Setting life goals can be an important catalyst in anyone’s personal motivations. Having goals can tailor the direction you want your life to go in, especially in a more long term sense. There are ways to go about setting life goals, though it can be intimidating to get started. After all, when you set goals, you’re also in for some self-evaluation of your strengths, weaknesses, insecurities, and hopes for the future.
Types Of Goals
There are different types of goals that prioritize certain parts of your life. Though varying goals encompass different aspects of your persona, they can sometimes overlap as well.
Personal goals pertain to ambitions that better yourself as a person. This can be taken in a more general interpretation, as there are many aspects of a person’s life that can be improved on. When it comes to personal goals, you might be looking to improve on the interpersonal relationships in your life. It can also involve enhancing your own skills or creating a blueprint for your life in the future.
On the other hand, work goals are there to advance the more professional side of your life. These professional goals can involve steps that enhance your career or take it in a new direction.
Health goals can cover both your mental and physical health. Working out, eating healthy, and seeking therapy are some of the many approaches to accomplishing this type of goal.
There are short-term goals and long-term goals as well, which are just as self-explanatory. Short-term goals are your ambitions that can be achieved within a significantly shorter amount of time. Long-term goals, meanwhile, are much more far-off in comparison. They help paint a picture of what you want your future to look like and may require a more thorough plan of action.
Regardless of what kind of goal you strive towards, identifying your life goals will require some thoughtful planning and reflecting. Here are some tips on how to get started with your life goals and plans for the future.
Tips On How To Set Some Life Goals
1. Decide On What You Want
When setting your goals, it is important to know what it is you actually want to accomplish first and foremost. Make sure you know what you want to achieve, whether it be in the long term or near future. Brainstorm on what’s important to you and what you want to prioritize. There will be a lot of compromising along the way, so it’s beneficial that you identify your priorities early on.
2. Write Everything Down
It’s one thing to say you’ll set goals, but it’s another thing to actually put everything in writing. Although you’re not necessarily setting everything in stone, writing things down can help things feel more “official”. When you have your goals, no matter how abstract they are at first, written them down on paper. This way, you can better visualize how you can go about achieving them.
Plus, writing things down can help you actually remember things better. Keep a journal with all of your life goals and plans in it. Having everything in one place will help you reference your goals more efficiently in the future. Furthermore, as you get closer to your goals, it’s always nice to look back and see how far you’ve come in terms of improvement and progress.
3. Start Small
Don’t be so ambitious right off the bat. Start with simple goals that can be easily achieved. You’re more likely to accomplish smaller, short-term goals than ones that require more long-term planning. Being ambitious isn’t bad, but staying realistic won’t hurt either.
This way, you’re also more likely to keep your morale up, as you have a better chance of achieving simple goals sooner than more complex ones. Through this, you won’t be discouraged to attempt much bigger goals later on.
4. Be Specific
Achieving goals can be easier when you know what you’re actually after. Be precise about your goals. Is there a certain goal date you want to meet? How much time are you supposed to put into a certain goal? Being more specific can help give you more structure in not just setting goals, but also in how you live your life with these goals in mind as well.
5. Break Things Down
Some of your life goals might need to be dismantled into certain portions in order to be tackled accordingly. Remember not to get ahead of yourself. Take baby steps; don’t be in a rush, and compartmentalize if you need to. You’re more likely to achieve your goals if you approach them in stages rather than in big chunks.
6. Give Yourself A Reasonable Deadline
Some people work better with deadlines. When it comes to goal setting, having a deadline can really help keep you on track. Make use of tools such as bullet journals or even simple calendars to help you schedule things out.
Be sure that when you set deadlines for yourself, you remain realistic about it. Don’t think of deadlines as an opportunity to be strict with yourself. Instead, consider them as an approach to staying focused and fighting off distractions. When you make your deadlines achievable, you’re giving yourself better opportunities to accomplish your life goals.
7. Create A Game Plan
Having goals without a plan will lead you nowhere closer to reaching them. Once you’ve listed down a couple of goals you want to achieve, the next step will be to think about how you plan on achieving them. You can be as specific as you want when listing down steps towards reaching your goal. Doing so might even help you realize new life goals that you can take note of and pursue later on.
8. Think More About Your Performance Than Your End Product
Prioritize personal growth over the actual outcome of your life goals. Sure, getting to reap the benefits of your hard work can be amazing and rewarding. However, looking towards the outcome instead of considering your own journey can lead to disappointment as well.
Don’t discredit your efforts just because you fell short of your desired final product. You’ll still accomplish a lot along the way. Keep in mind that the journey can be as important — if not more — as the destination.
