Advertising

Last Updated on November 26, 2020

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

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

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:

Advertising

  • 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:

Advertising

  • 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:

Advertising

  • 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:

Advertising

  • 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

    Advertising

    Reference

    More by this author

    Leon Ho

    Founder & CEO of Lifehack

    A Complete Guide to Goal Setting for Personal Success How to Get Motivated Every Day When You Wake Up Can’t Focus? The Mistake You’re Making and How to Focus Better 17 Traits That Make a Successful Person Stand out from the Crowd What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

    Trending in Goal Getting

    1 A Complete Guide to Goal Setting for Personal Success 2 The Ultimate List of 29 Life Goals for Living a Fulfilling Life 3 4 Effective Goal-Setting Templates To Help you Set Goals 4 7 Best Goal Planners To Get in 2021 5 How to Find Motivation to Achieve Your Goal After a Setback

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on July 29, 2021

    A Complete Guide to Goal Setting for Personal Success

    A Complete Guide to Goal Setting for Personal Success
    Advertising

    If there was a rule book of life, there would be one particular page that was highlighted, underlined, and titled as most important. It would be the one which told you that you need to master effective goal setting and have an aim in mind before you get on with the process. While there may not be an actual rule book of life, we do have this helpful goal setting guide to offer.

    Yes, goal setting is important. In fact, it’s more important than achieving the goal itself. This is because it is the sense of direction that is needed for you to fulfill any task in life.

    You don’t have to feel overwhelmed if this sounds new to you, as all the following information has you covered.

    Today, you’ll find out all about the importance of goal setting, types of goals, and tips to define realistic goals for yourself!

    What Are Goals?

    To kick off our goal setting tips guide, you need to first recognize what goals are and how they are different from objectives, dreams, and expectations.

    A goal is essentially your aim for the long-term future. It is the bigger umbrella, the main focus.

    Objectives, on the other hand, fall under the umbrella of goals. They are the stepping stones that help you achieve your goals[1].

    Objects vs goals for goal setting tips

      For example, you may decide you want to learn a new language. Your goal is to be fluent in the new language. Everything you do to achieve this goal, such as the daily tasks and monthly learning aims, are the objectives.

      Similarly, your expectations, visions, and dreams are not your goals. If you wish to learn a new language someday, that is your dream. If you see yourself fluently speaking multiple foreign languages, that is your vision. If you think you’re capable of learning a new language, that is your expectation.

      However, if you aim to fulfill these visions, dreams, and expectations practically, that is your goal.

      Why Is Goal Setting Important?

      Why should you bother with goal setting at all? Wouldn’t it be more convenient to just get on with your daily objectives, follow a dream or vision, and let life take you wherever?

      Advertising

      While that road can feel exciting and spontaneous, if you actually want to tick off things from your list of goals to achieve, learning how to set goals is necessary.

      Being committed to a goal puts your brain to work in one specific direction. Believe it or not, by having a defined goal, your brain does its magic unconsciously, 24/7, with full efficiency, to achieve the desired results[2].

      Goal setting is important to shift your focus, boost your motivation, and give you a sense of direction. Without formally defining a particular aim that you want to reach, you won’t be able to keep your objectives in line.

      Hence, this one tiny step can end up saving you a lot of hassle and time while also encouraging your productivity.

      Types of Goals

      Before we move onto the technique of setting effective goals, we need to first take a look at all types of goals in this goal setting tips guide.

      These categories will not just help you brainstorm new one for yourself, but it will also guide you to list them down in the right way.

      Time-Based

      One of the two broad categories of goals is based on time. These goals define how far in the future you want to achieve them.

      Daily

      There are certain smaller goals that you can easily achieve in a day or two. In fact, some of these daily goals can be recurring, too. For example, you may want to run for an hour every morning.

      Now, these daily goals can also serve as objectives for a long-term goal. You may be running every day because, in the long-term, you want to increase your stamina.

      Daily goals are highly effective for people who want to improve their mental wellbeing, time management skills, and stress management.

      Short-Term

      Next in line are short-term goals. As you would have already guessed, goal setting in this area is aimed at the near future.

      The great thing about these is that they are generally easier to achieve. This is because short-term goals are set for the foreseeable future. You are aware of the circumstances and have a general idea of how much the situation can change.

      Advertising

      Just like daily goals, short-term goals may also serve as objectives for a long-term goal. Your short-term goal may be to lose 5 pounds in one month. That could be a goal in itself, or maybe it is just one objective to fulfill your goal to adopt a healthy lifestyle in the next two years.

      Another example of a short-term goal is to fulfill the checklist for promotion within the next 6 months. Or, you may want to reduce your screen time within the coming week.

      Long-Term

      Lastly, we have long-term goals that are meant to be completed over a stretched period.

