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Business Owners & Managers

Goal Setting - How to Set Out Near, Short, and Long Term Planning

By Jim Nelson from J and J Lawn Service

Setting goals and planning is a must in order to sustain / maintain direction in your current / future personal and business endeavors.

These are some methods that I have learned and used throughout my life. I apply them both in my personal and professional life.


You’ve probably heard of the acronym “SMART” when it comes to goal setting, it’s been around a long time. If you haven’t here is what each letter represents:

  • Specific

  • Measurable

  • Attainable

  • Relevant

  • Time bound

Specific - Your goals need to be as specific as possible, and clearly defined as possible. This will give you the direction and follow through. (Purchase and pay cash for a $10,000 mower in a year, for example)

Measurable - Make your progress quantifiable. Set realistic deadlines to finish the task you established. Do this by adding specific dates, amounts, numbers and such. (Each quarter have $2,500 saved)

Attainable - Be honest and don’t lie to yourself. You will become frustrated if you can’t reach your goals. (In the mower example, the cash flow has to be there)

Relevant - Align the goal with the direction you want your business to go. (Buying this mower will increase efficiency and productivity, resulting in greater cash flow)

Time-bound - The finish line will mean goal accomplished. By establishing deadlines it provides the urgency versus the lack of when they’re open ended. (For example, set up quarterly deadlines with the final being 1 year out)


  • Near term planning consists of the next 6 weeks

  • Short term planning consists of the next 3 months (quarterly)

  • Long term planning generally consists of 1 to 5 years

By effectively planning, it enables you to reach your goals. Sit down each quarter and review / update your plans, which will keep you focused and on track.

Use this planning in business for employee training, equipment maintenance, equipment replacement, professional development, general growth and sustainability.

In your personal life it can include savings/retirement, vehicle purchase, education, children milestones and vacations.

These are just some examples keep your short and long term plans very generalized; the detailed plans take place in the near term (next 6 weeks)

Hopefully you have a general idea of how the process works. So now it’s time to establish some goals both in your personal / family life and your business / professional life and make some plans to accomplish them.

By having established goals and plans it will help you stay focused and in the direction you want to go.

Keep in mind that your goals and plans change, which is why you must have a system to review them. Never be afraid to reach out for input and guidance.

Hopefully this has helped and I wish you nothing but the very best!

Jim Nelson
J and J Lawn Service
UAG Member 2019
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How do you map out the various plans you have around your business and personal life? Join our forum to share your tips or ask other pros for advice.