do your own research before making any online purchase.
We hear a lot about how important it is to set goals in order to turn our dreams into reality. We are often told about goal-setting mistakes that get in our way… but what we don't always hear is this: with a bit of time and effort, goal-setting doesn't have to be difficult.
In fact, there are actually three levels of goals that all work together in order to get you to where you want to go and to who you want to be. The goals that bring everything together are medium-term goals. So today, we will take a deeper look at these often-overlooked goals.
What are Medium-Term Goals?
Medium-term goals are goals that often take 1-3 years to complete. These are the goals that you have to spend more time reaching than short-term ones; yet, they provide the crucial stepping stones to reaching our long-term goals… which can take ten years or longer to reach.
These are the realistic goals that we determine are going to add up over time. Medium-term goals may often sound similar to long-term ones, but there are several differences, such as how long it will take to accomplish them.
Just like any other type of goal, medium-term goals can be separated into several different categories. These include areas such as: life skills, career, and education, among others. Unlike long-term goals, you may want to set 5-7 medium-term goals across different life areas.
The important thing is to create ones that can keep you moving forward to your ultimate long-term goal and be careful not to scatter your efforts over too many goals at a time. Remember, these only take 1-3 years to complete, so you have time to move on to other ones when you reach these.
Why are Medium-term Goals So Important?
Medium-term goals are so important because they provide you with check-in points that give you an indication of what progress you have made toward your long-term goals. These goals will help you keep your momentum and not give in to discouragement when things seem to be progressing too slowly.
Best of all, these goals also give you a chance to alter things that aren't working. They provide a roadmap you can follow.
How Do You Set a Medium-Term Goal?
While many people swear by using SMART goal techniques in order to set goals, there are several other equally effective methods. It is important for you to choose a goal-setting method that feels comfortable for you.
If it seems like too much work, it is very unlikely that you will keep using it. You may also want to try one of the many goal-setting and tracking apps that have become available.
While tried and true methods are preferred, there are a few other methods you can try to help give you a general direction of what goals you may like to work on. These include:
1. Mindmapping – Try putting your long-term goal in the center. The spokes coming from it will contain circles of the major steps you need to take to reach that goal. Some may even be broken down further.
2. Brain Dump – Sit down and just start writing. Write down every idea that comes to mind without judging it as workable or not. Once you have exhausted all your ideas, go back and start evaluating the ideas.
3. Make a List – Write your long-term goal on a sheet of paper and then start writing down all the things you need to do to make it happen. These are your mid-term goals.
Now, let’s take a look at some examples of medium-term goals.
41 Medium-Term Goals Examples
1. Save for a home loan down payment.
Save $10,000 for a down payment on a home loan in the next three years. This could be broken down into smaller goals of $5,000 in 18 months.
2. Buy a new car.
I will set aside $200 twice a month to put towards the purchase of a brand-new car within the next two years. In order to do this, I will get a part-time job that covers the majority of this savings.
3. Get my master’s degree.
I will start classes at the local university this September and work towards obtaining my master’s degree in Psychology within two years. This means I will need to attend classes full-time and spend weekends working on my thesis.
4. Finish photography school.
I will graduate from Photography School in 18 months. I will work with the academic advisor to make sure I get into all my required classes and will regularly visit the professor's office hours for feedback on my work.
5. Go to Africa for a photo safari.
It will take me close to three years to save up for both equipment suited for wildlife photography and the cost of the trip. In order to achieve this, I will set aside $100 a month, which is marked only for this trip.
6. Get a promotion at work.
I will speak with my supervisor and ask for advice of what educational classes I need to complete in order to be considered for management and will sign up for these at the community college.
7. Learn computer repair.
Take evening classes to learn computer repair. The entire course takes two years and that will give me time to work on my business plan for starting my own computer repair business within five years.
8. Complete my thesis.
Complete my Doctorate thesis within the next 18 months. This will require me to spend three hours each evening in research and writing.
