Advertising
Advertising

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:

Advertising

  • 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:

Advertising

  • 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.

Advertising

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:

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

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

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

How to Plan Your Life Goals and Actually Achieve Them 5 Tips To Stop Feeling Overwhelmed And Overcome Procrastination How To Make A Vision Board That Works 35 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2020 Updated) 7 Tips for Overcoming Challenges in Life Like a Pro

Trending in Smartcut

1 How to Set Short Term Goals for a Successful Life 2 How to Start a Small Business From the Ground Up That Thrives 3 How to Set Ambitious Career Goals (With Examples) 4 How To Make A Vision Board That Works 5 13 Visualization Techniques to Help You Reach Your Goals

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on August 10, 2020

How to Set Short Term Goals for a Successful Life

How to Set Short Term Goals for a Successful Life

Change begins with the hope of what’s possible in your life. Hope leads to a sense of expectancy Combine this with setting short-term goals, and the likelihood of being more happy and successful moves from possibility to reality.

Short-term goals, when created with well-formed criteria, offer incremental steps towards successfully achieving your bigger goals.

In this step-by-step guide, you’ll discover the secret to creating short-term goals that will set you up for success and help you sail past challenges of staying motivated easily.

What Is a Short-Term Goal?

Short-term goals are ‘short’, meaning the time frame can be as short as 10 minutes, a day, or as long as a week or a few months. Well-formed short-term goals begin with the end in mind.

Quick tip:

Write down the specific result you want to achieve and the date when it should happen. Then, work backward from this date, describing what you’ll notice yourself doing (and achieving) until you take the first step.

A short-term goal is the smallest step you need for you to reach a bigger goal centered around achieving something you passionately desire.

Passionate desire‘ is the key.

As Tony Robbins says,

People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals – that is, goals that do not inspire them.[1]

Having passion when setting goals means getting your mind and body activated to fuel your energy and focus. Each time you achieve a short-term goal, your body celebrates by producing and releasing chemicals such as dopamine, serotonin oxytocin, and endorphins (feel-good neurotransmitters).

Ian Robertson, a cognitive neuroscientist and author of The Winner Effect: The Neuroscience of Success and Failure, says,

Success and failure shape us more powerfully than genetics and drugs.

The regular release of the body’s natural chemicals supports brain change at a neural level, building your confidence, and renewing your goal-oriented focus.

The Benefits of Setting Short-Term Goals

Regardless of the area in your life where you set your short-term goals, it will have a ripple effect across all your life domains.

Advertising

  • Improve your career prospects and your sense of identity also shifts.
  • Improve your body shape through managing food intake and your energy improves in a way that’s noticeable at work and home.
  • Improve your mindset and your attitude changes around how you engage with others.
  • Improve your health and your desire for self-improvement lifts.

6 Steps to Success With Short-Term Goals

Setting short-term goals will lead you closer to a happier and more successful life, but can you achieve that?

Take the following steps and you will start achieving your dreams:[2]

Step 1: Know Your Best Hopes

Try this process yourself by thinking of an area in your life that you’d like to improve.

For example:

  • What are your best hopes for your finances?
  • What are your best hopes for your relationship?
  • What are your best hopes for your career?
  • What are your best hopes for your health?

This process involves ‘chunking up’ your ideas to imagine the results more clearly. In this process, you try to achieve not only the goal and the outcome it gives you but also the changes in your behavior and mindset as a result of achieving your goal.

Step 2: Notice What’s Different

The next question to ask yourself is: “What would you notice that was different from the way you usually did things?”

‘Noticing’ helps you build a vision of what could be possible. The richer the description you can build around the tiny details, the more ‘real’ your preferred future becomes.

Step 3: Ask: ‘What Else?’

Most of us know there’s a hidden reason or a long-buried hope beneath why we want something.

Often, our ego gets a little defensive about it and protective of it. But if we dig and resurface the truth, then weight can be lifted, allowing you the freedom to move forward.

Step 4: Ask: ‘Who Will Notice the Difference?’

Relationships with family, friends, colleagues, and your partner are important. Seeing the change they’ll notice helps put another perspective on the differences they see in you.

