All of us need a vision and purpose to live a successful life. You have a long “to-do” list that you wish to accomplish in your lifetime. Setting one of the types of goals allows you to work towards it in life. It brings you a sense of purpose. When you work towards an aim, you push yourself to achieve the best results, instead of waiting for things to happen on its own.
What is a Goal?
A goal is an objective that you wish to accomplish in a specific time frame with hard work and determination. It also means the envisioned idea or a plan that you wish to fulfill. Goals involve directed planning for the future. Here, you put in your best efforts to make things happen. Goals are a purposeful mission that one strives to achieve personal growth and fulfilling life.
What is Goal Setting?
Goal setting is a step by step procedure that you follow through a guided effort to accomplish your purpose in life. It is a plan of action towards achieving an observable and measurable outcome. Goal setting motivates you to achieve your goal successfully. It helps you to decide and focus on what is important to you. Goal setting is based on SMART goal setting criteria, and it will push you towards your desired destination. The SMART Criteria is a rule that you need to follow to accomplish your goals.
- S – Specific- This means that goals should be clear and well-defined.
- M – Measurable – Your progress should be measured towards achieving the goal.
- A – Achievable – Your goals should be possible by nature.
- R – Goals should be real and relevant to your purpose in life.
- T – Time-bound – Goals should be achieved within a specific time limit. You should set deadlines to accomplish your goals. It should have a start and end date.
15 Types of Goals
Goals are critical for your personal growth and overall improvement. Setting the right type of goal is important for fulfilling it. Let’s look into the various types of goals. Goals are classified into two broad categories. They are time-bound goals and specific goals.
These goals focus on accomplishing your aim over a while. Some of them are as follows.
- Short term goals
- Stepping stone goals
- Long term goals
- Lifetime goals
1. Short Term Goals
A short term goal has a short period. You can accomplish this goal in a week, a month or a year. These goals are easier to achieve because the deadline is near and you focus on doing all the necessary things to achieve it. Short term goals are also called enabling goals, as achieving these goals can lead you towards higher levels of goal achievement. Few examples of short term goals are as follows.
- Losing weight in 2 weeks.
- Get a freelance job for added income.
- Open a new fixed deposit.
- Pay off your credit card bill by the end of the month.
- To get an “A” grade in mathematics test this month.
- Join a hobby class by next week.
2. Stepping Stone Goals
This goal aims at the step by step accomplishment of the main goal. It is a process that you must complete to reach your final goal. The stepping stone goal takes systematic action steps that you need to follow to achieve your bigger life goals. Let us analyze one example to understand the concept more clearly. One high school student aspires to become a doctor. So this goal is divided into sub-goals to achieve the main goal. The sub-goals are called the stepping stone goals such as
- Take a class on preparing for the medical entrance test.
- To give regular exams.
- Evaluate performance.
- Appear for various competitive examinations.
- Prepare well to get through a good medical college.
- Take the course seriously.
- Pursue a career in medicine.
3. Long Term Goals
Long term goals take a longer time to get accomplished such as over two to ten years. The long term goal is divided into several short term goals so that they can be accomplished easily. Few common examples of long term goals are
- Buying a new house
- To invest in a start-up business.
- You want to get a masters degree in engineering
- To own your company
- To earn 1 lac a month from an online business.
4. Lifetime goals
This is a type of long term goal that may take more than a year to the entire lifetime to get accomplished. Lifetime goals are related to your values and your life desires. This goal changes with time. Your life goals at 18 years will not be the same at 40 years. Lifetime goals may help you to live your ideal life. These big goals in your life take time to achieve. It gives you a sense of purpose in life. Few examples are as follows
- To become a better individual
- Travel the world, as many times as you can
- To contribute more to society by delivering for a social cause
- You wish to set a world record in something.
These goals focus on particular and definite things that you wish to achieve in your life. The goals under this category include the following types
- Career goals
- Educational goals
- Personal growth goals
- Financial goals
- Social goals
- Spiritual goals
- Relationship goals
- Lifestyle goals
- Health goals
- Business goals
- Retirement goals
Let us discuss all the above goals in detail with examples.
5. Career Goals
You have a career goal when you envision improving your professional know-how and expertise for career development. It may include the amount of money you desire to earn, your position in the organization, your promotion, etc. Examples are To get a career that you enjoy doing, you have enough satisfaction in your job life.
- To get a pay hike or a promotion.
- You want to learn a new skill related to your job.
- Look for better job opportunities.
- To increase your job proficiency and become an expert in your work.
6. Educational Goals
In this type of goal is important for the student community where the focus is to attain your educational objectives. When you grow older, this goal becomes your personal development goals in which you try to enhance your skills and knowledge. You also strive to learn a new skill for better career prospects. Few examples of this goal are as follows:
- Securing good grades in school and college.
- You aim for good board results.
- To seek admission in reputed institutions.
- Qualifying the different entrance tests.
7. Personal Growth Goals
In this type of goal, you focus on your personal growth. It means updating and learning new skills to keep pace with changing times. This goal focuses on the following issues
- Learning new skills.
