The difference between short and long-term goals

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The difference between short and long-term goals

How can we help the child to see the difference in relationship between a short and a long term goals? Now you have to hold in mind here a child's time perspective. The time perspective as a young child is very short so you have to set mostly proximate goals. As they get older, they can begin to grasp more distant goals but they may not be for the year in the future, they might be a week in the future, and as they get older, they might be a year in the future. So you look carefully at what time span they're capable of grasping and then help them to set intermediate goals that lead to those longer term goals like getting grades as a means of getting into a good college or getting into medical school. So you can't do that with a 2 year old but you can do it with a 12 or 14 year old. So a parent can help them with holding in mind a time perspective, and the connection between a short term and the long term. Sometimes it's good to put the goals in writing and to show the measurements, long term and short term both, and put it up on the wall so they could actually see it. Other children might be good enough to hold it in their heads. You have to know what your child is capable of and how good they are at thinking, long and short term, and connecting the two together.

Watch Edwin A. Locke, PhD's video on The difference between short and long-term goals...


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Edwin A. Locke, PhD

Psychologist & Author

Edwin A. Locke, PhD, is Dean's Professor (Emeritus) of Leadership and Motivation at the R.H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park. He received his BA from Harvard in 1960 and his PhD in Industrial Psychology from Cornell University in 1964.He has published over 300 chapters, notes and articles in professional journals, on such subjects as work motivation, job satisfaction, incentives, and the philosophy of science. He is also the author or editor of 12 books, including The Selfish Path to Romance: How to Love with Passion and Reason, Study Methods and Study Motivation, Goal Setting: A Motivational Technique That Works, A Theory of Goal Setting and Task Performance, Handbook of Principles of Organizational Behavior, The Prime Movers: Traits of the Great Wealth Creators  and Postmodernism and Management: Pros, Cons and the Alternative. He is internationally known for his research on goal setting. A recent survey found that Locke's goal setting theory (developed with G. Latham) was ranked #1 in importance among 73 management theories. His work has been supported by numerous research grants, and he has served as consultant to research firms and private businesses.Dr. Locke has been elected a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, the Academy of Management, and has been a consulting editor for leading journals. He was a winner of the Outstanding Teacher-Scholar Award at the University of Maryland, the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, the Career Contribution Award from the Academy of Management (Human Resource Division), the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Management (Organizational Behavior Division), and the James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award from the Association for Psychological Science. He has been a writer and lecturer for the Ayn Rand Institute and is interested in the application of the philosophy of Objectivism to behavioral sciences.

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