9. Tell Someone Else About Your Life Goals
Sharing your goals with someone else might sound a little too close for comfort, especially when concerning your personal goals. However, telling someone about your goals can help keep you accountable and motivated as you work towards achieving them. You’re more likely to accomplish your life goals when you’ve got someone to keep you grounded along the way.
You’ll be surprised at how much insight people can give when you share your goals. They might identify certain missing links in your goal plan or give feedback on how you can improve your existing plan. You might think that you know yourself best but getting a second opinion or perspective can help point out things you might have overlooked.
10. Learn To Let Go
There will be times when certain goals just don’t seem to pan out no matter how much blood, sweat, and tears you pour into them. As with many other aspects of life, it can help to know when you should let go of things. Being too hung up on one goal can only deter you from achieving other life goals in the long run. It can hurt to let go, but sometimes, it’s something that needs to be done.
11. Celebrate The Little Things
It will be important to keep your morale up as you work towards achieving your goals. You can do so by giving yourself a pat on the back for every accomplishment you make. All your efforts are worth commending no matter how insignificant they might be. The little things all contribute to the bigger picture, so don’t forget to celebrate and reward yourself every once in a while.
12. Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Although we recommend challenging yourself when you set your goals, it will be just as important to remain realistic about everything you do. As mentioned, being ambitious need not be a bad thing so long as you remain practical about your own capabilities.
Moreover, getting out of your comfort zone gives you more room for personal growth and trying new things. You’ll be able to discover new things about your own potential and explore your limitations by aiming for something out of the norm for you.
13. Consider All Possible Outcomes
When you set your goals, it is vital for you to consider different possibilities and circumstances that may arise as you go along the way. Take note that there can be more than one way of achieving your goals, so consider all your options. You might be able to remove any unnecessary steps when you keep this in mind.
On the other hand, when you take consideration of different possibilities, you’re also preparing yourself for how to handle various situations. Things won’t always go according to plan, so it helps to be ready for what life may unexpectedly throw at you.
14. Know What Your Current Resources Are
Are you ill-prepared to work towards your goals? Do you have the necessary resources to help you get from point A to B? Take note of what you currently have and what you might need to bring your life goals into fruition. If you’re looking to cut down on potential expenses, then list down the absolute necessities when it comes to resources. There are ways to go about being frugal when it comes to goal setting.
Consider the people in your life as resources as well, but don’t treat them as mere stepping stones. Networking can be extremely beneficial, especially when it comes to business goals. But, don’t forget about the friendships you forge along the way, as they can become valuable assets for you later on.
15. Remain Resilient
It’s one thing to prepare for different outcomes, but it’s another thing to actually stare them right in the face once they’re in front of you. You’re bound to encounter some problems along the way, so remaining resilient can help get you right back up.
Feelings of disappointment are normal and valid, but don’t let them consume you. Failure is a normal part of working towards life goals. The sooner you accept that, the better you can become at processing any setbacks you might encounter.
16. Take Things One At A Time
Don’t put too much on your plate, especially if you think doing so isn’t feasible for you. There’s no need to rush. Taking on too much simultaneously will cause you to lose focus and may hinder your own efficiency. Focus on one thing at a time, or else you may become too overwhelmed and burnt out before you even get anything off the ground.
17. Be Your Own Hype Man
Don’t underestimate the power of positive pep talks. Combat being your own worst critic by hyping yourself up instead. Doing so can help establish a more positive mindset when working towards your goals. This can be especially helpful whenever you face roadblocks or other hiccups along the way.
Give yourself some positive self-talk when setting life goals. This helps boost motivation and creates a stronger belief in yourself. Tell yourself some self-affirming statements, such as “You’re doing great!” and “Keep up the good work!” as you move toward your life goals. Building yourself up will be much better than tearing yourself down, and this applies to other aspects of your life as well.
18. Be Willing To Compromise
Identify what you’re willing to let go of while you’re on the road to success. On top of being flexible and capable of adapting to change, you will also need to be able to sacrifice some things along the way. No journey is without its own share of hardships, so you’ll need to be aware of that early on in the goal-setting stage.
Jot down what you believe you can forgo in the event that things go downhill. This isn’t you being pessimistic about things. Rather, it’s a more realistic perspective on setting life goals and working hard for them.
19. Stay Grateful
Beyond sustaining a positive outlook on things, it can be just as important to be grateful for what you’ve already accomplished. When you’re in the goal-setting stage, think about what you’ve already achieved in life and how you can build upon those little victories. You might be able to discover more goals that you can work towards with this humble sort of outlook.
