Having goals in life can go a long way in ensuring you can have a focus on something and work towards it.
It is common that during the start of the year, you would have your resolutions ready. They help to keep you focused on some things during the year. As such, you would be able to set and handle different goals with ease.
This guide talks about what life goals are, how to set them, and how to stick to them. It might not be always easy, but once you put your mind to something you can achieve it. Let us get into the guide already.
Why Should You Have Life Goals?
One of the reasons you would want to have life goals is because you need to achieve something by the end of a certain period. This is vital to ensure that you can remain focused. There is no doubt that happiness that comes with achieving a life goal is important to anyone.
Most people will find the journey enjoyable when they know what they are supposed to achieve in life. That is why you would be motivated when you know the possible result.
It can be a waste of productivity when you are working on something you do not know what it is meant to achieve. In the long run, you would have wasted a lot of time and effort too.
From the statement above, you can see that life goals can help a lot to save you time and still reduce anxiety in a person.
It is possible you have encountered decision fatigue when working on a project. There is no secret that if you want a project to be successful, you may have to make many decisions over a time. Making too many decisions can lead to fatigue and that is when you start making errors.
Having a clear path such as a life goal helps you make decisions geared towards achieving that goal. That is where you would reduce the mistakes.
Another reason for having life goals is measuring how much you have achieved so far. It would be vital that you monitor your progress in life. By completing a certain life goal, you will notice that you have improved something in your life generally.
Also, life goals are constant reminders of promises you have told yourself. So, it would be nice not to fail meeting those promises.
Categories of Life Goals
Do not be confused about how different goals are named in different texts. Most of the time, they mean the same thing. Once you have read the context, you would know what each goal is all about.
In this guide, I look at the various goal categories you have to know about so that you can make the right decisions. Let us check them out below.
- Relationship goals
Relationship goals are things you do for the long term. You need to actively work on them if you want them to survive for longer. Once you set up relationship goals, the trickle-down effect is that they can improve your life and overall happiness too.
Relationship can be with your friends or family members. Having people you can count on help a lot in ensuring that you can handle some of the important goals in life. They can come in handy to help you achieve other goals such as financial, educational, and more.
Well, we cannot forget to mention romantic relationship goals too. If you are married, do not forget to work on keeping the marriage alive or be a listening ear to your partner. Always try to keep the romantic relationship active if you want such goals to be achievable.
- Health goals
If you do not have proper health, it becomes hard to work on anything. You might even lack the energy or spend so much time under rest so that you can heal before working on anything. This is more reason to make you consider having proper health goals to keep you vibrant and energetic to keep working towards other goals.
Your health goals should include fitness, nutrition, and better sleep. Sometimes if you do not sleep, you will be fatigued to handle anything else. It is why you may want to consider getting your health correct before working on the other goals.
- Educational goals
When you finish college, it does not mean that your education goals are over. Learning is always changing and you should adapt too. Make sure that you do more research about your field and educate yourself even more to gain more skills.
Today, the internet is full of websites that offer online courses in different niches. It is up to you to identify a course of value so that you can improve your skills or simply achieve an educational goal you have always wanted.
The chances are you might want to apply for a certain job that probably 100s would be qualified too. What makes you different? That is where the educational goals come in. They have to help you stay ahead of the others and show you have more skills and education that the company needs.
So, having the right educational goals can be life changing for most people.
- Financial goals
It is the dream of most people to have a stable financial position in life. This can unlock many other gates towards achieving other goals you may have setup too. It could help you achieve your relationship goals such as paying for the bills or retirement goals as you can save more for your retirement years.
As much as financial freedom is important, do not be so focused on being rich rather try to balance with the other types of goals too. On average, your happiness can also diminish beyond making some certain amount of money. This is because you would be focused on making money you forget about your happiness and other goals.
- Career goals
Career goals can bring a lot of happiness and satisfaction to someone once they can achieve them. You would be working along a career path you have always wanted and probably making the money you wanted too. Such kind of satisfaction can help you achieve other goals too.
Once you find that the career you have right now is not what you wanted, then it is best to change careers. It might be scary sometimes to change careers, but that happens a lot to help you realize your career goals.
Each time you setup career goals, ensure they are achievable too. Such goals need proper planning ahead first before setting your mind to achieve them.
