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Last Updated on November 26, 2020

9 Types of Goals to Get Your Life Moving in the Right Direction

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9 Types of Goals to Get Your Life Moving in the Right Direction

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 4 hours a week and reading up to 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 goal categories you should focus on when setting goals and objectives. They will help you 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 types of goals you set to accomplish in the immediate or near future. These goals help you to think about what you can do in the next 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 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, 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.

Learn more about how to go after your big goals in this video:

3. Lifetime Goals

Lifetime goals are the types of 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.More examples of lifetime goals:

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  • 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 a 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 types of 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 liters 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 achieve a more productive and progressive professional life. Irrespective of the stage you are currently at in your career, you need to continually set these types of 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:

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  • Earn a higher degree or executive certification
  • Become a consultant in your field
  • Rise to top management position within 5 years
  • Increase your job performance metrics
  • Find a job with better staff welfare package

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.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

7. Business Goals

Growing and keeping your business on the right track requires setting the right types of 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 include activities and plans that are geared towards personal development goals, spiritual goals, or even educational goals. Examples of personal goals include:

  • Read a book per month
  • Develop a habit of gratitude
  • Stop procrastinating
  • Wake up early
  • Develop emotional intelligence

9. Family Goals

The home front is crucial to experiencing balance and well-being, so these types of goals are especially important. 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

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

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

To make your major 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, Attainable, Realistic/Relevant and Time-based. A goal that is not SMART is nothing but a vague goal and such can be hardly achieved[4].

A breakdown of SMART goals -- specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based
    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.

    Final Thoughts

    Never let a moment pass in your life without setting specific types of goals 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, so set the goals you wish to accomplish in your lifetime. You only become truly successful when your life is in shape.Learning types of goal setting will be a futile activity if the goals are not SMART. Make your goals SMART and you will find that reaching your goal is not as difficult as it seems.

    More About Goal Setting

    Featured photo credit: NORTHFOLK via unsplash.com

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    Reference

    More by this author

    Leon Ho

    Founder & CEO of Lifehack

    What Is Procrastination and How to Stop It (The Complete Guide) Feel That Life Is Meaningless? Here’s How to Find Meaning How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life The Careful Art of Delegation: How to Delegate Effectively How the Flow State Helps You Stay Productive and Concentrate

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    Last Updated on September 27, 2021

    8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

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    8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

    The importance of effective goal setting cannot be overstated on our personal journeys towards success. This is why there are countless articles out there on how to set your own SMART goals and even why it’s a skill commonly taught to a small degree in classrooms.

    Learning the importance of goal setting and the benefits of sticking to those goals can be the defining factor determining whether we truly embrace the importance of goal setting. The more willing we are to embrace this method, the more likely we become to reach our personal definitions of personal and professional success.

    Thus, this article is going to walk you through some of the benefits you’ll see from learning to set goals for yourself and answer the question — why is goal setting important?

    1. Goals Guide and Align Our Focus

    It’s hard to get to where you want to be in life if you don’t know what you’re aiming for. Some people believe avoiding goals means living a more care-free life. How many times have you heard the phrase “If I have no expectations, then I can’t be disappointed”?

    But is that really what our lives have come to? Living just to avoid disappointment? It doesn’t seem like an overly optimistic view in my opinion. And since you’re reading this article, I’m willing to bet that you agree with me.

    Without goals, we lack a degree of direction and focus. Sure you may be able to avoid disappointment, but just avoiding disappointment doesn’t mean you are necessarily happy.

    Without goals, we will pointlessly waste our time, energy, and efforts. Listen to anybody who is the top of their field and they’ll tell you something like this,

    “Yes talent is important, but often your success depends much more on what you decide to do with that talent.”

    And what you will do with your talent largely depends on your focus.

    Your goals give you direction. Your goals give you something to shoot for. This direction and target you create in your mind will help you to progress towards your main life goals rather than simply wander around aimlessly. These goals will help you align your actions and behaviors as you continue moving forward.

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    So, why is goal setting important? Because it gives you direction, alignment, and purpose!

    2. Goals Help You Avoid ‘Shiny Object Syndrome’

    Basically, shiny object syndrome is always being in pursuit of the next big thing, constantly switching your goals based on what you feel is most fun and interesting at the given moment, but never actually giving yourself time to accomplish any of those goals.

    You don’t get anywhere because you continually change the direction you are heading in. This is one of the consequences that may result if you decide to live a life without goals.

    Your goals can sometimes help you to create mental barriers, or blinders, that help you to remain focused on what you think is important and avoid the things that are second priority. When you outline goals for yourself, you are better able to avoid things that distract you from achieving and accomplishing those goals.

    Setting goals helps you to step around the other shiny objects because you’ve taken the time to make some mental notes that remind you what it is that you want from your life. Your goals act as subconscious deterrents to anything less than your main priorities. This is what helps you to reach your personal definition of success.

    So, why is goal setting important? Because not only do goals tell you what you want from life, but they also help you realize what you need to give up and avoid to achieve that.

    3. Goals Turn Our Largest Goals into Manageable Steps

    A lot of us have big hopes and dreams. It’s one of the things that make our lives exciting!

    But a lot of us never take the time to figure out how we can effectively get from point A to point B. So, sadly, we never fully achieve those goals. We look at our dreams and convince ourselves that only a select few people ever achieve them, so we write ourselves off as people not meant to reach that level of success. Looking at the end product of a goal can be intimidating, daunting, and discourage us from even pursuing them.

    Thankfully, goal setting helps us break large intimidating goals into smaller ones. These small steps and more achievable goals will help us to build momentum and will encourage us to keep working towards the next phase of our goal. The form the foundation from which we can begin building the life that we truly hope to have for ourselves, our families, and may even for our communities depending on how big your goals are!

