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Unlock Your Full Potential: The Ultimate Guide to Setting and Achieving Life Goals
life-goals-personal-development
Motivation

Unlock Your Full Potential: The Ultimate Guide to Setting and Achieving Life Goals

Setting clear life goals is vital as they help give you a sense of happiness, fulfillment, and purpose in all you do.

In life, many people have a list of things they dream of and hope to accomplish.

Whether they are small goals, such as making up the bed in the morning before going for a morning jog, or larger goals, such as opening up a store, there are many possible life goals at your reach.


Let's take a look at a handful of ways you can better understand what life goals are, what goes into them, and how to best achieve those goals for personal development, well-being, and what you deem as a successful existence.

annca/Pixabay 

What Exactly are Life Goals?

As defined by K P Sivaraman Nair, the author of Life Goals: The Concept and its Relevance to Rehabilitation, published in the Clinical Rehabilitation scholarly journal, life goals are desires that people hope to receive in life, upkeep, or avoid as they continue their quest in life as it pertains to what they want to accomplish in life.

Because people's perspectives vary depending on what stage of their lives they are in, life goals can be broad.

These kinds of life goals can include things such as the career sector, romantic or platonic relationships, fitness, and financial goals, to name some.

Why are Life Goals Essential to Set in Life?

Life goals are generally things that bring us joy, are interested in exploring, and we may have a brief understanding of how to achieve them. 

Setting clear goals is vital as they help give you a sense of happiness, fulfillment, and purpose in all that you do — and that's a beautiful thing!

Shad0wfall/Pixabay

Goal Setting Helps Bring Transparency to Our Behaviors

As American psychologist Edwin Locke states in his Theory of Goal-Setting from the late 1960s, goal-setting correlates with motivation and task performance.

Essentially, the definitive and challenging goals, insight, and feedback promote more effective outcomes in seeing the aspirations through.

It’s worth noting that just setting goals won’t lead to desired results unless they are actioned. But they can still give us something to commit to.

If you want to get a new luxury apartment, it probably won’t be the wisest decision to break your lease or not save up enough money before you make that leap.

Still, acknowledging that this is something you want to do will help you choose some appropriate steps to get there.

Setting Goals Can Bring Joy into Your Life

If you have goals that are set on values you wish to attain, they will be worthwhile and meaningful.

Striving for something more, finding meaning, and a sense of purpose happens to be key element in the happiness theory within positive psychology. The “M” in “meaning” is also the word in the acronym PERMA, a model for well-being by Martin Seligman.

Alongside positive emotion, relationships, engagement, and accomplishment, the theory encompasses aspects that would contribute to an ideal life.

Life goals give you the ability to pursue the most authentic aspirations of your choosing, which will lead to feeling triumphant when you get there.

Goal-Setting Encourages Strength

Once you think about what matters to you, you can focus on your inner strengths and passions.

According to studies, understanding and then anchoring those strengths give your confidence a much-needed boost. It can even encourage feelings of good health, well-being, and satisfaction in life.

How can you find and set practical life goals?

The key to making the most out of your life goals is to think about what you want to achieve and then commit to putting effort and time into it.

Here are some theories and objectives on how you can begin to make that happen.

S.M.A.R.T. Goals Theory

The theory of S.M.A.R.T. goals stemmed from author George T. Doran in a 1981 paper published in Management Review, which was called There’s a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives

Initially utilized in business situations, it expanded outside of that realm, becoming a popular goal-setting system for self-improvement.

S.M.A.R.T is an acronym that is aptly named. It’s an advanced approach to setting goals that are developed to get results in an achievable way without having to sacrifice your ambition.

Below is what the acronym stands for:

S - Specific

M- Meaningful

A - Achievable

R - Realistic

T- Trackable (time-frame objectives)

Check our previous report on the S.M.A.R.T. Goals for a more in-depth analysis.

Identifying Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

It is generally recommended that you set long-term and short-term goals.
Short-term goals —which can be broken into steps – are easier to achieve, which gives much-needed motivation to grapple with longer-term goals.

Having a clear understanding of the exact steps you'll need to take to get to your desires, you're more likely to reach them.

Examples of Short-Term Goals that can lead to Long-Term Goals

Often, it’s great to get a glimpse of some of those short-term goals that are materializing into long-term goals. Here are some that can inspire you below.

Job and Work Goals and Higher Learning Goals

Nothing is wrong with wanting to elevate your position at work or transition into something else. 

You can take virtual courses from EdX or Coursera or apply to a university, read a book, or watch a video to hone in on skills and talk to someone in your desired career to see what potential internship and full-time opportunities are out there for you.

Foundry Co/Pixabay 

Fitness and Diet Goals

Health is wealth. Consider going to the gym once or twice per week to build your confidence, cut out as much sugar and processed foods as possible, and start eating healthier by incorporating fruits and vegetables, and other sources of protein. 

Also, don’t forget to drink plenty of water. According to the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine,  proper daily fluid intake is about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids daily for men and roughly 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids daily for women.