9. Start a serious relationship.
Find a serious relationship partner within the next two years. I will sign up for online matchmaker sites and commit myself to one date every two weeks. I will concentrate on dating those who have the most things in common with me and find out within the first two dates if they are seeking a steady relationship with someone or not.
10. Start a family.
Have a baby to start our family. This means I will need to keep track of my cycles and work on gathering things I will need so I am not at a loss when the time comes and don't get overwhelmed.
11. Go to Disneyland.
Take the family on vacation to Disneyland the summer after next. This will require making reservations at least a year in advance, including reservations at a place to stay and transportation.
I will make a list of all necessary preparations and prioritize them. I will then create a timeline to make sure each step is completed as necessary.
12. Renovate my home.
Renovate my Victorian home to its original state. This will take up to three years as I need to work evenings and weekends and will have help only on weekends.
13. Lose weight.
Lose 150 pounds in two years. This will entail losing six pounds a month. Weekly weigh-ins will keep me on track and joining an exercise class will help ensure I get in exercise three times a week.
14. Run the Boston Marathon.
Run the Boston Marathon in two years and place in the top 21 percent. I will need to run daily, gradually building up my stamina and speed. To continue training in poor weather, I will join a club with an indoor running track.
15. Start a dog-training business.
Start a dog-training business next year. I have the capital but must find a suitable facility and work outfitting it with the proper equipment and finding clients.
16. Plan a family reunion.
I need to plan this for 14 months from now. This planning will require that I gather names and addresses, plan where this will take place, send invitations, etc. By making a list of all the smaller details I need to arrange, I can keep track of the progress I am making.
17. Run for public office.
I want to run for an opening position on City Council. The election is almost two years from now. I need to fill out the required paperwork and get petitions signed in order to be put on the ballot. Then, I need to plan my campaign strategy.
18. Learn French.
I am visiting France in two years and would like to be able to hold a basic conversation in French. I need to sign up for a class in French at the local college. I will finish the first one and take the second level.
19. Plan a wedding.
The wedding is over a year away but there are many smaller goals that need to be reached to make sure it goes smoothly. The first thing I need to do is make a list of details and then place them on a planner so I can have a timeline to work with.
20. Set up a non-profit for LGBTQ+ youth.
This goal will take approximately three years, allowing for delays and red tape. I must first create a business plan that includes research on the needs within the community and what problems this will solve. Then I need to bring the plan to the attention of potential financial supporters.
21. Grow my professional network.
I want to grow my professional network over the next two years. I need to make plans to attend as many networking events such as seminars and conventions as possible. Once I get contact information, I can start inviting people to lunches and such, to start fostering relationships.
22. Teach classes in my area of expertise.
As I want to do this virtually, I will need to research potential teaching platforms and see what they require. Next, I will need to create the course material and submit my application to the platforms. Then, I will need to advertise and attract students.
I expect this entire process to take eighteen months.
23. Become a published author.
Write and publish a book on a true crime event. This will take at least three years as I need to do a lot of research, including numerous interviews with the people involved, experts, and criminal representatives involved in the case.
In the meantime, I can start contacting potential publishers with my proposal.
24. Hold an art exhibit.
Have an art gallery exhibit next year. I need to contact various galleries and show them my portfolio and find out what they require. I also need to prepare more items for display.
25. Take a spiritual retreat.
Grow spiritually by taking a spiritual retreat run by masters. I will need to research possibilities and then plan for financing the retreat as well as make arrangements to take time off of work.
26. Pay off my mortgage.
Pay off my mortgage within three years. This will entail making double my current payment each month. In order to do this, I will need a second job and will need to put the money into an account marked specifically for this purpose.
27. Pay off my student loan debt.
Pay off my student loan in two years. I still have $8000 to pay in order to make this a reality. If I pay $335 dollars a month, I can meet this goal.
28. Grow a garden.
Grow a garden that completely provides for my vegetable needs by the end of next summer.
I will need to research the growing needs of various plants and then find a space large enough to grow what is needed. I can spend time every evening working to prepare and plant and do maintenance. On weekends, I will learn how to preserve what I grow for future use.