- Personal development goals
If you have a goal and you have no idea where to place it, the chances are it will fall under personal development goals.
The most common goals under personal development will include improving your productivity, time management, being more confident, and so much more. Once you improve some of the things mentioned, you will end up achieving other life goals in the process.
Personal development goals are also often used to shake off bad habits you may have picked over the years. You could use the same goals to conquer your fears. It is easy to see how such goals can be broad.
- Retirement goals
After you have been working for years, you would want to retire comfortably. This means that you need to start planning your retirement goals early.
When you talk of retirement, it does not mean you downgrade your lifestyle now just to save more for your retirement. You need proper management of your funds so that you can still enjoy now and save for the future.
It is not just about finances, but also your health, house, and so much more. If you can get it done right, you might be playing golf too like other retirees.
- Lifestyle goals
The chances are your lifestyle goals are linked to your financial goals. Keep in mind that not all lifestyle goals need a lot of money to achieve. You just need enough to get some of these goals handled.
Having a few foreign trips each year can be great lifestyle goals as they help you have a good time and explore the world. You could also work towards owning a house to improve your lifestyle. So, there are some that would require significant investments, but others are achievable without changing your finances too much.
- Psychological goals
It is possible that sometimes you put too much pressure on yourself to succeed. The problem is that if that is the case, you may end up having an impact on your psychological health too. That is why you need to have psychological goals too to help keep you in check.
Everyone needs a break from time to time and relieve any kind of stress. Take a vacation whenever possible so that you can decompress before getting back to work too. Whenever you feel stressed, talk to someone to help relieve the stress triggers. This should largely help keep your mental health in check too.
Setting Life Goals
Now that you know more about categories of life goals, how can you set them up? This part of the guide looks at the various techniques you should keep in mind when setting your goals. After you go through these techniques, you would know where and which techniques to apply where necessary.
- What, how, why technique
This technique involves asking yourself some questions such as what, how, and why. You should consider the goals as products you are trying to sell. Put yourself in the shoes of a buyer, would you buy them.
If you can convince yourself to get such products, then you feel it is something someone else would also buy. That is how you can come up with several goals using this method and find those you can achieve based on your efforts.
- Purpose first technique
This type of technique requires prerequisites. First you have to know your purpose in life. From such a purpose, you can come up with goals that would complement that purpose in life.
Some of the people who have shown us having a purpose in life can make other people’s lives better include Steve Jobs and Elon Musk. It is because of their goals; we can now enjoy a wide of products that might have seemed impossible to achieve before.
So, getting the purpose right goes a long way to impact other people too once you achieve your purpose in life.
- SMART technique
SMART in this case stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. So, each time you come up with a goal, run it through all these different aspects to see if it is something you can implement.
Keep in mind that not all goals would pass the various aspects mentioned above. A good example is relationship. It might be hard to quantify it as measurable. So, you would go on to only pick it if you find it working great for the other aspects mentioned.
This explanation applies to the other types of goals too. Once you find that it satisfies several aspects of SMART technique, go for it.
- One goal for each category technique
This is probably the easiest way of coming up with life goals. All you have to do is go through each of the categories we covered above and pick one goal for each.
It might not be as easy as some might think. This is because you will have many goals to go over before settling on one. Sometimes you might not have an established hierarchy, so you end up choosing something that might not have pressing urgency and leave the others that are still important.
It is not a bad technique, but you should not heavily rely on it to identify the top important life goals that you need in life.
- Values first technique
The values first technique would be better than one goal for each category technique. However, it will need more work to understand the value of each goal before settling for one. Start by analyzing the goals and giving them the values before deciding which one comes first.
Once you have your life of goals based on value, you can find yourself working easily towards achieve a goal as you know what you will get in the end.
A good example is when you strive to save environment. Because of such a value, you may have to change your career at times to something that aligns with your values too.
Examples of Good Life Goals
Maybe you are not sure where to start, below are some examples of life goals you may consider starting with now.
- Health goals
Improve overall diet in the next 12 months. Stop eating junk foods during weekdays.
Scheduling health checkups every six months. Act upon the findings of the health checkup to improve your health.
Take responsibility of educating yourself more on health and which are the best foods your body needs.
- Educational goals
Invest in reading a certain number of books in a year. Audio books are also important.
