Goal setting is an important part of life. It helps you set priorities, work on what’s most important to you, and stay motivated. But sometimes it can be hard to come up with goals or figure out how to achieve them.
Setting goals — including personal goals, financial goals career goals, relationship goals, and more — is an important part of personal development. We need to leave our comfort zone to truly grow as individuals. If we spend too much time being comfortable, we will never learn what we are truly capable of.
Setting SMART Goals
It’s always important to consider the SMART goal strategy when setting goals. Setting SMART goals has been the best way to achieve goals since the concepts inception in 1981.
SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. They can help you set better goals and achieve them faster. Specific goals and a measurable goal can help you take small steps towards meeting your long-term goals.
The best thing about S.M.A.R.T. goals is that they can be flexible and you can reset them any time!
Understanding The Difference Between Good And Bad Goals
Not all goals are created equal. Some may be good for one person but not someone else – or they could even be bad if your goal isn’t clearly defined or achievable.
Goals are good if they inspire you, motivate you to grow and help develop yourself into a better person. When setting goals, consider the following:
Do your goals align with your core values? Are these types of things that truly make you happy? What kind of effort will it take for you to accomplish them? How will you know when you have reached them?
Below are 35 ideas for goals in life that will help you live a fulfilled, happy life. Many of them may even inspire you to set new personal and financial goals!
The Ultimate List of 35 Ideas for Goals in Life
Keep a gratitude journal.
Gratitude journaling is the technique of beginning each day by writing down 3 to 5 things for which you are grateful. It could be anything — your partner, the sunshine on your face, or the bagel you had for breakfast.
Gratitude journaling is a wonderful way to start your day out on the right track. Though bad things may be going on in your life, there’s always something good to look forward to, and gratitude journaling is a method for finding it.
Plus, you will have this journal to look back on when you are experiencing lows. Make it part of your morning routine and it will help you appreciate the small things in life as soon as you wake up everyday.
Break your bad habits.
We all have them. And many of us spent a lifetime trying to get rid fo them. But the thing about bad habits is that we can manipulate them out of our lives.
The first step is truly identifying your bad habits. It can be harder to pick up on these than it might seem at first. We often don’t know what our bad habits are until we’ve already started them.
Once you identify the habit that is holding you back, then comes the hard part: breaking it. We can do this in a number of ways; there isn’t one magic bullet to get rid of any and all bad habits. It really depends on your particular bad habit.
But if you want to get rid of a negative behavior, the first step is being aware that it’s there and identifying what makes it so hard for you to break.
Do something nice for someone else every day.
Every person — no matter who they are or where they’re from — deserves kindness, support and love.
Sometimes we forget this and get caught up in our own lives, but it’s important to keep an eye out for the people around us that need a little help. You never know what someone else might be going through or how you could brighten their day just by being nice to them.
There are so many ways you can be nice to others. It doesn’t have to cost money and it doesn’t even have to take up your time.
Give someone a compliment, donate some clothes or food that you don’t need anymore; there are many things you can do for other people that will make their day better in one way or another.
Write a life plan.
A life plan will help you determine where you want to be in five, ten, twenty-five, and fifty years. What are your long-term objectives? How would you want to be remembered after you’ve gone? What legacy do you wish to establish for future generations?
Most people do not like how they have lived their lives when they reach the conclusion of their existence. They wish they had done more, risked more, and attempted more, among other things. Life planning enables you to achieve long-term happiness!
Having a life plan and your own list of goals can help you develop a strong action plan for personal growth.
Find your favorite kind of fitness.
The positive effects of exercise cannot be overstated! Exercise has been found to improve mood, energy, and other factors in people’s lives! According to pretty much every research study ever done, it also helps with stress, mental health, and anxiety.
When we exercise, we secrete a variety of hormones, the most notable of which is endorphins. Endorphins are responsible for feelings of well-being and happiness. It is no surprise that exercise can help us achieve our goals!
It’s important to remember that there isn’t a one-size-fits all routine when it comes to exercise, so you must find something that works best for you personally. Whether you’re looking for new ideas for goals in life, or just want to try something new- maybe the gym is not your thing. Try a new sport!
