4 types of goals and how to implement them for success

Many of us like to set goals for ourselves, and in a way everyone sets goals for themselves. Goals don’t have to be big things. They can be small things as well. Think of writing a to-do list for the day and crossing of what you have finished. Those things on that list can be goals themselves.

For me goals give me direction. They allow me to know what to do and when to do it. By setting goals I understand the steps I need to take to achieve the things that I want. However, setting a goal can be easy and difficult. You can be very clear on what you want to do or achieve and in what amount of time, but you can also have an abstract goal that seems so far away and seems more like a dream.

“We usually overestimate what we think we can accomplish in one year, but we grossly underestimate what we can accomplish in a decade“.
                – Tony Robbins

If one has a purpose or goal which he or she strives to accomplish, it can be used as a guiding tool. Everything you do can be in alignment with your greater goal in life. Even the smallest things can get you closer to reaching that goal. Having such a big goal gives you purpose and direction, and it helps you to make choices. If you have determined for yourself what your dream is, and you can visualize it as something real, you can start to formulate it as a goal and eventually break it down into multiple sub-goals. 

When I start to think about what goals seem good to set, I like to start big. Like, where do you see yourself in ten years? Who is with you and what does your life look like? Don’t be humble, and visualize the most extraordinary life for yourself. However, be realistic. Where do you live? What type of work do you have? Do you have your own business? Be specific in how you describe it all. What do you see, what do you hear, what do you feel?

Once you have set this life goal you can start breaking it down into smaller fractions. What does your financial situation need to look like? What type of job do you need to have to gain experience? What courses do you need to take? How much do you need to workout? What skills do you need to learn and what experiences do you need to have to be able to life that extraordinary life you have set for yourself?

“If you don’t know where you want to go, then it doesn’t matter which path you take.”
– Lewis Carroll

In a general way of speaking, there are four type of time-based goals: stepping goals, short-term goals, long-term goals, and lifetime goals. I’ll go over them one by one starting from the biggest and gradually moving towards the smallest type of goals.

  • Life goals: these goals are the biggest of them all and yes they can last a lifetime. You might not even reach them. these type of goals need to be abstract and vague, but they do provide you a direction. You know what it is that you want to be doing and what contribution or impact you want to have. These goals aren’t necessarily goals that you thrive to reach, however, by pursuing or trying to reach them they allow you to move into a structured direction which allows you to be and express who you really are.
  • Long-term goals: these goals are the ones that are attainable. Think of goals such as saving money to buy a house, or finishing your studies and getting a diploma, but also goals like achieving a good and vital health. Long-term goals are goals that we set for ourselves because they will provide us with rewards in the future. We do not necessarily experience the benefits of these goals immediately (as with short-term goals). Hence, the gratification of these goals makes it challenging sometimes to pursue them, because the rewards aren’t observed directly. If you, for example, exercise for one day you will probably not see progress in your health right away. If you do this five days a week for one year, then you probably will see the progress.
  • Short-term goals: I did mention these already in the section above, but these type of goals are more immediate and they provide the short-term gratification. These goals are more immediate, you are rewarded once you attain them. if your goal is to wake up at 5 AM, this is done by setting the alarm clock and getting up at 5 AM.
  • To-do goals: these are the to-do lists of each day. The small tasks you set for yourself to achieve a bigger goal. Are you going to work? Are you exercising? Are you studying or spending time with family? All these activities can be aligned with a bigger goal. If a long-term goal is that you want to lose weight, maybe today a stepping goal can be to eat something healthy or go for a run.

If you have experienced this text to be helpful and insightful, please share it with others. Let us spread love and awareness together. Let me know what you think of this post in the comments below or send me an e-mail. I encourage you to share your experience or thoughts!

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