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Understanding the different types of goals to set can help you achieve balance and success. We will look at all 7 areas of life for goal setting.
Everyone understands that goals are important for growth and success, but there are still relatively few people that actually set goals regularly and commit to them.
A lot of that is because they don’t know where to start or how to break down the areas of life for goal setting.
Part of the challenge is not understanding the main categories of goals. There are several areas of our lives that have a huge impact on the rest of our day to day life.
It’s important to have suitable goals in each of these categories to have a fulfilling life. And It’s really easy to figure out these goals once you see what needs to be adjusted or moved.
But, before we get into the different types of goals let look at an important factor….”Time”
Long-term Goals & Short-Term Goals
We often make the mistake of only setting short-term goals to get out of some sort of discomfort we’re currently feeling or out of fear.
Example: We might need an extra $500 this month or to lose 15 pounds fast for that wedding. We make a quick goal to get it done. This is not technically bad but it won’t change the way you do life.
They solve a problem that is in the here and now.
But we want to move our thinking beyond the here and now. We want to set our thinking to the future. Whether it’s 3 months to a 5-10 year life plan. And short-term goals are the key to that!
Ideally, short-term goals help to move us toward long-term goals. Pursuing an objective set far into the future gives you a drive for change.
And short-term goals are the steps we need to take to achieve those big long term goals. They need to work together,
Let’s now dive into the types of goals we need to develop to see life changes. These are in mixed order, so don’t think one type or category is more crucial than another.
You are the only one who can determine what goal needs to have more weight than another one.
7 Different Types of Goals
Here we will answer the question, “What should my goals be?” by looking at 7 personal goals that affect all areas of your life. I have provided some examples as well to help you start thinking creatively for your own life.
If you have ever dealt with health issues you know this is a BIG deal. Most people that set goals fail to include a health goal of some sort.
Even if you are the picture of health it’s good to evaluate your lifestyle and see where you can make some adjustments. Even slight changes in our diet or exercise regime can bring huge benefits to our health.
Examples of Health Goals:
- Dietary Changes
- Exercise regimen
- Advice from your doctor
- Weight loss or Weight Gain
- Run a Half Marathon
- Improve Symptoms
- Going to bed earlier
Also, keep in mind health goals don’t have to be just about our physical body. You can break it down into mental health, and even emotional health. For example, unplugging from electronics or using your phone less can have incredible mental health benefits.
Self-Development & Spiritual Growth Goals
We’re happiest when we’re growing. It’s disappointing to take a hard look at yourself and realize that you haven’t changed significantly in a while.
We feel proud of ourselves when we become more developed and capable in any area of our lives. These goals can look like self-development goals or/and spiritual growth. I personally do both and both are very similar as spiritual goals tend to cause self-development.
Examples of Self-Development & Spiritual Growth Goals:
- Take a course or class – This can be at your local college, church, online, etc…
- Take up a new hobby – I personally LOVE using Skillshare as it has a ton of videos for you to grow in various areas. I have been learning to paint with watercolor.
- Go on a retreat or conference
- Keep a daily journal
- Learn an instrument
- Learn a language.
- Read more books
Fun & Recreation Goals
Deep down we all admire those people that visit the pyramids of Egypt, try whitewater rafting, or go on a mission trip to Africa.
Taking part in adventurous activities can make life feel fresh and exciting.
And each person has their own idea of what constitutes as fun and recreation. To one person, it might be skydiving, but to another, it might be spending a long weekend with family in a cabin.
This type of goal tends to get tossed out because of finances. But having fun and recreation doesn’t always have to be expensive.
A simple goal like, “Once a month I will go to the movies with a friend.” Even though that doesn’t sound like grandiose, it’s fun! And can be the very thing you need in your life.
Another idea is instead of flying out of state for some fancy vacation, make a goal to visit iconic places within your own state.
These are some ideas to save money if finances are a concern. If you still want a grandiose experience then you will most likely need to make goals in your finances to make that happen.
Most people spend 40+ hours each week at a job of some sort. It’s a huge part of our waking hours. When you include getting ready for work, driving there and back, and all the time you spend outside of work thinking about work, it’s a lot of hours.
If you don’t have any goals regarding the direction of your career, you’re much less likely to be satisfied with your career growth.