There are so many different exercise routines out there that you can never get bored of working out. If you run into problems with motivation, sign up for fitness classes with friends and loved ones.
Volunteering made the list of objectives because it has been shown to be satisfying and boost happiness. According to a research published in The Journal of Happiness Studies, volunteers benefit from what they term the “happiness effect.” According to their research, volunteering results in happiness levels comparable to a life-changing pay raise.
Volunteering gives life a new perspective, relieves depression, provides meaning to one’s life, and much more.
Start a creative hobby.
Creativity is a great thing and everyone should try embracing it as much as possible! For instance, you might not think that writing comes naturally for you but there’s no reason why creativity can’t be learned with some time and effort put into the task at hand. Creativity is useful for so many things, like solving problems and creating new ideas!
Creativity can also help you to achieve your goals in life because it helps you feel fulfilled. People want to be creative when they’re happy- not just miserable or bored. Here are some hobby ideas!
We all have natural creative talents, even if they aren’t glaringly obvious at first. Finding a way to channel your creativity through a hobby is an excellent approach to focus on long-term happiness.
And remember, you don’t have to be good at something to enjoy it! The goal doesn’t need to be perfection. The goal can simply be enjoyment.
When you are mindful, it becomes easier to focus on the present moment. Sometimes we’re so caught up in our thoughts that we forget what is happening around us! Practicing mindfulness allows us to be aware of ourselves and the world around us.
Research has shown meditation can improve overall health by reducing stress levels, anxiety, depression etc., as well as improve physical health by reducing blood pressure, heart rate and more!
List your personal values.
Values provide a foundation for our lives. They represent who we are at the core of our being. It’s important to reflect on your values because they will guide you through life towards goals that bring happiness rather than sadness or regret later in life.
List your personal values and refer to them when you’re making decisions in life. If a decision violates one of your core values, it is time to reevaluate that choice.
Set healthy boundaries.
If you are constantly burning yourself out by not establishing healthy boundaries, it is time to start. Not only will setting boundaries improve the quality of your life but also help with achieving goals! Definitely listen to our podcast episode on boundaries!
For instance, you should be responsible for getting enough sleep every night. If you don’t get at least seven hours of sleep every night, then that might be a sign you need to create healthier boundaries.
Having healthy boundaries can also help you improve your time management skills because you will stop wasting time on things that don’t matter.
Make “no” a regular part of your vocabulary.
When we feel constantly overwhelmed, we can’t focus on our goals. Make “no” a regular part of your vocabulary and say it when you mean it!
If people keep taking advantage of you or getting in the way of achieving your goals, let them know that their behavior is not okay with you. Again, healthy boundaries are key to happiness.
Avoid distractions from achieving your goals.
Distractions are everywhere and they can be a major obstacle to achieving our goals! It is essential that we work towards eliminating them as best as possible in order to focus on the task at hand- whatever it may be.
Most importantly, though, limit screen time when trying to achieve life your goals. Screens and social media distract us more than we think!
Do something new at least once a month.
Life is all about new experiences, and while it’s not always possible to do something completely different every day, you should aim for at least one thing a month.
Even if that means doing something incredibly small- like trying out a restaurant or taking an online course on photography- just get outside of your comfort zone!
Buy experiences instead of things.
We often feel that we need to purchase the latest and greatest thing, whether it’s a new car or an expensive pair of shoes. Instead, try purchasing more life experiences such as travel, concerts etc. If you spend money on things and later realize they weren’t worth it- which is common- then you will only be stuck with something that doesn’t bring you happiness.
Do something you’re scared of.
It’s okay to be afraid. Fear is part of life, but you shouldn’t let it hold you back from trying new things or achieving your goals!
For instance, if you want to start a blog and are scared that no one will read it then just do it anyway. Once the initial fear goes away (which might take some time), you will be glad that you put yourself out there.
Don’t compare your life to others’.
We all experience different things in life, and while it’s okay to look at the highlights of other people’s lives via social media it is important not to focus on what they have rather than what we do!