29. Find a mentor.
Find a mentor in my field. I would like to find someone who has achieved success in my field of interest and who is willing to let me intern under them for a year or more. Once I get the internship, I can make myself and my skills known and ask for the help I need to learn as much as possible.
30. Learn off-grid survival techniques.
Learning off-grid survival techniques within the coming two years will help me realize my goal of buying a piece of land by the lake and living there full-time within three years.
Log 1500 volunteer hours with Habitat for Humanity. I have valuable construction and painting skills to offer to this project. By volunteering 16 hours every weekend, I can meet this goal in less than two years.
32. Create my own fashion line and give a show.
To put on my own fashion show, I will need to design at least a dozen outfits, find willing models, locate a venue, and then promote the event. I am aiming for a maximum of two years to complete this task and pull it together.
33. Run the Iditarod.
To meet my long-term goal of placing in the top five at the Iditarod, I first need to run and complete it. I have a team but they are all young and inexperienced at the moment. I need to find a place where I can regularly run the dogs and train them.
I need to have them run shorter races. I want to run and complete the Iditarod two years from now.
34. Build my own house.
I have an empty plot on which I would like to build my own house within two years. I must either purchase a plan or create one, research material costs, and start with the foundation.
I will create a building schedule based on the time I have available to work on the project and use it as a means of staying on course.
35. Adopt a child.
I want to adopt a child within the coming 2 years. I need to first apply to adoption agencies and then go through their screening process, which can take up to a year. I then need to go through the legal process of adopting. I can make the process easier by first fostering a child during this period.
36. Plan a 50th anniversary party.
I am in charge of planning my parents' 50th anniversary 18 months from now. I need to find a venue, create an invitation list, send invitations, and arrange for catering, decorations, and entertainment. The first step will be to find a venue that is free on the planned date.
37. Triple my business revenue.
I want to triple my current business revenue within the next three years. This will require me to evaluate the current situation, research ways in which to add products or services, and then work with a business consultant to come up with a strategy that has a strong base and a built-in promotion schedule/plan.
38. Get gender-affirming surgery.
I want to get gender-affirming surgery in 18 months. I have saved up the money I need, but need to follow the procedure of seeing a mental health professional who can verify my mental state.
Then I must talk with a physician who is willing to do this, undergo medical tests that will confirm I am healthy, and work with my insurance to see what portion they will cover.
39. Finish preparations for retirement and beyond.
I will retire exactly one year from now. I need to take the time to get my finances gathered. I will need to decide where I will be living and want to work with an estate lawyer to get final plans in place so I don’t have to spend my last years worrying about them.
40. Plan a charity concert.
I want to put on a concert to benefit support dogs for veterans. I want this done thirteen months from now. I need to find a venue, reach out to music acts, and technical staff. I then need to work on promotion.
41. Plan and take a car trip through all the lower 48 states.
I need to first make sure my finances will allow this. I then need to work with my employer for time off a year from now. I need to map out my trip and find places to stay in each state.
Final Thoughts on Medium-Term Goals
Regularly taking time to work on goal-setting activities is important. Once you find a goal setting method that works for you, you are on your way to achieving more in your life than you ever thought possible… except for maybe when you were a child and thought you could do everything all at once!
When you get fired up about a new idea, it’s only natural that you want to rush in and get started. But by slowing down and taking the time to create a roadmap, you increase your chances of success immensely.
Your long-term goals are big ones. In order to make sure you reach them, it helps to break them down into more manageable medium-term goals so you don't become overwhelmed or discouraged when progress seems slow.
The medium-term goals will show you that you ARE making progress. They will help you follow the advice of one well-known fish, Dory, “Just keep swimming!”
To learn about other types of goals, check out these blog posts:
- 57 Short-Term Goals Examples to Help You Succeed Today
- 15 Intermediate Goals Examples to Set for the Next Year
- 25 Long-Term Goal Examples for Your Career & Personal Life
Finally, if you want to take your goal-setting efforts to the next level, check out this FREE printable worksheet and a step-by-step process that will help you set effective SMART goals.