Setting up your life goals and the strategies to achieve them

9 mins read
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Many of us have dreams in life that we want to achieve or things we want to improve on. It could be desiring a better lifestyle, buying a dream car, or personal goals like improving bad-tempered. Everyone has a list of things that they want to accomplish and certain goals that they want to achieve in the future. But oftentimes, setting life goals becomes daunting and people find it difficult to work on them. If you too have faced hardship in setting life goals then this article is for you. In this article, we will be discussing how to set life goals and the strategies to achieve them. 

Before we proceed with the strategies, let’s understand the meaning of goals and their importance in our life. 

What are life goals? Why do we need to set them?

A goal is anything that you want to achieve and are committed to working towards. It is the desired outcome that keeps you on track and pushes you to work for it. Whether personal or professional, a goal makes a person more responsible and helps them in understanding their life better.

Research by a psychologist and career coach at the Dominican University of California shows that there’s a direct correlation between setting goals and achieving success. Properly defined goals help trigger new behaviors and help you focus on what’s important to you.

We have listed down a few ways by which goals help in making a person more successful. 

  1. Time management – While making life goals a person also decides the timeline to finish them. This teaches the art of time management which many people generally don’t pay much attention to. 
  2. Sense of direction – Life goals give direction to a person’s life by helping them in discovering the purpose of their life. This also helps them in understanding the various aspects of their life. 
  3. Makes a person responsible – Typically, people ignore creating life goals to save themselves from the hassle they may face during the process. Yes, setting goals requires a lot of effort and sincerity but it also makes a person more responsible in life. 

What are the different types of life goals? 

We all have different goals in life which keep on changing with time we either add something new to the list or modify the same ones. In the same way, some goals can be achieved in a shorter duration while others take longer, either way, our goals are bounded by the time period.

Based on the time duration, life goals are divided into main categories – short-term goals and long-term goals.

Long-term goals

These are the goals that you want to achieve in the future and have nothing to do with immediate results. It isn’t something that you want to do this week, in a month, or even in the same year but it is what you want to achieve in the coming years of your life.

For example – losing weight, achieving certain success in your career, achieving financial stability or freedom,  preparing your kid for good education, or making yourself a more disciplined person, all these things may take a significant amount of time. 

Short-term goals 

These are the goals that you can achieve in the immediate future maybe in a week or month or even the same year. For example – You want to learn a new skill and you join a class for it, this can be achieved in a short period of time hence it’s a short-term goal.

There are many other types of life goals that a person strives to achieve, which are based on many aspects of an individual life. We have made a list of a few of the common goals that everyone makes at least once in their lives. 

Let’s take a look at these goals – 

Self Goals 

There are things in life that a person does to improve his personality either by adding new good habits or removing the bad ones. Habits that no longer help the person and are hindrances to the development of his or her personality and are causing harm are better to be removed from life.

Whereas certain habits can be improved with practice and control such as being bad-tempered. Self-goals are different for everyone for some traveling is a goal whereas for others mastering a hobby. Along with it, there are goals that are family-oriented like improving a relationship or building a new one.

Fitness Goals

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Often people ignore this part of their life and the results of which are various health issues they later face. But, there are people who take their health seriously and follow the fitness regime religiously. They indulge in one or other physical activity like yoga, running, or even going to the gym. 

A fit person can smoothly work on his goals and can pass any challenge that comes his way better than an unfit person. 

Educational Goals

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Everybody has different career goals or plans and in order to achieve them, they need some skill set. Hence, people enroll in various courses to improve their skills or knowledge. In simple words, educational goals are the qualities and skills a person possesses after finishing their education which may involve a course, a degree, etc. 

Many people know the importance of setting life goals but face trouble while making strategies to achieve them. We are sure that you too must have encountered some problems in setting up your life goals. 

Professional/Career Goals 

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These are the goals that can be achieved either in long term or short depending on various factors like the position one wants to reach or the targets to be achieved. Sometimes personal circumstances affect a person’s career goals either by helping them or being a hindrance in their journey. 

A person makes professional goals to stay clear about what they want to do and achieve in the future. The purpose of the goal may vary for individuals such as from aspiring for promotion to running one’s own business but, eventually, career goals are beneficial in a person’s development.  

Financial Goals 

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Money is one of the important things in life, after all, everything revolves around it. Hence, it is necessary to manage it in the right way. Financial goals involve many aspects such as saving, earning, investing, and spending money. 

These goals are planned according to the short-term or long-term targets you set for yourself. For example – planning to buy a computer or tv can be achieved in a year or less whereas if your plan is to buy a home or save for your child’s education, then it requires more time. 

Financial goals give a clear picture of how you want to spend your money and it also educates a person about his or her earning capacity.