20. Don’t Compare Yourself To Other People
This is much easier said than done, but you’re not going to get anywhere by comparing yourself to other people. Each person’s journey is different. If you compare your goals and progress to other people, then you might end up feeling bad about yourself.
Don’t discredit what you’re already accomplished and take things at your own pace. Life might seem like a competition, but the reality is, we all grow differently — and at different rates, too. There’s no need to worry if you feel like you’re falling behind. Your goals are your own, just as other people have their own victories and losses as well.
21. Think About The “Why” Of Your Life Goals
When you develop your goals, you’re bound to identify the whats and hows of these ambitions. With that said, it will be just as important to identify the whys of your life goals as well. Pin down what motivates you. Why are you working towards such goals? Why prioritize one potential future over another? By identifying the whys of your goals, you establish what drives you to meet those aspirations in the first place.
22. Do Your Research
As with many other things, you can benefit from doing a fair share of research. Go over the ins and outs of your plans and look into how you can achieve your hopes and dreams. Study the industry you wish to penetrate or investigate what sort of skills you might still be lacking.
23. Take Note Of Your Progress
Track your progress as you go about your life goals. This will give you a more concrete visual of where you are in terms of your goal development. Be sure to do this regularly, as it can help keep you motivated and stay on schedule.
24. Create Subgoals For Long-Term Goals
Similar to breaking things down and compartmentalizing, making subgoals for more ambitious aims will help make long-term goals appear more attainable. You might be intimidated when a long-term goal is in play, so creating smaller goals that work towards that bigger ambition can help make things more doable. Plus, you’ll feel much more productive and organized this way.
25. Be As Visual As You’d Like
Setting future goals doesn’t have to be all about lists. If you benefit more from visual learning, you can map things out with drawings and pictures instead. These are your own personal goals, so you can be as creative as you’d like when you’re brainstorming and planning things out.
Even if you’re not particularly a visual learner, simple illustrations can help summarize your goal planning and make it a lot easier to review in the future. It allows you to see in one glance what you have set out for yourself without having to read every single word. Plus, it takes some of the seriousness out of goal setting so you can have a little fun while you’re at it!
26. Create A Conductive Work Environment
Much like how your personal space plays a significant role in your productivity, sitting down to plan your goals will need an environment that calls for efficiency as well. Clean out your desk or rearrange things in your workspace if you have to. We have some recommendations for cool office gadgets to organize and liven up your office space!
It’s often said that the state of your workspace directly affects your state of mind. A tidy and comfortable workspace will help clear your mind and put your thoughts in order. You’ll feel much more inspired and motivated to get started on goal planning when your working area promotes clarity of mind and diligence.
27. Use Technology To Your Advantage
We now live in a world that’s fully connected and online thanks to developments in technology and the rise of social media. Make the most out of this; use your smartphone to help keep you on track when setting goals. For some of our best recommendations, check out our article on time management apps to boost your productivity and ease goal setting.
28. Make A Habit Out Of Self-Reflection
Reflect on where you’re at in life. Are you in a place that leaves you happy and satisfied? How can you improve on what you currently have? Make it a habit to self-reflect often. This can help you identify what you want in life, which can subsequently affect the sort of goals you formulate for yourself. Consistent self-reflection can also help with your own personal development, as you will be able to recognize certain aspects of yourself that you can still work on.
29. Don’t Let Doubts Dictate Your Choices
There’s a constant reminder to remain realistic when setting goals. However, it can be equally important to make sure you’re not letting self-doubt get in the way of your own potential as well. Certain life goals can seem out of reach, but you might actually be looking at it from a perspective that hinders your success.
Instead of simply dismissing a particularly difficult goal, look at it from another angle. There’s no denying how terrifying it can be to face your own potential for failure, but overcoming this hurdle can unlock more opportunities for you to grow as a person. You will at least be able to say you tried in the end. Trying will be heaps better than simply giving up.
30. Just Do It
In the end, the only one stopping you from creating goals is yourself. Just go for it. You won’t get anywhere when you don’t even bother to begin. It’s easier said than done, sure. But do you really want to live your life without having taken the risk of reaching for your dreams? Take that first step. You at least owe it to yourself to give it your best shot.
How you go about setting your life goals will ultimately depend on where you’re at in life. Always remember that each person’s motives are different regardless of what types of goals they have in mind. Thus, one person’s approach to creating goals and how they achieve those goals may vastly differ next to someone else’s.
Simply put, there is no right or wrong way of setting goals and achieving them. These tips are meant to help you get started, but they are by no means meant to dictate your own methods of goal planning. As we said, take things at your own pace. Set goals for yourself and not for the benefit of others. There’s no need to compete with other people when your biggest priority should be your own personal development. Good luck!