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Last Updated on July 13, 2020

9 Types of Goals to Help Get Your Life on Track

9 Types of Goals to Help Get Your Life on Track

Goals can be about anything in life, as long as it is something you set to achieve within a timeframe. There are different types of goals you can set to make your life better. For example, you can set a goal to improve your vocabulary by reading 30 books in a year. To achieve this goal, you’ll probably have to set smaller goals like reading 30 minutes a day or 4hours a week and reading up 3 books every month.

While at it, you may discover that your family and relationship needs more attention as does your business. You might also find that you need to raise the bar of your income to meet surging expenses. Moreover, you also do not want to keep your health in the danger zone while pursuing your wildest dreams.

In order to put things in shape and keep your life on track, the following are the types of goals you should focus on setting. They will help you to increase your productivity, achieve tremendous success, and live a balanced life.

Time-Based Goals

Popular author and International Bestseller, Stephen R. Covey said:

“The key is not spending time but investing it.”

Nothing else helps you to invest your time wisely more than time-based goals. These can be in the form of short term, long term or lifetime goals.

1. Short Term Goals

Short term goals are the goals you set to accomplish in the immediate future. These goals help you to think about what you can do right now and up to a year to achieve your dreams. You can think of short term goals as smaller units of larger goals – the smaller steps that connect you to your bigger dreams.

For example, if your long term goal is to buy a house in 5 years, your short term goal might be to save a certain amount of your monthly income to be able to buy the house in the set time.

Here are more examples of short term goals:

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  • Lose 10 pounds of weight in one month
  • Increase income by 40% over the next six months.
  • Take 5 online mini-courses in 2 months
  • Save up some money to enjoy a vacation later in the year
  • Read a book every month

Setting short term goals will keep you motivated. That feeling that comes with getting something done and checking them off your list keeps you motivated to want to achieve more. Here’s How to Set Short Term Goals for a Successful Life.

2. Long Term Goals

A long term goal is something you want to accomplish in the future but have to take steps towards achieving now. They usually require a broader scope and more time to achieve.

Long term goals can be about the things you want to achieve for yourself, family, career, business, or health, etc.

Here are examples of long term goals:

  • Obtain a doctoral degree
  • Found a non-profit
  • Land your dream job
  • Buy your own house
  • Save for retirement
  • Learn to speak another language fluently
  • Move to another country

Long term goals connect you to your bigger purpose and give you a sense of direction. Achieving long term goals also brings lasting results. Imagine being able to buy your dream home, you will enjoy it for as long as you want. Learn How to Set Long Term Goals and Reach Success.

3. Lifetime Goals

Lifetime goals are the big goals that you intend to achieve in your lifetime. They essentially connect with your life dream, vision, and purpose, and can occur at any point in life – early adult life, middle-age, or old age. There is no limit to what you can set to achieve in your lifetime.

For example, you can set a life goal to have your own family and raise 3 children, own a private jet at 40 or retire at 50. Another lifetime goal can be to feed 2 million destitute children with your resources before you die.

A faith-based preacher was credited to ‘winning’ 79 million souls before he died at 79. [1]. That’s just an example to show that lifetime goals can be just about anything and can be achieved.

More examples of lifetime goals:

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  • Become country President at 40
  • Become a TV Host, host the top hierarchy in the world of Politics, Business, Sports and Entertainment before turning 35
  • Climb Mount Everest at 65
  • Travel to all countries of the world before age 55
  • Buy and develop a 100 hectares of land in Africa as retirement home and farm
  • Stay fit and run the marathon at 80

Setting your life goals should not be a difficult task. If you are unsure of what goals you should set for your life, look toward your values and passions for direction.[2]

Life-Based Goals

In order to live a balanced life and achieve all-round success, there is a need to set specific goals for different areas of your life. Setting goals in these key areas will help you to take control of your entire life and achieve more as you think steps ahead.

4. Health and Fitness Goals

Before anything else, your most important goal in life should be to stay alive and healthy. When you are fit physically and mentally, you will find it easier to function well in other areas. Here are some health goals you can set for yourself:

  • Walk for 30 minutes a day
  • Avoid foods with high cholesterol
  • Keep a regular bedtime
  • Quit smoking
  • Drink at least 2 litres of water a day

Get inspired by these 15 Fitness Goals That Will Help You Live a Healthier Life This Year.

5. Career Goals

Career goals are the roadmaps that help you to achieve a more productive and progressive professional life. Irrespective of the stage you are currently in your career, you need to continually set goals to grow and achieve more.