    Whenever I get talking about this aspect of goal setting, I can’t help but think about the mountain climbing analogy, and that the easiest way to climb a mountain is simply step by step.

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    So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting gives you a list of manageable steps that you can take in order to take your life from where it is now to where you want it to go both effectively and efficiently.

    4. Goals Encourage You to Take Action

    This builds on the last benefit of goal setting. Not only does effective goal setting help you break down your larger goals into smaller, more manageable ones, but it also encourages you to actually begin taking action on those goals. After all, a plan is completely worthless if you aren’t willing to invest the effort required to execute it.

    Setting your goals and putting your plan in place motivates you to begin taking action towards achieving them. These goals give you something to plan and work towards. Essentially, they help propel you forward.

    What I like to do is write out and place my goals somewhere that I’ll regularly see them. This constantly serves as a reminder of my top priorities. It allows me to focus on taking small progressive actions towards achieving these goals daily.

    This ensures that I don’t fall into the trap of setting a goal, beginning to work towards it for a while, but then having my motivation fade resulting in me falling off track. This is exactly what many people see happen when it comes to their “New Year’s Resolutions.”

    If you want to learn about how to take action towards achieving your goal, here’s how: How To Take Action Towards Your Goals Right Now

    So, why is goal setting important? Because goal setting actually motivates you to stop thinking about your goals and actually get out there and achieve them!

    5. Goal Setting Helps You Continually Improve

    This is something that a lot of personal development and self-improvement writers talk about, continual improvement. For those of you who are not aware of the term, continual improvement is exactly what it sounds like — taking small steps towards improvement as frequently as you can to develop into the person you want to become.

    What’s the point in improving a little bit each day if you’re not improving in the areas that you want to improve in after all?

    The goals that you define for yourself will inevitably shape you into the person who you want to become. They’ll shape your character. Your goals can help you measure your progress as you strive for this type of development.

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    Essentially, having goals helps you determine where you started, where you are now, and how much further you need to go. In this manner, your goal setting can serve as milestones and benchmarks that help you determine how well you’re progressing towards your most important goals!

    So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting helps you make improvements each day that will slowly transition you into the person you want to become.

    6. Goal Setting Keeps You Accountable

    Not only does setting goals help you measure your progress, but it also is a means through which you can keep yourself accountable. Too many goals fail because they lack this crucial aspect of outlining accountability.

    For example, if I have the goal to do 50 push-ups, that’s great. Most people would support that goal. However, this goal lacks accountability. When do I want to accomplish this goal by and what steps do I take to get there? These are important questions that the original goal leaves unanswered.

    A much more descriptive and specific goal could be to do 50 push-ups within the next 3 months by starting at 5 push-ups, and then adding 5 each week. This goal outlines the deadline as well as the steps I’m going to take to achieve it. This plan will keep me accountable because if I fail to retain my progression schedule, I will know that I’m not going to achieve the goal on time.

    Additionally, it can serve as a marker helping to signify when something is impeding my progress that I may not have initially accounted for. This tells me that I need to re-evaluate what I’m doing and figure out what adjustments I can make to facilitate my success.

    So, why is goal setting important? Setting goals is key to keeping ourselves accountable and on-track towards accomplishing our goals according to the schedules and deadlines we set for ourselves.

    7. Goals Make You Feel Good

    Trust me, the progress you feel as you set and achieve goals can become super motivating and super addicting (in a good way)! The dopamine release you get from achieving your goals is like a little reward for our brains that continually motivates us to try and hit that next goal!

    Having some clearly defined goals will help you to feel better about yourself and your life in general, especially when you stick to those goals, actively work towards achieving them, and end up accomplishing and surpassing your initial expectations. I’m not the oldest book on the shelf myself, but I can attest that there are not many feelings quite like the one you experience when you truly get on a roll!

    Additionally, our goals give us an endpoint to shoot for. Rather than progress for progress’s sake, you can actually see where you’re heading! That’s so much more rewarding. Think about a long car trip as a kid. You ask “if you’re there yet?” ever 20 minutes. It seems like the drive drags on forever.

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    If you don’t know where you’re going, you risk the journey becoming tedious. It doesn’t tend to be much fun wandering around aimlessly. Goals make us feel good about where we’re directing ourselves.

    So, why is goal setting important? Because setting goals and accomplishing them plain and simply make us feel better about ourselves and our lives!

    8. Goals Help You Live Your Best Life

    I’ve talked a lot in this article about how goal setting helps us progress towards our top priorities and live the way we truly want to live. So I think it’s fit to end the article with this goal because, in the end, I feel it’s the most important one.

    Setting your goals and clearly defining what they mean to you will help you live a life that is tailored to your beliefs and values. Your life will become directed towards the things that you most want to achieve.

    Life is a tricky game and only in very rare circumstances are things handed to us on a silver platter. Often it takes a great degree of work, planning, and effortful execution of both.

    There is no point clinging on to things in your life if they don’t bring you happiness or help you accomplish something that, in some way, aligns with your goals.

    Simply put, setting goals helps us live a life that allows us to pursue the challenges and rewards that we truly want to achieve.

    So, why is goal setting important? Because our time is always limited, and setting clearly defined goals can help ensure that you make the most of your life and live to the fullest! Find out more here: How to Use SMART Goal to Become Highly Successful in Life

    Final Thoughts

    These are just a few of the benefits of goal setting that outline why it truly is so important. If you take a moment or two, I bet that you can even think of a few more benefits yourself that you could add to this list.

    If I could leave you with something, it would be this:

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    Goal setting has the potential to take us to some amazing places in life because we all have talent and ambitions. To achieve your biggest dreams, you need to be willing to sit down and create a life design uniquely tailored to you that will help you achieve them!

    More Tips About Goals Setting

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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