There’s a lot of pressure around setting and achieving goals these days.
From big life goals down to small daily goals.
This is especially true in the business world, where “hustle and grind” culture makes us feel like there’s always something we need to be doing right now.
But here’s a secret to setting life goals: you have to be true to yourself and what you really want out of life. Once you’ve tapped into what you want – and not what you think you should want – it all falls into place.
So, how do you set good life goals and create a game plan to make them happen? What if you feel like you don’t have goals in life, or you don’t know the right direction to get there?
That’s just what we’re getting into today.
In this article, we’ll look at what life goals are and how to set them. We’ll also give you a life goals list to help with your brainstorming, planning, and doing.
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What Are Life Goals?
Like the name suggests, life goals are goals to set for yourself over the course of your life. They’re definitely long-term – as they might actually take your whole life to achieve.
I’m not going to sugar coat it: setting life goals is a lot easier than the achieving part.
Which is why it’s so important that you’re driven by a sense of passion and real desire. Feeling strongly toward your life goals is what gives you the fuel to take those steps every day.
How to Set Life Goals
Finding goals in life might seem like an intimidating task. Some might even say overwhelming.
There’s no shame in that. There are a lot of people who feel the same way (myself included at times!).
It all starts with some brainstorming. And a touch of dreaming and fantasizing.
Here are a few steps you can take to come up with the best life goals for yourself:
- Set up an idea dump worksheet. Sit down with your computer or a pen and paper. Write out a few categories that you might want to set life goals for, like your health, relationships, career, finances, hobbies, spirituality, and the like.
- Do an idea dump. Put 30 minutes on a timer and write down as many life goal ideas as you can think of in the categories you listed. What’s your dream life? No idea is too big, small, or silly. Write down every single one now, and you can edit them later.
- Narrow down the best ideas. Wait a day or two, then revisit your life goals list. Which ones do you want the most? Which ones set you on fire when you think about them, even if they’ll be hard to accomplish? Those are your best bet.
- Build an action plan. Write out a rough plan for the steps you need to take to achieve those life goals. How long will it reasonably take? What are the major milestones or baby steps you need to take to reach the bigger goal? What do you have to do every week, month, year to stay on track?
Now let’s look at some life goal ideas to help give you some fuel for your brainstorming session.
21 Goals to Set for Yourself
1. Run a half marathon
I’ve met at least a few people who have this as a life goal. This is a great example of a life goal that takes real dedication, especially if you’re not a runner yet.
That’s because a half marathon is about 21 kilometers (13.1 miles). That’s a whole lotta miles. Training is something that needs to happen steadily, every day or several times a week. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart. But the reward is as hefty as the commitment.
2. Follow a vegan diet
“Going vegan” has gained a lot of traction lately. With reason: there are loads of benefits, like your health, the wellbeing of animals, and the environment. But this isn’t one of those simple life goals… if you love eating animal products like meat, cheese, and eggs, going vegan can feel incredibly hard.
A lot of people remedy this by taking it slow: first by cutting out some products, then cutting out others once you’re acclimated. If you look at it that way , a vegan diet can seem a lot more attainable.
3. Start a business
Some people are fortunate enough to have a business opportunity knock on their door. Others have to work hard for it. But the good news is, starting a business is easier than ever. It’s also one of the best life goals you can set for yourself!
If you’ve been dreaming of being your own boss, check out our article on How to Start a Business or our ebook on How to Become an Entrepreneur. Make sure you browse our site too. This is our bread and butter.
4. Make a million dollars
This one seems like a really big dream, but a lot of entrepreneurs set this as a financial target. It’s an especially common life goal for people who own their own business, like a dropshipping store, consulting agency, or freelance business.
When you make the rules about how your business runs, you can also make the rules about how money is made (and how much of it is made!).
5. Earn a steady passive income
Do you fantasize about making money while you sleep? Or watching your bank account grow as you sip a mojito on a Caribbean beach? Passive income (also called residual income) is right up your alley.
The best way to make this happen is to build an online business that doesn’t rely on you working 24/7. Selling online courses and other digital content can be a great path for this life goal.
6. Find (and marry) your “soulmate”
This is one of the most common goals in life. We all want a storybook romance, don’t we? While this isn’t necessarily the kind of goal that requires a strict plan, it’s something that can be worked toward.
After all, relationships take commitment and understanding. You’ll have to make compromises and grow together as a team. This is one of those life goals that takes more work than it seems.
7. Own your dream home
Your home isn’t just a set of four walls and a roof. Owning the perfect property is one of the best life goals you can set because it means you get your own little slice of heaven. Nothing feels more reassuring than having the perfect place where you can feel comfortable and safe.
Saving for your dream home takes some time – but it’s one of the best aims in life. Not only do you get a place to call your own, but you get your foot on the property ladder too!
8. Own your dream car
Just like a home, your car is one of your most valuable possessions. Sure, it’s there for your grocery runs and getting you to and from work each day. However, a car is also freedom – a chance to take on the open road and discover amazing places.