Your career goals should reflect your professional vision, and you should also think carefully about what you want to accomplish. [3]

Below are some career goals examples:

  • Earn a higher Degree or Executive Certification
  • Become a Consultant in your field
  • Rise to top management cadre within 5 years
  • Increase your job performance metrics
  • Find a job with better staff welfare package

Take a look at this article and find out more about career goals: How to Set Ambitious Career Goals (With Examples)

6. Financial Goals

Most of us are making less than we could and spending more than we should. Setting financial goals will help you take control of your finances.

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To set financial goals, you have to be able to figure out what is important to you and what you can afford in the short and long term. Here are some financial goal examples:

  • Prepare and stick to a monthly spending plan
  • Save a certain amount monthly
  • Develop alternative income sources
  • Grow income by 50%
  • Pay off debt

Here’re some tips for setting financial goals: How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

7. Business Goals

Growing and keeping your business on the right track requires setting the right set of business goals. To achieve this, you have to determine your long term vision and mission for your business and also create measurable short term objectives.

Below are some examples of business goals:

  • Reduce overhead by 30%
  • Acquire new clients
  • Enter a new market
  • Create a new product
  • Increase your market share

Here’re even more examples: 10 Simple Yet Powerful Business Goals to Set This Year

8. Personal Goals

Personal goals are the goals that you set to have a better version of yourself in the near or distant future. These goals include activities and plans that are geared towards personal development. Examples of personal goals include:

  • Read a book per month, commit to lifelong learning
  • Develop a habit of gratitude
  • Stop procrastinating
  • Wake up early
  • Develop emotional intelligence

Find more personal goals examples here: 14 Personal Goals for a Better You Next Year

9. Family Goals

The home front is crucial to experiencing balance and well-being. Setting family goals will help you to keep your family in order and experience happy moments with the people you love most.

Examples of family goals include:

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  • Eat more veggies to have a healthy family
  • Create a weekly/monthly time out
  • Have a daily family devotion/meditation
  • Volunteer to do some chores for your spouse
  • Save up for a Disney Cruise

More family goals for your reference: How To Set Family Goals To Build A Happy Family (With Examples)

In addition to family goals, you may want to consider setting marriage goals too: How to Set Marriage Goals That Make Your Relationship Stronger

Making Your Goals S.M.A.R.T

To make your goals workable and achievable, there are some things you have to consider in the goal planning process. The S.M.A.R.T framework is one of the goal frameworks that you can use to put your goals in the proper perspective.

S.M.A.R.T is an acronym used to represent Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound (or Time-related). A goal that is not SMART is nothing but a vague goal and such can be hardly achieved.

Setting SMART goals begin with knowing what you want to achieve and what it takes to achieve them. Taking your goals through the SMART process can help you refine your ideas and redefine your goals.

If you want to learn more about setting SMART goals, don’t miss these tips: How to Write SMART Goals (With SMART Goals Templates)

Final Thoughts

Never let a moment pass in your life without setting a goal or working to achieve the ones you have set. Find out what you can do from now up to six months time to contribute to your progress in life.

Don’t forget to plan for the long term either. You have only one life to live, therefore set the goals you wish to accomplish in your lifetime. Every area of your life is important and you don’t want to neglect any of them. You only become truly successful when your life is in shape.

Setting goals will be a futile activity if the goals are not SMART. Make your goals SMART and you will find that achieving goals is not as difficult as they seem.

More About Goal Setting

Featured photo credit: NORTHFOLK via unsplash.com

Reference

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Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on October 22, 2020

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

Overwhelm is a pernicious state largely caused by the ever-increasing demands on our time and the distractions that exist all around us. It creeps up on us and can, in its extreme form, leave us feeling anxious, stressed, and exhausted. Therefore, if you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, it’s time to do something about it.

Here are 6 strategies you can follow that will reduce the feeling of overwhelm, leaving you calmer, in control, and a lot less stressed at work.

1. Write Everything Down to Offload Your Mind

The first thing you can do when work feels overwhelming is to write everything down that is on your mind.

Often people just write down all the things they think they have to do. This does help, but a more effective way to reduce overwhelm is to also write down everything that’s occupying your thoughts[1].

For example, you may have had an argument with your colleague or a loved one. If it’s on your mind, write it down. A good way to do this is to draw a line down the middle of the page and title one section “things to do” and the other “what’s on my mind.”

The act of writing all this down and getting it out of your head will help you stop feeling overwhelmed at work. Writing things down can really change your life.

2. Decide How Long It Will Take to Complete Your To-Dos

Once you have emptied your head, go through your list and estimate how long it will take to complete each to-do.

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As you go through your list, you will find quite a few to-dos will only take you five or ten minutes. Others will take longer, often up to several hours.

Do not worry about that at this stage. Just focus on estimating how long you will need to complete each task to the best of your ability. You can learn how to create a more meaningful to-do list here.