      Whatever you want to achieve in a later stage of life is a long-term goal. An insurance plan, for example, is a long-term goal.

      Some long-term goals don’t have any time frame at all. They are goals that you want to accomplish at some point in your life. So, something like traveling the whole world is a lifelong goal with no specific time constraint at all.

      There’s one thing about long-term goals that isn’t great.

      They are the hardest to keep up with since you’re not seeing any huge achievements regularly. This may take a toll on your motivation. To tackle this problem, it is best to divide a long-term goal into various, short-term and daily objectives so that you’re always tracking the progress you’re making.

      Life-Based

      Moving forward, you can also start goal setting based on the results you want to achieve instead of the time period.

      Career

      Like most people, you will likely want to succeed and excel in your career. Anything that has to do with this intention, regardless of the time frame, is a career goal. These are usually measurable goals, such as receiving a promotion within two years, finding a job at a certain company within the next six months, etc.

      You can learn more about how to set successful career goals here.

      Personal

      The past few years have all been about emphasizing your personal health. So, when it comes to goals, how can we forget the ones that have to do with our personal gains?

      From health to finances to relationships, everything that brings you happiness and composure as a person is a personal goal. It’s important that these are realistic and attainable goals for your life.

      Advertising

      Whether you want to get rid of your debt, quit smoking, start a side hustle, have children, or travel the world, all of these goals are personal and very important to have on your list.

      How to Set Goals

      The best way to guarantee the fulfillment of goals is to set them the right way.

      1. Use SMART Goals

      Every goal you define has to be SMART[3].

      SMART stands for:

      • Specific
      • Measurable
      • Attainable
      • Relevant
      • Time-Bound

      In summary, your specific goals should be very well defined. They shouldn’t be generic or broad, and every detail should be clarified as you’re goal setting. 

      If you want to start running, how often do you want to do it? How long will each session be? For how long will you continue this habit?

      There has to be a connection between your goals and beliefs or you’ll never be able to achieve the results you want. Most importantly, do not be unrealistic. You cannot learn to fly, and forcing yourself to try is only going to demotivate and stress you out.

      2. Prioritize Your Goals

      As you’re looking into how to write goals for the next month or year, it’s likely you’ll come up with more than one. In this case, it’s important to prioritize which are the most important or the ones that have the tightest deadline. This is going to be subjective, as only you know which goals will have the most impact on your life.

      3. Think of Those Around You

      As you’re working on goal setting, keep your loved ones in mind. You may have a partner, children, or employees that depend on you, and you should take them into consideration with your goals. For example, if you set a goal to travel to 10 different countries in the next two years, how will this affect your children?

      If you want to lose 30 pounds this year, is there something your partner can do to support you? S/he will need to be made aware of this before you set off on your weight loss journey.

      4. Take Action

      Setting goals is the first step, but in order to be successful, you have to follow this with action. If you set goals but never act on them, they become dreams. Create an action plan laying out the steps you need to take each day or week in order to achieve your big and small goals.

      You can also check out Lifehack’s free guide: The Dreamers’ Guide for Taking Action and Making Goals Happen. This helpful guide will push you to take action on your goals, so check it out today!

      Advertising

      5. Don’t Forget the Bigger Picture

      Most people refer to the big picture as their vision. Whether it is the long-term result or the connection of the goal with your desire, keep it in mind to keep yourself from getting distracted.

      You can learn more about creating a vision for your life here.

      I also recommend you to watch this video to learn 7 strategies to set goals effectively:

      How to Reach Your Goals

      You can ensure your progress by following some foolproof tactics. The use of relevant helpful tools can also keep you on the right track.

      Tactics

      One rookie mistake that most people make is that they work on too many goals simultaneously. Create an action plan and focus on one thing at a time.

      Divide your goal into smaller, easily achievable tasks. Taking it one step at a time makes it much easier. However, do not break them down too much. For example, for long-term goals, you should go for weekly checkpoints instead of daily ones.

      Also, keep track of your progress. This will keep you motivated to work harder.

      Tools

      With so many categories of goals and so many aims, it is almost impossible to remember, let alone work, on all of them.

      Luckily, numerous goal tracker apps will help you keep track of your goals, as well as your plan to achieve every single one. Have at least one installed in your smartphone so that your plan is always within reach.

      The Bottom Line

      In conclusion, using a goal setting tips guide is not rocket science. All that it takes is strong will power along with all the knowledge that you’ve learned so far.

      Try out the tactics and goals setting tips mentioned above to be able to set successful goals so that you can achieve the life that you want!

      More Tips on Achieving Success

      Featured photo credit: Danielle MacInnes via unsplash.com

      Advertising

      Reference

      [1] Smart Insights: The difference between marketing objectives and marketing goals?
      [2] Confluence: Goal Setting Theory
      [3] University of California: SMART Goals: A How-To Guide

      Read Next