What’s one goal that, if you achieved it, would transform your life? Perhaps your aim is to get in shape, start a business, or get married. Or you want to buy a house, get promoted, or travel the world. Having a goals in life list is important if you want to push your life in the right direction.
Think about the type of life you could be living if you accomplished your dreams. How empowered and happy would that make you feel?
Then, imagine the consequences of not setting goals. Are you okay with the regrets and experiences you’d miss?
If not, it’s time to learn about the power of setting goals in life and 10 of the best goals anyone can set for themselves.
The Power of Setting Goals
Your life’s purpose describes why you’re here. Your goals are the milestones of that purpose. Without concrete objectives, you have no way of knowing if you’ve achieved what you’re after. In that sense, goals bring needed clarity and accountability.
They also inspire you and drive action. They steer you in the right direction and remind you when to switch course. They set your life’s focus so you aren’t distracted by dead ends.
Without clear goals, your life may fall victim to bouts of procrastination. If you find that you’re already struggling with this, check out Lifehack’s Fast Track Class – No More Procrastination.
Every successful person sets priorities for themselves, even if their approach may be unorthodox. Bill Gates wanted to be a businessperson growing up. His company, Microsoft, was, for a time, the most significant business in the world, and Gates the world’s richest man. Barack Obama answered in a school assignment that he wanted to be President of the United States, and he became the forty-fourth.
“A goal properly set is halfway reached.” -Zig Ziglar
Admission: I learned the power of goals the hard way, through years of missed opportunities and disappointments. Before I could even drink legally, I was fired, arrested, and kicked out of school. My goals in life list was empty, and it showed.
Alone, defeated, and in a moment of introspection, I finally realized that I had become the source of my problems. I had set the wrong goals using shortsighted tactics. I quit too early or too late all too often. When I began setting the proper goals, my results increased. I found more success at work, at the gym, and in personal relationships, and I achieved things I never thought possible.
Creating Your Own Goals
Where a lot of people get stuck is choosing the right goal. Start by taking a piece of paper and write down everything that you want to do, no matter how crazy or bizarre it may sound to you or others. Think about categories like Physical and Mental Health, Personal Life, Family, Social Life, Career, Spirituality, etc.
Once you have a few dozen goals listed, start grouping similar ones and cut out the ones that don’t speak to you. Most people only have the time and energy to pursue one or two goals at a time. The trick to prioritizing is to identify keystone goals that have a domino effect on other areas of your life.
For example, a couple of years ago I decided to run a marathon for charity. To accomplish it, I would have to quit smoking, exercise daily, eat healthier, join a running club, wake up earlier, and donate. Not bad for one goal!
10 Great Goals to Add to Your List
While I can’t prescribe the perfect goals in life list for you, as people set goals for highly subjective reasons, here are some of my favorite goals to get you started:
1. Take a Class on Any Skill That Appeals to You
Learning new skills keeps your mind and body engaged, and it can open doors to new hobbies or careers. It can also reduce your stress and help you meet new people.
To get started, search for workshops near you. As the world reopens, hands-on activities like learning an instrument, filmmaking, photography, painting, archery, salsa dancing, glassblowing, and more are becoming available.
2. Participate in an Endurance or Obstacle Race
Aerobic exercise can improve your physical health and fitness by lowering your cardiovascular risk. Endurance races are a great way to hold yourself accountable so that you are more consistent. This type of training also builds mental fortitude and is a great way to meet others.
If you set this as one of your goals in life, sign up for any type of race – running, biking, swimming, or a combination of the three (triathlon). Or try an obstacle race like Tough Mudder or Spartan.
3. Make a Difference in Someone’s Life by Volunteering
When we’re feeling bad about ourselves, we tend to see our problems as worse than they are. We start to see our struggles as insurmountable. When we give back to others, we gain strength, and it reduces our anxiety and fear.
What you get by achieving your goals will mean very little if you realize you didn’t help others in the process. Volunteering will help you reach your goals and feel good while you’re at it.
4. Write a Book
Writing is not just a good practice for work or school. It’s a major creative release that helps us express who we are as a person, making it a great part of any goals in life list. While our thoughts can often be muddled and chaotic, writing provides clarity in areas where we may have experienced uncertainty before.
You’ll find that when you’re able to share your knowledge through a book of your own, you’ll feel like you have given something important to the world, something that will last long after you’re gone. This kind of personal development is essential in life.
5. Spruce up Your Home
Renovating your home, whether it’s cleaning, upgrading some furniture, or doing a full remodel, can give you greater pride. Since you’re likely spending more time in your home these days, it might as well be comfortable. If you own your home, it can also make it more attractive to buyers when you sell.
To get started, envision your ideal living space. Identify a few home improvement projects that would make the greatest impact, and find ways to better organize your space, declutter, and clean.
6. Deliver a Speech to a Large Crown
Many people would rather pass a kidney stone than deliver a speech to strangers. However, there is no other activity that will expand your influence or confidence like public speaking.
If you’re really looking for a challenge, join the Toastmasters international public speaking organization. Clubs get together weekly to practice their public speaking skills. Annual dues are less the $100 and include a guide to your first ten speeches.
You could also take a course at your city college or an Improv or Acting Class. Anything that gets you talking will make a great addition to your goals in life list.
7. Learn a Self-Defense Technique or Martial Art
This is another goal that can help all aspects of your physical health, from weight control to building strength. Knowing that you can defend yourself in an emergency will bring new levels of peace and confidence.
There are many options, from karate, taekwondo, or mixed martial arts to name a few. Find which martial art interests you, and sign up at your local gym or dojo.
8. Explore Your World, Near and Far
Travel should be featured on any goals in life list. It has been known to relieve stress and boost one’s overall happiness and satisfaction with life. One of life’s best gifts is exploring other cultures, meeting new people, and trying new cuisines and novel experiences, all important parts of any full life.
While international travel was greatly restricted in 2020, most of us still have plenty of options. If you’d feel safer traveling next year, consider a staycation or road trip. This is a great year to explore nearby towns, monuments, and national parks.
9. Build a Business or Brand for Yourself
In a best case scenario, you build a profitable business that provides a valuable service to the community and stable income for you. In the worst case, the business doesn’t work out, and you’ll learn a ton of valuable lessons. Be mindful of the risk and your exposure to losses.
If you have a great idea, consider writing a business plan, practicing time management, looking for ways to fund your business, and forming a team to build your product or service.
10. Save and Invest More of Your Money
People build wealth by saving more of their income and investing it wisely over the long term. Greater wealth could mean financial freedom for you, so it’s an essential part of your goals in life list. It could also bring you greater security and peace of mind.
Trying to save at least 20% of your income is one of the best goals in life. This can be tough, but reduce your budget to the necessities, and try to make more money at work (raises, bonuses) or through a side hustle. Max out your 401k if you have one, and invest the rest in assets like index funds and real estate.
When it comes down to it, no one ever looks back and wishes that they spent more time watching TV or scrolling through feeds on social media. Try out as many experiences as you can through a full goals in life list. Learn about yourself in the process, and figure out what makes you feel fulfilled.
More About Setting Goals in Life
- 20 Personal SMART Goals Examples to Improve Your Life
- 8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life
- How to Plan Your Life Goals and Actually Achieve Them
Featured photo credit: Estée Janssens via unsplash.com
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