3. Take Advantage of Parkinson’s Law

Here’s a little trick I learned a long time ago to help when work feels overwhelming. Parkinson’s Law states that work will fill the time you have available to complete it, and we humans are terrible at estimating how long something will take[2]:

When feeling overwhelmed at work, use Parkinson's Law.

    This is why many people are always late. They think it will only take them thirty minutes to drive across town when previous experience has taught them it usually takes forty-five minutes to do so because traffic is often bad. It’s more wishful thinking than bad judgment.

    We can use Parkinson’s Law to our advantage when we’re feeling overwhelmed at work. If you have estimated that to write five important emails will take ninety minutes, then reduce it down to one hour. Likewise, if you have estimated it will take you three hours to prepare your upcoming presentation, reduce it down to two hours.

    Reducing the time you estimate something will take gives you two advantages. The first is you get your work done quicker, obviously. The second is that you put yourself under a little time pressure, and in doing so you reduce the likelihood you will be distracted or allow yourself to procrastinate.

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    When we overestimate how long something will take, subconsciously our brains know we have plenty of time, so it plays tricks on us, and we end up checking reviews of the Apple Watch 4 or allow our team members to interrupt us with the latest office gossip.

    Applying a little time pressure prevents this from happening, and we get more focused and more work done. This will help when work feels overwhelming.

    4. Use the Power of Your Calendar

    Once you have your time estimates done, open up your calendar and schedule your to-dos to avoid getting overwhelmed at work. Schedule time for each task, especially high priority tasks, while also grouping together similar tasks. This will help relieve stress and anxiety in your daily work life.

    For emails that need attention on your to-do list, schedule time on your calendar to deal with all your emails at once. Likewise, if you have a report to write or a presentation to prepare, add these to your calendar using your estimated time as a guide for how long each will take.

    Seeing these items on your calendar eases your mind because you know you have allocated time to get them done, and you no longer feel you have no time. Grouping similar tasks together keeps you in a focused state longer, and it’s amazing how much work you get done when you do this.

    5. Make Decisions

    For those things you wrote down that are on your mind but are not tasks, make a decision about what you will do with each one[3]. These things are on your mind because you have not made a decision about them.

    If you have an issue with a colleague, a friend, or a loved one, take a little time to think about what would be the best way to resolve the problem. More often than not just talking with the person involved will clear the air and resolve the problem.

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    If it is a more serious issue, then decide how best to deal with it. Talk to your boss or a colleague and get advice.

    Whatever you do, do not allow it to fester. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away and will only make you feel more overwhelmed at work. You need to make a decision to deal with it, and the sooner you do so the sooner the problem will be resolved.

    I remember long ago, when I was in my early twenties and had gone mad with my newly acquired credit cards. I discovered I didn’t have the money to pay my monthly bills. I worried about it for days, got stressed, and really didn’t know what to do. Eventually, I told a good friend about the problem.

    He suggested I called the credit card company to explain my problem. The next day, I plucked up the courage to call the company, explained my problem, and the wonderful person the other end listened and then suggested I pay a smaller amount for a couple of months.

    This one phone call took no more than ten minutes to make, yet it solved my problem and took away a lot of the stress I was feeling at the time. I learned two very valuable lessons from that experience:

    The first was: don’t go mad with newly acquired credit cards! And the second: there’s always a solution to every problem if you just talk to the right person.

    6. Take Some Form of Action

    Because overwhelm is something that creeps up on us, once we are feeling overwhelmed at work (and stressed as the two often go together), the key is to take some form of action.

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    The act of writing everything down that is bothering you and causing you to feel overwhelmed is a great place to start. Being able to see what it is that is bothering you in a list form, no matter how long that list is, eases the mind. You have externalized it.

    It also means that, rather than these worries floating around in a jumbled mess inside your head, they are now visible, and you can make decisions about what to do about them.

    Often, it could be asking a colleague for a little help, or it could be that you need to allocate some focused time to get the work done. The important thing is you make a decision on what to do next.

    When work feels overwhelming, it’s not always caused by a feeling of having a lack of time or too much work. It can also be caused by avoiding a decision about what to do next.

    The Bottom Line

    It’s easy to feel like you have too much on your plate, but there are things you do to make it more manageable. 

    Make a decision, even if it’s just talking to someone about what to do next. Making a decision about how you will resolve something will reduce your feelings of overwhelm and start you down the path to a resolution.

    When you follow these strategies, you can say goodbye to your overwhelm and gain much more control over your day.

    More Tips for Reducing Work Stress

    Featured photo credit: Josefa nDiaz via unsplash.com

    Reference

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