Imagine what they will notice about you that would let them know something changed about you as a result of achieving this goal.

Step 5: Imagine a Miracle Happened Tonight

Imagine that if you went to bed tonight and a miracle happened; and you were the very best version of yourself and that you had achieved your best hopes.

When you woke up tomorrow morning after the miracle happened, what would you notice that would tell you you’ve achieved the change you’re seeking?

Step 6: Describe Your Day as If the Miracle Had Happened

Go through your day, moment by moment. Begin with what time you would wake up and then describe the differences you would notice in every tiny action you do.

Notice in detail what’s different about this day – a day when you are at your very best because you’re living your best hopes.

Advertising

How to Track Your Short Term Goals Success

When you set a short-term goal, establish a measurement system to track your progress:[3]

1. Create a Running Tally

One of the best devices to keep your short-term goal setting on track is to keep a running record or tally of the number of days in a row that you’ve sustained your goal.

For example, if improving your health is important to you and you plan to reduce your weight by 5 kilos by not eating any foods containing sugar, then set up a simple chart and track how many days in a row you can do this. Aim for 5 days, then 10, then 20 days in a row. If you have a small diversion and eat sugar one day, simply start again.

Once you feel confident that you can continue with this step, add another such as taking 5,000 steps per day. Again, set up a simple tally chart either in your diary or somewhere visible and enjoy marking up one more day that you’ve achieved your short-term goal. It won’t be long before your goal of losing 5 kilos is met.

2. Keep a Journal

Maintaining a journal will help you focus on identifying the things that are different because you’ve set a well-formed short-term goal.

Aim to complete the journal at the end of each day and recall in detail the things that you’re noticing. This helps keep you connected with your desired outcome and the transformation you’re experiencing in both your behavior and mindset.

Take a look at this guide if you’re starting out journaling: Writing Journal for a Better and More Productive Self (The How-To Guide).

3. Share Your Progress With a Trusted Friend or Coach

By voicing the change and expressing how far you’re noticing yourself move towards your goal, you’re reinforcing the power of change you’re experiencing.

And you’ll be activating the feel-good neurotransmitters that are so important for bringing your confidence, motivation, and positive changes to your brain to succeed.

Here’re more reasons why you should get yourself a life coach: 7 Reasons Why You Should Find a Life Coach to Reach Your Full Potential.

4. Visualize Your Progress

Before you go to sleep in the evening, visualize your tomorrow. See yourself continuing to do the things that support your change.

Walk yourself through the tiny details that add up to the changes you want to see yourself doing, including the time you’ll wake up. In the morning, re-activate the visualization and then ‘step into’ your day.

Short-Term Goal Example: A Career Short-Term Goal

How to advance your career with short-term goals? Specifically, you will need short-term goals to help with your career. This is also how many people want to utilize short-term goals.

Start by Planning Your Career Visually

Walt Disney was sacked for lacking imagination. Oprah Winfrey was told she’d never make it on television. Careers are destroyed by naysayers intent on keeping you small. The successful person designs a career goal and then creates incremental steps to ‘ladder up’ with short-term goals.

Justin Dry from VinoMofo, a successful Australian wine distribution company, always begins his goal-setting process with visual planning. He says,

Advertising

I need to see it all in front of me like a puzzle I’m putting together. It kind of looks like the workings of a madman with lots of weird and wonderful shapes and lines connecting the words.

Whether you use masses of post-it notes that cover a wall, large sheets of paper to spread your ideas on or a journal to map your path – messy planning gets your ideas out of your head so you see different possibilities and pathways available to you.

Begin this process by asking, “What are my best hopes for my career?”

Write them down and place them somewhere you’ll notice them every day.

Make You Think Like a Start-Up Entrepreneur

While successful career planning starts with a messy and random process to let those ‘idea gems’ – the embryos of well-formed short-term goals rise, the next step is taking these nuggets and using them to set your direction.

Think of yourself (and your career) as if you’re the CEO of your successful start-up – one with a clear vision of what you want and how you’ll get it. Rather than waiting for a boss to give you goals, be proactive, and set your own.