This can look like creating goals within your current job or creating goals for a change in career.
Because we all have different careers and jobs these examples are more on the generic side. But I hope they help you think of ones that would work specifically for you!
Examples of Career Goals:
- Apply for an advance certificate or license in my field
- Apply for a new job position
- Get a raise
- Increase sales by 20% in the next quarter
- Learn about leadership and teamwork
- Read books on starting a business
Financial issues are a major source of stress. Let’s be real this is hardly new news to most of us. Financial stability opens up opportunities and can also free up a lot of time.
It’s important to have clear goals set for your finances, whether it’s growing your savings or building up your credit, or getting a better paying job.
Even if you are financially secure you can still create goals around your finances to help your grow and invest your money.
Examples of Financial Goals:
- Paying off debt
- Save for retirement
- Create an emergency fund
- Buy a home
- Invest money into stocks or real estate
- Start a side hustle
Physical Environment Goals
This is by far the one people always forget about when they think of setting goals. But let me tell you…if this area of life is hurting it can be miserable. I have experienced it first hand when we were transitioning homes and I lived in and out of boxes for months.
So, what do I mean by physical environment? It’s the place you live, work, and do you.
Do you like your house? your room? your office? your car?
Do you feel productive in those places or drained?
Is your office so cluttered that you can’t focus? Or is your work environment hostile?
These are important questions to ask yourself when you are setting goals.
Examples of Physical Environment Goals:
- Declutter my office and buy a filing cabinet
- Reorganize pantry
- Update cabinets in kitchen
- Frame and hang up pictures at home
- Develop and stick to a cleaning schedule
Your love life, family, and friends play a vital role in your life. And it’s smart to set goals towards making them healthy and strong.
A lot of times we think relationships should just be natural and go with the flow….”organic.” But the truth is that relationships need to be nurtured and fed.
Relationships are a lot like plants, they need water, food, sun, pruning, and sometimes medicine. Or they can go down the drain with the lack of intentionality.
Setting up goals to strengthen your relationships is a fantastic way to enrich your life. At the end of the day what really matters are those who are close to you.
A good way to help you grow and be successful in your relationship goals is to know what other’s love languages are. If you are not familiar with Gary Chapman and The 5 Love Language check the book out and take the quiz! It’s super eye-opening!
Examples of Relationship Goals:
- Go on a weekly date with my spouse
- Have a weekly game night with the whole family
- Host Sunday dinner for friends and family once a month
- Start a book club with friends
- Take kids on one on one dates
- Start a girls/guys night once a month
- Go on a couples retreat
- Try online dating
A SUPER Easy Way to Find Different Goals to Set
I hope seeing these different types of goals have helped you to break down how you can write out your long term goals. If it’s still a little unclear or if you are like me and LOVE goal tools. Then check out my FREE goal setting wheel.
Yes…wheel! It’s a super handy way to check all these areas we talked about and find out where is the most important areas to make goals.
I personally fill one of these out every year! You can learn more about it from my post here: THIS YEAR CRUSH YOUR GOALS: TIPS & TRICKS
Brain Tracey also has some great stuff on goals. Check him out as well! And if you are familiar with SMART goals these types of goals work great with that system!
Recap of All 7 Types of Goals
For a quick recap of all the different goals in a quick list.
7 Different Types of Goals for Personal Life & Growth
- Health Goals
- Self-Development & Spiritual Growth Goals
- Fun and Recreation Goals
- Career Goals
- Financial Goals
- Physical Environment Goals
- Relationship Goals
So, how many goals do you have? Do you have the seven main types of goals covered? Consider what’s most important to you and ensure you made a goal that addresses it.
Most unsuccessful people have unbalanced lives because they put too much attention on one area and neglect others. Learn from this by maintaining balance and you’ll experience such awesome results in all the areas of your life.
If you are interested in reading more on goals and leadership then check out some posts below.
Melissa is a passionate minister, speaker and an ongoing learner of the Bible. She has been involved in church and vocational ministry for over 18 years. And is the founder of Think About Such Things. She has the heart to equip the saints by helping them get into the Word of God and fall more in love with Jesus. She also enjoys family, cooking, and reading.
She has spoken in churches in California, Oregon, Texas, and Mexico and has been featured in Guidepost Magazine and All Recipes Magazine. Read More…