The Different Types of Goals You Should Have

Goals written on a type writer page using old type writer.

Goal-setting is both a science and an art. When you set goals, it organizes your thoughts, clears the cobwebs, and helps add meaning and purpose to your life. Whether you’ve been taught at a young age or recently realized that goal-setting is an important thing to do, I’ve outlined the different types of goals you should have, why have those particular goals, and how to set them in a way that will encourage instead of demotivating you. 

Some people prefer to organize their goals according to deadlines. For example, saving up a certain amount of money for the year or moving to a different country in the next 5 years. In fact, time-based goals are a great way to motivate yourself as you can break down a big goal into small, actionable steps. When you set a goal of, say, buying your dream house in the next 5 years, you can work your way backward and write down all the smaller goals that you need to achieve before hitting that big milestone. 

If you feel overwhelmed and have all these different goals in mind, the first step is to just write down what first comes to mind. You can start by writing down all your goals in a journal or by making a mind map. Here are the different goals you should have:

1. Career Goals

Women in white blazer holding tablet while talking on the phone.

For a lot of people, career goals are the most important as this gives them more financial freedom and a sense of personal achievement. Career goals greatly differ from one person to another. A corporate employee’s career goal could be to get a promotion every 2 years. A business owner’s career goals, on the other hand, can be more than five different things that intersect with one’s personal goals.

Setting career goals early on can help motivate you and inspire you to make certain changes that you otherwise might not do.

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2. Relationship Goals

Man holding a breath of flowers behind his back for a women standing close to marble wall.

Relationship goals are oftentimes qualitative–you can’t measure them exactly and again, it differs from one person to the next. If you’re married or living with a partner, setting down goals together is a great way to see if you’re both on the same page. Writing down these goals with your partner can also strengthen your relationship and avoid future conflicts. If you both can see the big picture, it’s harder to argue about the small things because you know that you’re both doing your best and are working towards a common goal. You will also get to know your partner on a deeper level, which is fulfilling in itself.

3. Health Goals

Women with white sun visor on running

Almost everyone wants to be fit and healthy. It’s a common goal that everyone truly wants. When you’re healthy, you feel better about yourself. You live a longer and lead a better quality of life. However, health-related decisions and habits are often hard to undo or achieve. That’s why having specific, measurable, time-dependent, and realistic health goals are very important. Once you know exactly what you need to achieve, you can create a system that will lead you towards that goal. 

Knowing what your health goals are and what you need to do to achieve them can also help you make changes to your environment. For example, if you work from home and sit in front of a screen the whole day, you might figure out that it’s easier to stick to your goals by rearranging your workspace to accommodate dumbbells, standing desks, and inspiring posters.

4. Financial Goals

Person counting money

Whether you want to pay off debt or save a certain amount of money, financial goals are oftentimes easy to figure out. What makes financial goals difficult to achieve could all be down to not knowing the steps that connect your daily habits to your big financial goals. Everyone wants to have a large amount of money in their bank or pay off student loans after a few years. However, not everyone achieves those goals.

The solution? Figuring out your own system so you can make progress and achieve your goals. When you know what truly matters (financial goals), what’s easy to reach and what will take time (timeline), and what exactly you need to do to achieve those goals (habits and behavior), then you’ll surely be on the right track.

5. Personal Goals

Women with white shirt working from home and smiling.

When setting personal goals, it’s important to figure out the ‘Why?’. Why do you want to achieve those goals in the first place? Once you understand your own motivations and desires, it’s easier to set time-bound personal goals and build habits that bring you a step closer to your goal each day.

When setting down goals, remember that starting small and building good habits is what helps turn goals into reality. Organizing your goals, setting a time frame, breaking down goals into actionable steps, or figuring out which habits to cultivate are good ways to steer yourself in the right direction. 

Start by building daily habits, which are almost automatic and don’t take much brainpower to do. Then, turn those habits into a system. Once you have systems in place and you know how to do certain things, when to do them, and how many times you should repeat a certain action, then you’ll slowly but surely start making progress to achieve your goals.

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