For instance, let’s say you’re scrolling through Facebook and see that Sally just got engaged. Don’t focus on the fact that she’s getting married because it won’t help anything! Instead, smile to yourself knowing that you also have something special in your life- even if it isn’t necessarily another person.
Regularly take time away from social media.
Social media can be a great tool for keeping in touch with people, but it’s also important to take breaks from time to time.
If you find yourself spending hours on Facebook or Instagram rather than having real-life interactions then it might be worth taking some social media detox days. This will help keep your mood up and make you feel better about life.
Make time to talk on the phone.
Talking on the phone is a lost art, but it’s important to chat with our loved ones.
For instance, if you have friends or family members living in different states or countries then pick up the phone and call them! Even just sending a text message can go a long way because they will know that you are thinking of them.
Read personal development books.
Personal development books are beneficial because they help us get in touch with our inner selves and work towards achieving our goals. For instance, you can read The Secret to see how the law of attraction works or You Are a Badass to learn more about self-love and confidence!
Try journaling daily.
Journaling is great for keeping track of our thoughts and emotions, but it’s also a great way to set goals! For instance, you can write down what your life will look like in five years or how you want your day to go. Plus, writing things down helps us think more clearly and become better at expressing ourselves verbally.
Journaling is always a great time to spend quality time alone. It can have a positive impact on your mental health in the long run. You don’t have to journal extensively, even writing a line or two a day can help bring you benefits.
Find a mentor and be a mentor.
A mentor is someone who we look up to and learn from, but mentorship goes both ways. Not only should you seek out a mentor but you can also become one yourself! For instance, if there’s an older person at your church or place of employment then offer them some help as well.
Mentoring is important because it not only helps people achieve their goals but also shows that we care about others.
Learn your personality type.
Personality types are important because they help us realize the things that make people unique.
For instance, there is a test you can take to find out what your personality type is and it will reveal some of your best qualities! It’s worth taking this time to learn about who you are so that you know how to recognize other people in your life.
There are many personality tests you can take.
For instance, you can take the Myers Briggs test to figure out which type of personality you have or even just a straight-up “Which Harry Potter character are you?” quiz. Even though tests like these might seem silly they do reveal some valuable information about ourselves! You will be surprised by how much we learn from taking them.
Get to know your strengths and weaknesses.
Each person has a different set of strengths and weaknesses, but we don’t need to spend time worrying about what others think.
For instance, some people are great at holding conversations with strangers while others hate talking in such situations! But it’s not something that needs to be changed because there is nothing wrong with either personality type. It just
Try Blue Sky thinking.
Blue Sky thinking is a form of brainstorming that helps us think more creatively.
The next time you are struggling to find clarity, try blue sky thinking! It’s easy and doesn’t take much effort so there’s nothing stopping you from trying it out in order to achieve your goals. The idea is that there is no limit to what can you achieve – what would you do if you knew there was nothing holding you back?
Lean into your purpose.
We all have a purpose here. And it’s one of the most important things in life to lean into that purpose. It might not always be clear to you at the time, but your purpose is pulling you along a path, in the right direction.
You can use your purpose to help define your long-term goals, your smaller goals, and your SMART goals. We all need a sense of purpose to help guide our values and decision-making.
Learn new skills on a regular basis.
If you want to achieve your goals then it’s important that you learn new skills on a regular basis!
For instance, if there is an area of expertise that interests you then start learning about it. There are many different ways to begin down this path such as taking language classes or even just reading books about the subject matter. It doesn’t have to be too hard – just take the first step. For anything you want to learn, I’m sure you can find online courses on it!
We need to keep learning to grow, it’s just how the process works. Don’t get so complacent in your life that you don’t embrace learning at every chance you get.
Traveling is great because it gives us the opportunity to learn more about ourselves and other people.
For instance, traveling helps you understand different cultures better which can help inform some of your future decisions! Plus, new experiences are always exciting so why not make one happen? You might meet someone new or even gain a deeper appreciation for where you live.
