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Goal Getting

9 Types of Goals in Life to Help You Move Forward

Written by Leon Ho
Founder & CEO of Lifehack
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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.”

stephen covey tweet

    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:

    • 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.


    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:

    • 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.

    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.[2]

    Below are some career goals examples:

    • 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

    Other personal goals can be learning goals and spirituality goals.

    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:

    • 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

    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.

    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.

    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 goals and finally reach them.


    Featured photo credit: NORTHFOLK via unsplash.com


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