Social Goals 

These days many people are coming forward to carry out their social responsibility and are actively taking part in working for the betterment of society. You might have come across individuals or groups of people running NGOs for women’s empowerment or spreading awareness about human rights or working for animal welfare, running campaigns to protect nature and natural resources, feeding poor people, etc., they are all playing their part in the upliftment of society. 

The aim of this goal is to help society by giving it back in any way possible, few help financially to solve societal issues whereas others invest their time. Furthermore, setting social goals constantly reminds a person of his duties and of the role they play in the overall development of society. 

Spiritual Goals 

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Apart from working for material things or worldly pleasures one also aims to discover their purpose to live a meaningful life. Spiritual goals are the intentions one sets to improve their understanding of oneself by connecting with their spiritual side. 

Irrespective of the religions one may follow spiritual goals give clarity to an individual’s life. It can differ from person to person for some people the intention of meditation is to get closer to God whereas for others it may be a way to relax. 

Therefore, we are sharing a few of the tested tactics that will help you in planning and setting strategies to achieve your life goals.

Do check out our other articles on self-help:

The art of introspection. Let’s develop a better understanding of ourselves.

Top strategies to achieve life goals

Understand your passion

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Once you understand where your passion lies then you can easily make your life goals. Focus on yourself and try to evaluate your options and find out what interests you the most. This will help you design your career path as well.

Be specific

Clearly state your goals in as much detail as you can. It is important to understand what you are getting into and what you will do once you achieve it. This also reveals what your journey will look like in the future. 

Set realistic goals 

It is vital to set realistic goals which you can achieve. Setting goals beyond your capacity wouldn’t give you any results and will unnecessarily exhaust you. Be honest and ask yourself if you can do and work on what you are setting your hope to.

Often people create goals by looking at the bigger picture and usually avoid the close effects they may encounter while working for it. Understand your capabilities and make goals that are under your control. 

Write down your goals

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When you write anything it gets imprinted in your mind and your brain records it and starts working on it. Writing brings a lot of clarity as it requires complete attention making you understand whether the decided goals are right or wrong. 

A study by Dr. Gail Matthews of the Dominican University of California shows the effectiveness of writing down goals. According to his research, people who write their goals have a better chance of accomplishing more than those who do not write down their goals.

Break down your goals 

Sometimes working for goals may feel overwhelming and difficult therefore, it is important to break down goals into smaller achievable steps. This will help you in staying consistent with your path and will make your goal look more attainable.

Set a time limit

Deciding a time limit for any task not only ensures the completion of the work but also helps in motivating a person to work efficiently. This removes the room for time wastage as it constantly reminds a person of his plans and the goals he needs to accomplish.

Understand your weaknesses

Everybody has weaknesses nobody is born perfect it is with practice people turns their weakness into strengths. Accept your weaknesses and work on your shortcomings. Try to think of your weaknesses as a chance to improve and work on yourself.

Identify potential problems 

While making life goals also think about the potential problems that can arise while executing your plan. Think about the difficulties you may face while working on your goals and make a backup plan to confront them. 

Embrace failures 

Once you start working on your goals you may face challenges that might bring down your morale. Instead of running away from failure, embrace it. Don’t fall into the trap of self-doubts or self-criticism remember failure is success in disguise. It gives one scope for improvement. Learn from failures and make the necessary changes next time. 

Reflect and adjust 

Don’t forget to look back at the journey you have covered. It is important to keep a track of the progress you have made as it also gives you chance to reflect on the mistakes you did. Make adjustments where necessary and continue your journey by learning from your mistakes.

Stay motivated 

There will be times when you will feel drained. These are the days when you need to motivate yourself to keep going.  Look at your progress and push yourself for moving forward.


Distractions don’t come with a time limit and often make people lose sight of their aim hence, it is important to practice self-discipline. It plays a key role in achieving anything in life and saving from unnecessary distractions. If you think you are falling into distractions or habits, or straying away from your path then remind yourself why you started it in the first place. 

Visualize the end result 

When you visualize the end result you give your undivided attention to your goals. The final outcome encourages you to work hard for your goal by staying true to your journey.

Treat yourself

And don’t forget to treat yourself when you achieve your goals. This will energize you for your future endeavors.

Setting life goals is a crucial step in shaping one’s life. It helps a person in realizing his passion and interests. But, at the same time, while working on the goals one may face certain hurdles and difficulties, hence, it is important to have patience. Do take timely breaks to boost yourself as working continuously for something may make you tired and exhausted. It’s okay if you still have not set up your life goals, there is no age limit for starting anything. Take the help of the above-mentioned tactics and create the path of your life the way you want.  

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Renu Solanki works as a content specialist with Postbox Consultancy Services. She is an English Literature graduate.

She is an avid-reader and passionate about the study of the Universe, Spirituality, Psychology and Traditional Culture. In her free time she likes to indulge in a steaming cup of black coffee & Netflix.