There are many benefits to traveling and even more reasons for why you should do it! Don’t let the idea of travel be intimidating or scary – just embrace what could happen instead.
Live without regrets.
Regrets are not something we should live with if we want to be happy and achieve our goals.
For instance, it’s important that you don’t let yourself regret the past because there is nothing else you can do about it now! It might seem like a waste of time but learning from your mistakes always helps us grow as people so don’t let them go to waste.
Find a career you enjoy.
Making money is important, but it’s not the most important thing in life.
You need to find a career that you’re passionate about and enjoy getting up for every morning! If this isn’t an option then there are many other things you can do with your time such as volunteering or trying something new like skydiving! But make sure that you find something that makes you feel good about yourself – otherwise, what’s the point?
Having your own business might not be the goal for you but working in tech might be. Lean into your strengths and interests to help you find your career path.
Focusing on your professional development can also give you a sense of pride. Even if you don’t make much money doing something you love can bring you happiness – and isn’t that the ultimate goal in life?
Healthy living is important because being unhealthy can affect our career, love life, and friendships!
For instance, if we want to achieve our goals then it helps a lot if we stay healthy so why not start now? You don’t need to go on that crazy diet or spend all day at the gym but you can start by making small changes. For instance, try out some new recipes and workout videos so that they’re fresh in your mind!
Keeping healthy doesn’t have to be hard – it’s really about trying different things until we find what works for us. Having health goals takes hard work because you have to be consistent with them. But working out isn’t the only way to be healthy so don’t fall into the mindset trap not thinking your cumulative health actions don’t matter if you haven’t worked out!
Read more books.
There are so many benefits to reading and it’s not something that we should ignore when trying to achieve our goals! For instance, reading helps us learn new information which can help inform some of our future decisions in life such as choosing a career or even just learning how to keep ourselves entertained better! Plus, reading helps us relax and unwind in a way that’s different from most other things.
Whether you like fiction or non-fiction books, there are always new things to learn! So start reading today and see where it takes you.
It’s easy to get discouraged when we try something new and fail but it happens for a reason!
For instance, failing is helpful because it gives us the opportunity to learn from our mistakes. And if you’re not learning from your failures then how else will you improve? At least this way there are some lessons that can be applied in the future.
Don’t be afraid of failure – it happens to everyone! In fact, many successful people have failed numerous times before they finally got to where they wanted to go so why not follow in their footsteps?
Practice thinking outside the box.
Being creative is important because it allows us to be more flexible and think about things from a different perspective.
For instance, creativity helps us learn new things which can help inform some of our future decisions in life! It also allows you to think differently so that you don’t fall into the same thought patterns as everyone else. Plus, creative people tend to be more fun and interesting – who wouldn’t want a close friend like this? So get creative and see where it takes you.
Choose the right friends.
Having supportive, positive people in our lives is important because they can motivate us to achieve great things!
For instance, having good company helps keep your spirits up so why not surround yourself with those who are already successful? At least this way we have role models that we can look up to and learn from. Instead of spending time with those who are going nowhere in life, try finding friends that will motivate you to do your best!
Worry less about what others think of us.
Having a positive self-image is important because it helps build our confidence which makes achieving goals easier!
For instance, if we don’t like ourselves then this can hinder our ability to work hard and make progress. And without the right attitude, achieving goals will be impossible! So start learning to love yourself today by doing things that you enjoy or working on your flaws – whatever makes you feel good about yourself. Plus, why should what others think even matter? If you like yourself then that should be enough! So stop worrying about what others think and start working on loving who you are.
Take a look at the list of ideas for goals in life and choose one to start working on today.
This is it! Now you have an idea about how you can set SMART goals in your life, which will help lead up to achieving big dreams and set your own goals in your personal life. But if this seems like too much work then don’t worry – there are many other ways for you to achieve your goals. So take a look at the list of life goal ideas and choose one to start working on today! Set realistic goals, even if they are big goals, and you will find yourself achieving them.
Don’t forget that you can always come back here if you need some more ideas for goals, inspiration or motivation in the future — this is just a starting point for achieving all sorts of great things in every area of your life.