Invest in a certain amount of money into your lifelong education.
Cover at least a certain number of online courses around your hobbies. You can learn through doing fun stuff too.
Finish your degree in a certain amount of time with a certain final grade.
- Personal development goals
You hope to improve your concentration on various projects you have ongoing in your life. You can also manage to put your phone aside when it is time to work on other goals.
Gain time management skills and be able to stick to commitments.
Deal with things before they can quickly evolve into problems.
You become emphatic to other people’s problems. Help where possible.
You will take personal responsibility quite seriously. You cannot blame others when your partial input resulted into problems.
- Financial goals
Earn a certain amount of money over the next 5 years.
Buy a dream car on my 30th or whichever birthday you like to mark a milestone.
Hope to clear all the debts within four years including student loans.
Get yourself a rainy-day fund just in case you ever have an emergency.
Quotes on Life Goals
Below are some quotes on life goals to motivate you consider setting up several goals.
“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” —Andrew Carnegie
“You have to set goals that are almost out of reach. If you set a goal that is attainable without much work or thought, you are stuck with something below your true talent and potential.” —Steve Garvey
“All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible.” —Orison Swett Marden
“Goals. There’s no telling what you can do when you get inspired by them. There’s no telling what you can do when you believe in them. And there’s no telling what will happen when you act upon them.” —Jim Rohn
“By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands—your own.” —Mark Victor Hansen
“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” —Pablo Picasso
“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” —Bill Copeland
“All successful people have a goal. No one can get anywhere unless he knows where he wants to go and what he wants to be or do. ” —Norman Vincent Peale
“If you set goals and go after them with all the determination you can muster, your gifts will take you places that will amaze you.” —Les Brown
“It’s important to set your own goals and work hard to achieve them.” —Yuichiro Miura
“It must be borne in mind that the tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goals to reach.” —Benjamin E. Mays
“The thing about goals is that living without them is a lot more fun, in the short run. It seems to me, though, that the people who get things done, who lead, who grow and who make an impact… those people have goals.” —Seth Godin
How Can You Stick to Your Life Goals
From the start, we pointed out that life goals are like promises that you make to yourself. As such, if you fail to achieve them, you would feel disappointment in yourself. It is why you would try as much as possible to stick to the life goals and make them happen. How can you make this happen?
Below are some ideas on how to stick to your life goals.
- Set yourself up for success
This is the first step to ensuring that you can actually achieve the goals that you come up with. Setup goals you can possibly achieve. The last thing you want is to feel like a failure because you set the bar too low. It is why most people would take the time to evaluate their goals to find those that are most suitable for their lives.
There is nothing wrong to have a regular schedule where you remind yourself about your life goals and see how best go for them.
Come up with systems that would generally help in handling these life goals on overall. Once you have the measures in place, you can find working on life goals a lot easier.
- Review your goals occasionally
You can opt for weekly, monthly, or yearly review of your life goals. The review of the goals helps you know which should have priority and how best you can handle the goals generally. There are times you may have to make some changes to your goals to be in line with your current situation.
You would also be encouraged to do more when you have your life goals working great just as you wanted before. Most people would be encouraged to work on their other life goals upon realizing that their other life goals are met.
- Look at the number of goals you have
It is common for people to have many goals in their lives at any given time. It is not bad to have multiple goals; however, can you handle them all at the same time?
The number of life goals largely depend on a person. There are times when the goals might be overwhelming that you end up not achieving much. In this case, you should consider scaling down a bit and add more goals as you start achieving more.
You can come up with milestones too. Once you achieve a certain milestone, you can now be comfortable that your goals can move to the next step.
- Reward yourself sometimes
The best part about life goals is that they can lead to happiness. Once you have achieved one life goal, go ahead to celebrate. Reward yourself for the efforts you have made to end up achieving the life goal.
A good way would be celebrating with a lifestyle goal after achieving financial goals. As you can see, these goals can complement each other too.
Many people would find that life goals are not hard to achieve if you have the right guide. Do not be scared to try out new life goals to see how they work out for you. Once you finish one life goal, go onto the next one. It will help a lot in making sure that you have the best life goals that you hope to achieve in the long run.
Even when it seems that you may not achieve some life goals, be adaptable. This helps a lot in ensuring that you can still achieve your life goals after making proper adjustments.