Figure out what your dream car looks like and start putting a little cash towards those new wheels every day.
9. Have a positive impact on the world
The world is a different place because you’re part of it. There might be 7.8 billion people on this planet, but you’ve ever felt the glow of donating to charity or cherished the smile on a person’s face after a random act of kindness, you’ll know everyone counts.
Do your part to have a positive impact on the world in your own way. You can create a small non-profit organization, plant some trees, or just try to make someone smile every day.
9. Conquer your fears
This is a tough one – but well worth the effort. Your ultimate goal in life should be to live without fear. Take the world as it comes and be prepared to deal with any eventuality. That starts with conquering your fears, one at a time.
Figure out which fears are holding you back right now and start to work on them. A little CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy) and meditation could help with building your confidence here.
11. Master a second language
Mastering a second language is one of the most common goals in life. It gives you a new valuable skill that you can share with the people around you. Plus, having another language that you can speak means that you have more job and travel opportunities.
Choose the language you’d like to speak based on the opportunities it offers. If you’ve always wanted to visit China, maybe Chinese is the language for you.
12. Declutter your home
A cluttered home creates a cluttered mind. It’s easy to let clutter get on top of us these days. We shove things in cupboards and boxes to keep our homes tidy – but the clutter is still there, waiting to spill out.
Learn how to let go of the things you don’t want or need in your life anymore. If you haven’t used something in the last three months, and it doesn’t make you happy, donate it or throw it away.
13. Rekindle an old relationship
Some relationships are better left in the past. You know which people have had a negative impact on your life. Some, however, could deliver a host of amazing benefits.
Look through your past relationships and ask yourself who you lost touch with for no real reason. Reach out through a message or phone call and think whether re-igniting this relationship is important for you.
14. Sleep better
Sleep has a massive impact on how you think and feel. When it comes to short term goals in life, improving your sleep is one of the most valuable things you can do.
Start by improving your sleep hygiene. Create a schedule you can stick to, starting with a way to relax, like a hot bath or a cup of tea.
Remember that your bedroom should be cool, dark, and quiet to support good sleep. Keep any electronics outside if you can.
15. Plan for your child’s future
Your child is a continuation of yourself. While you can’t control what kind of person they become, one of the most positive goals in life is to try and help them reach their potential. Plan your child’s future by putting money away for their future education and helping them to find their talents.
Setting life goals doesn’t have to be just about doing things that benefit you. Your life goals can also center around your child’s happiness.
16. Mentor someone
We all have unique skills and talents that we can share with the world. If you know how to do something well, whether it’s managing stress, or making money online, then you can share that knowledge with other people.
Mentoring someone is a wonderful way to pass your insights down through generations. Additionally, when you mentor someone, you also find opportunities to learn yourself. No matter where you are in life, you can usually find someone that looks up to you.
17. Become more mindful
Good life goals focus on helping you get the most out of your time on this earth. Living a fulfilling life means learning how to live in the present.
It’s easy to over-analyze our mistakes and stay focusing exclusively on the past. However, if you focus on what you regret too often, you forget to live in the present. Similarly, anxiously awaiting the future means that you don’t see the value in what you have now.
Learn how to be mindful of your existing life. Here are some mind training tactics to help your brain focus intently.
18. Do different things
One of the best goals to set in life is to expose yourself to as many different experiences as possible. As easy as it is to cling to your comfort zone, you should always be looking for ways to branch out and discover new experiences.
Doing something new is a chance to discover the skills and talents that you never knew you had. It’s also a way to build relationships with new peoples you might meet and discover hobbies that make you happier.
19. Take more risks
Risks are something we often work hard to avoid, but sometimes they’re necessary. One of your life goals should be to look at ways to take more calculated risks in your life.
Think about something that could have a great impact on your life, but you’re currently too nervous to try. Could the benefits outweigh the risk? If so, this is the time to bite the bullet and jump in.
20. Let go of the past
Finding goals in life can be easier than you’d think. Sometimes, the best way to improve your future is to learn how to let go of the past. While you can learn from the negative experiences you’ve had over the years, stop letting them hold you back.
Depending on your background, you may need some help to accomplish this goal. However, therapy and guidance exist to give you the direction you need.
21. Learn more
Learning doesn’t have to stop because you’ve finished your schooling. A commitment to long-term learning is one of the most effective and simple life goals for anyone interested in living a fulfilling life.
Try taking a new course every so often on the internet or at a local school near you. Look for opportunities to learn from other people or seek a mentor who can help you hone specific skills.
Let's Do This!
Setting life goals is a great way to ensure that you get the most out of your fleeting time on this wonderful planet.
Life moves quickly, and it’s easy to waste time when you don’t have a direction to move in. Short-term and long-term life goals will act as the compass you need to guide you towards happiness, enlightenment, and fulfillment in everything you do.
What kind of goals are you going to set? Let us know in the comments below.