- Read more books, write one if you wish to.
- To improve your body language and soft skills.
- Travel to places of your choice for your wish fulfillment.
- Start a new online class to learn a foreign language.
8. Financial Goals
It is a goal that aims at judicious financial planning and expenditure. You may wish to make more money, do forced savings, change your spending habits and set a budget to keep a check on your expenses. Few examples are as follows.
- Pay off your due loans.
- You would like to create an emergency fund to meet unforeseen expenses.
- Buy a house or an office space.
- Make enough savings for the future in the form of stocks, shares, and mutual funds.
9. Social Goals
This specific goal aims at good social interactions and healthy interpersonal relations. You can bestow love, compassion, and empathy for others. Examples are
- Spend more time with your neighbors, colleagues, and friends to know them better.
- To encourage and support others in their various endeavors.
- You wish to participate in voluntary activities to help in a social cause.
- To be kind and generous, for their social upliftment.
10. Spiritual Goals
This goal looks into the attainment of inner peace and happiness. You should love your body and spend time in meditation and mindfulness. It also means accepting yourself as you are. You should have peace of mind, devoid of anxiety and stress. Happiness is the key to attain spiritual goals. If you are happy about yourself, you will feel confident. Examples of such goals are
- Meditate daily.
- Practice mindfulness.
- Visit religious places.
- Do charitable work to get happiness.
- Join a prayer group to get inner peace.
11. Relationship Goals
Loving relationships are a must for our well being. We cannot enjoy happiness alone. So, this goal aims at maintaining good relations with family members, friends and colleagues. Examples are
- Increased family time.
- Getting married and starting a family.
- Save enough for your children.
- Spending time with your spouse.
- To leave stress at work and give time to family members.
12. Lifestyle Goals
It focuses on the kind of life you wish to have. It may include things that make your life comfortable and elegant. The best examples are
- Get regular physical exercise
- You wish to maintain a positive and optimistic outlook on life.
- Furnish your house with good interiors.
- You fit in elegant looking clothes.
- To buy a foreign car or a lavish house to fulfill your dreams.
13. Health Goals
You aim to live a healthy life, with good physical fitness. It will determine your energy levels. You can be productive in all your tasks. If you have a healthy body and alert mind, you can create new things and boost your performance. The examples of this type are as follows
- To keep vital parameters within the normal range.
- Join a fitness class to build strength and stamina.
- Eating healthy and at the right time. No binge eating at all.
- Practice meditation.
- Avoid caffeine to energize yourself.
- Quit smoking
14. Business Goals
These goals relate to the growth of your business prospects. It may be a good profit margin, stop wastage, increase productivity, ensure customer satisfaction, find out strategies to attract more customers and achieve the annual sales target. Examples of this goal include the following.
- To cut unnecessary expenses and ensure a good profit margin.
- Upgrading the technology tools for your business.
- To maintain healthy relations with managers and workers.
- To create a supportive and happy work environment for your workers.
- Your business expansion plans.
15. Retirement Goals
These are plans that you make about your future; after you quit your job and wish to have a happy and secure life. This goal focuses on making a sound and secure future. Few examples are
- To retire by age 58.
- Enough savings to keep you going without being dependent on your children.
- Think of starting a new business of your own.
- Buy a new dream home.
- To pay off all your due loans, as early as possible.
Benefits of Goal Setting
If you set meaningful and achievable goals; it will surely bring personal development and satisfaction. The benefits of goal setting are as follows
- Goals bring a clear focus on your intentions and wants. It gives you a guided direction to accomplish your desires and wishes.
- It helps in optimum use of your resources in terms of effort, time and money. You can use these resources to the fullest and achieve your goal.
- It ensures good decision making. Setting clear cut goals help you to prioritize your wants. You can write down your ideas and commit to achieving them.
- It helps to develop better communication with others. You are in a position to explain to others “what you want”? You have clarity of thought and understanding.
- It gives you control over your future as you know “what to do”? “When to do”? And “How to do”?
- Goals motivate us to work hard.
- It gives you a direction and tells you the destination of your journey.
- It gives a mission and makes your life purposeful and worth living.
- Goals give you a winning mindset. It challenges you and brings out the best of you.
Do not set the wrong goal in your life. If your goal is not aligned with your values and wants; then success would feel like a far-reaching dream.
Accomplishing goals give you a sense of satisfaction and boost your worth and confidence. Work hard and be dedicated to achieving your vision in life.
A Psychologist with a master's degree in Psychology, a former school psychologist, and a teacher by profession Chandrani loves to live life simply and happily. She is an avid reader and a keen observer. Writing has always been a passion for her, since her school days. It helps to de-stress and keeps her mentally agile. Pursuing a career in writing was a chance occurrence when she started to pen down her thoughts and experiences for a few childcare and parenting websites. Her lovable niche includes mental health, parenting, childcare, and self-improvement. She is here to share her thoughts and experiences and enrich the lives of few if not many.