Long term success and actually realising your potential has nothing to do with reaching a goal.
The only real way to continue to make gains is to fall in love with the process, not the outcome.
This is a truism that most life long athletes embody naturally wether they are aware of it or not.
If you go to any good martial arts class, this is what you'll see:
Beginners spar to win
Black belts spar to improve
This same goes for the weight room.
The strongest guy in the gym likely isn't working as hard as the weekend warrior, or the 6 week challenge participants.
But he is there week in week out, pushing forward, backing off, pushing forward, backing off.
Making gains month by month, not necessarily session by session.
Same with the runner
Short and long term goals are great to have.
Long term goals keep you going in the right direction, but are subject to change
Short term goals are more immediate check points, these should be actually be very achievable.
To bring it back to the martial arts analogy, there's a number of skills and a level of proficiency required to achieve each new belt.
These are the short term goals, all very achievable.
Each one laying the foundation for the next.
Maybe, just maybe culminating in the coveted black belt.
But that time the Black Belt is just that, a belt and the process is the most important thing, not the belt.
Maybe your black belt is a double bodyweight Deadlift, or 200 Kettlebell Snatches.
But if you understand that the process of achieving these numbers is more important than the numbers themselves, then you're far more likely to succeed