7 Meaningful Types of Goals for Long-Lasting Success


Setting goals in life means you are driven to achieve something. You have a vision for yourself and you’re determined to get there. Goals come more naturally to some than others because some people know exactly what they want while others struggle to figure it out.

The most important thing to remember though, is that there are guidelines for goal-setting, but there are no rules. For example, using the SMART template to write out your goal is important, but no one can tell you what goal to write down. No one can tell you what you should aim, how you should aim, or how high you should aim. Goals are personal to each individual.

Aim for goals

If you are on a goal-setting journey and need some direction, inspiration, or more ideas about what kind of goal to set in what area of your life, then keep on reading. We will be discussing why people set goals and the top 7 important types of goals in life.

Why Do We Have Goals?

People set goals to achieve because they want to feel valuable and important. They want to feel like they have a purpose to do something in life and that they are contributing in some way.

Goals give you a reason to get out of bed every day and a reason to care and look forward to something. They create a more meaningful routine in our lives.

However, people set goals because they believe once they reach the destination, it will bring them happiness. In some cases, it can be true, but it doesn’t last long, and in most cases, it’s the opposite. It’s called the arrival fallacy, have you ever heard, “I will be happy when…”, that’s a sign of it.

Happiness is not a destination, it is a state of mind. Pursuing a goal purely because you hope it will make you happier is the wrong mindset to have. The truth is, the act of pursuing a goal itself will bring you more “happiness” than achieving it.

A goal is a challenge, and people love a good challenge. Hard work and grit will be much more fulfilling and bring a more genuine sense of accomplishment and success. When you prove to yourself that you can do anything, it will boost your motivation, and more motivation means bigger dreams and bigger opportunities.

So set realistic goals, but don’t focus on the destination, focus on the process.

What Are The 7 Types Of Goals

The 7 Types of Goals
The 7 Types of Goals

It will be hard to pick only one goal to focus on, but remember goals can change. All of these categories become important to us at different stages of our lives. A younger person may have different health goals than an older person.

Read through the list below and then reflect on your life and see what area in your life you would like to improve upon. Then write out your goal, take action, and commit to it.

1. Career

Career goals are related to work and what you do to support your lifestyle. We typically spend more time at work than we do at home so it’s important to choose something you will enjoy. The average person will spend about 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime, so make the time count, and make it enjoyable.

Career examples may be improving skills to get promoted at a job for more money or better working conditions, or it could be working or starting your own business and setting milestones to reach.

Common examples:

  • Work your way up to a promotion
  • Enhancing your skills
  • Start your own business
  • Win an award in your industry
  • Earn a promotion
  • Land your dream job
  • Expand your network

2. Financial

Financial goals relate to everything money. Whether that be how much you make a year, how much you want to save each month, or how much you want to retire with. Money targets can be short-term to buy a new car, medium-term to buy a house, or long-term for retirement. There are also savings, investments, spending limits, and budgeting goals.

Common examples:

  • Buying a care or house
  • Paying off loans
  • Paying off debt
  • Saving money for investments
  • Saving money for retirement
  • Donating to charity
  • Saving for an emergency fund
  • Make X amount of money per month

3. Relationship/Social

Relationship and social goals are made to connect and socialize with other people. Humans are social creatures by nature. Connecting with people improves our happiness and makes us feel needed and important. It makes us feel good that we are valuable in someone else’s life.

These connections take effort, which is why they are a goal. It takes a lot of work and it doesn’t happen overnight. Relationships can last many years if we take care of them.

Common examples:

  • Get married
  • Check-in with relatives regularly
  • Start a family
  • Join clubs or teams
  • Meet new people
  • Regularly schedule lunch or dinner with friends or family
  • Attend social gatherings
  • Host more gatherings

4. Health

Health goals are made to prioritize fitness, nutrition, mental health, physical health, and anything related to overall wellness. Our health should be our number one priority because we are nothing if we don’t have our health. Don’t wait until you are forced to focus on your health to finally focus on your health. Health goals include moving your body, eating nutritious food, and getting enough sleep.

Find an exercise that you like and stick to it, it can be as simple as walking, or anything that involves moving your body. Being consistent and not quitting is the most important when it comes to your health.

Common examples:

  • Losing weight
  • Eating more nutritious food
  • Run a 5K or marathon
  • Lifting a certain amount of weight
  • Going to bed early to get enough sleep
  • Walk more
  • Go see a doctor

5. Personal Development/Leisure

Personal development and leisure are goals that make us happy. Setting time for yourself to work on projects because it brings you joy is so important. Personal objectives help you discover yourself and find meaning in the world again. It’s something you can look forward to and get excited to do.

Common examples:

  • Traveling
  • Painting
  • Gardening
  • Any hobby or activity that you enjoy

6. Education

Education goals are made to further our learning. It sounds cheesy but we are all students of life. Have you ever heard the phrase, “Use it or lose it”? Learning helps keep our brains alert and working. Make it a goal to always be learning something. This can be as simple as reading a new book because it gets our imagination going, or as challenging as getting a degree.

Common examples:

  • Read more
  • Obtain a certain degree
  • Learn a new skill, hobby or even a language
  • Get a new license or certification

7. Spiritual

Spiritual goals are made for your spirituality, to connect to something bigger than yourself. Believing in something and contributing makes people feel connected and safe. There is inner happiness and belonging that can’t be found anywhere else.

Common examples:

  • Go to church regularly
  • Volunteer
  • Read the bible
  • Participating in the community

Read here about common obstacles to achieving goals and how to overcome.

If you need some motivation, check out these powerful motivators.

Hong Singer

I'm the creator of Ambition Forward. I keep things simple by focusing on the goal and being consistent in my actions to get the results I want, and I'm here to help you do the same. I encourage you to look for the things that bring you joy and go for it!

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