Karen Lawson, CEO of Slingshot says,

Set a vision, and be focused on the intent of these goals. Create actions which not only build on those of yesterday but also improve what you do tomorrow. Your pathways will need to be flexible, challenged, and accountable.

Begin by listing the bigger steps needed to achieve your goal. Then chunk these down into smaller steps with specific actions needed to achieve them. These action steps are the workhorses of your short-term goals.

Create a specific time frame to complete them and maintain accountability – as if you’re reporting to your ‘higher up’.

Begin this process by asking yourself: “What difference will I notice when I take these steps?” Then ask: “What difference will my boss/es notice when I take these steps?”

Establish ‘Triggers’ for Your Daily Habits

Twyla Tharp (born 1941) legendary dancer and choreographer, maintains an exacting routine designed to trick her mind into a daily exercise habit.

I begin each day of my life with a ritual; I wake up at 5:30 A.M., put on my workout clothes, my leg warmers, my sweatshirts, and my hat. I walk outside my Manhattan home, hail a taxi, and tell the driver to take me to the Pumping Iron gym at 91st street and First Avenue, where I workout for two hours. The ritual is not the stretching and weight training I put my body through each morning at the gym; the ritual is the cab. The moment I tell the driver where to go I have completed the ritual.

It’s a simple act, but doing it the same way each morning habitualizes it — makes it repeatable, easy to do. It reduces the chance that I would skip it or do it differently. It is one more item in my arsenal of routines, and one less thing to think about.[4]

To do this list, create a trigger point – the smallest step you’ll do that will catapult you into taking action as Twyla Tharp did. What will be your ritual of ‘getting in the cab’?

Advertising

Get You to Talk About the Future

Melanie Perkins CEO of Canva, a thriving design and publishing solution, is known for ‘frequently talking about the future’.

Orienting your thoughts towards a future-focus reinforces how important your vision and goals are to you. Ralph Waldo Emerson famously said, “You are what you think.”

  • Make it a habit to read your goals daily.
  • Think about what you’ll notice that will be different in your life when you achieve them.
  • Express your goals to someone important in your life.
  • Whisper them to yourself throughout your day.

Future-focused conversations (both with yourself and others) establish a pattern of expectancy, which continue fueling not only your desire but also the expectation of achieving it.

Manage Mental Resistance

When you begin with ‘hope’, you activate a sense of ‘expectancy’. A belief that what you want is not only possible, it’s within reach. Hope and expectancy are two powerful motivators in propelling you forward to a successful life.

When you’re ‘moving forward‘ with hope, you’re orienting yourself towards your desired future. When ‘moving away from‘ something you perceive as painful you’re activating ‘fear’, which can also be a strong motivator helping you avoid pain; for example, losing your job if your quarterly performance scores don’t improve.

Sarah, a manager at a busy merchandising company saw her doctor because she was feeling tired. After a thorough examination, the doctor advised Sarah to lose 15 kilos as this was contributing to her tiredness. The news felt overwhelming as Sarah worked long hours and rarely found time to shop for fresh food, so she relied on fast food to keep her going.

For Sarah, the doctor activated her fear by describing what could happen (heart attack and/or diabetes) if she didn’t manage her weight by shedding 15 kilos.

While ‘moving away from’ motivation can be successful, a way of amplifying positive motivators that will see Sarah begin ‘moving towards’ her goal is by talking about what outcomes Sarah would notice by losing 15 kilos.

For example, managing her weight may see Sarah being more efficient at work, getting out more socially, or feeling more able to manage work pressures and deadlines.

To do this with your own goal setting, think about what’s important to you about achieving your goals. Write down your answers. Ask: “What will you notice that will be different in your life when these changes happen?”

Summing It Up

Change is possible. Short-term goals that build upon each other are the stepping stones to achieving your best hopes.

Using your creative imagination by noticing the small differences occurring daily offers a positive way to create practical change in an easy and doable way.

Above all, make sure your goal is powered by ‘passionate desire’ so you achieve your desired outcomes.

More Tips About Goals Setting

Featured photo credit: JESHOOTS.COM via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next