​Other Examples of Key Personal Life Goals to Help You Live a Balanced, Purposeful, and Happy Life

Explore a City or Country of Your Dreams

Whether you want to set your sights on a trip to Los Angeles, California, Montego Bay, Jamaica, or Mykonos, Greece, get ready to embark on a journey to a place you’ve always fantasized about.

Expedia and Hopper are great websites to check out to help you find great hotels and attractions at prices that fit your vacation criteria.

Have a Clear Idea about the Relationships You Want

In life, you most likely have relationship goals. Or want to experience them.

Although the goals can be long-term or short-term, the primary characteristic they should have is a possibility. 

You are going to want to tap into goal-setting as a way to grow and strengthen your own relationship goals; it’s best to set love goals that are measurable and feel achievable and optimistic for both of you when it comes to maintaining your relationship.

If the relationship still needs some work, you should consider a relationship counselor.

A website such as Regain, which helps match you with a counselor that can help give you tools to enrich the relationship, boost connection and intimacy, and lead you in the right direction,

And if you are single but are looking for a companion or committed relationship, consider signing up for a dating app or going to singles events in your area.

Photo Mix/Pixabay 

RELATED: Why Setting Relationship Goals Is Important – And How to Do It

Start the Business of Your Dreams

Whether that is a hamburger restaurant, hair salon, or cosmetics store, start planting the seeds for a business endeavor you’ve always wanted to delve into.

Certainly, some people are lucky enough to have the opportunity to drop into their laps, while others have to work a little harder to achieve those goals. Still, a little determination and faith in what you want will make the process even smoother.

Websites like Zen Business and Lifehack are filled with articles that can give you tips and tricks.

Reconnect With Old Friends

Jobs, distance, and life pressures can sometimes keep us away from some quality time with good friends.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to schedule a dinner or cafe run with them if there was genuine care and bond for one another in the past.

Bob Dmyt/Pixabay 

Become Debt Free and Other Financial Goals

You can save yourself a few extra dollars by avoiding buying something you don’t need, doing side hustles, make passive income such as writing an e-book or creating a course.

You may also be interested in investing in assets or the stock market so you can see your money grow.

Who wouldn’t want to have more disposable income and clear debts?!

Nattanan Kanchanaprat/Pixabay 

Retire from Work Early

If you are someone who wants to retire early to travel, set aside time for passion projects, or simply are over the everyday workday.

To encourage this leap, you will need to make adjustments to your current spending budget, calculate your yearly retirement spending, estimate total savings needs, invest for growth, and monitor your expenses, to name some.

Overcome Your Deepest, Darkest Fears

Overcoming fears can be extremely difficult. In the United States, around 19 million people have one or more phobias that range from mild to severe.

And in Canada, one in every 10 people has phobias.

Although this is challenging to overcome, let alone think about it, it is definitely worth the amount of effort it may take to free yourself from the feelings.

The ultimate goal should embody the goal of complete fearlessness.

Figure out what fears are limiting you at this very moment and start to work on them today.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy and a dose of meditation give your confidence the spark it needs.

mohamed_hassan/Pixabay 

Become a Mentor to Someone

If you have great expertise in an area, it’s a great idea to share those skills and knowledge with the world.

Mentoring someone is a fantastic way to encourage growth and opportunities to teach others and yourself.

Alexa/Pixabay 

Learn as Many Languages as You Can

Mastering more than one language is an incredible goal to accomplish in life. You learn a valuable skill to share with others around you while boosting more opportunities to venture out and communicate with so many different cultures.

Clean Up Your Home

A cramped and cluttered space promotes a distracted mind. To combat this, get rid of all the spare boxes, papers, and other items that you don’t need and tidy up your home.

Some of the things you don’t want or need in your life can also be donated to local charities or thrift stores in your area.

Practice More Mindfulness

Positive life goals are focused on helping you get the absolute most out of your time on this planet. And living a fruitful life requires an understanding of how to live in the present moment.

That's where mindfulness comes in.

As noted by Psychology Today, mindfulness is defined as "a state of active, open attention to the present. This state is described as observing one's thoughts and feelings without judging them as good or bad."

It's so easy to overthink everything you've done wrong and stay harboring thoughts about the past. And when you continue to focus on what you feel are your biggest disappointments, you forget to live in the now.

Take more authority in your life by being more mindful of yourself at the current moment.

Check out these mindfulness tips we've reported on here.

The Top 3 YouTube Channels That Can Inspire You on Your Journey

Sometimes, you may need to see an extra dose of inspiration. Checkout these life goals and motivation YouTube channels listed below.

1. ModernHealthMonk

ModernHealthMonk is run by a man named Alex, who is passionate about health and wellness goals as it pertains to lifestyle.

Currently experiencing and even fixing chronic health illnesses, such as lower back and knee pain, Alex shares his tips with viewers so they can take advantage and improve themselves on their health journey.

2. Struthless

Campbell Walker -  also known as “Struthless” – is an Australian content creator and illustrator with over 932,000.

His entertaining and niche channel expertly combines humor, art, and bluntness while addressing social commentary as it pertains to politics and lifestyle choices.

3. Project Life Mastery

Brought to you by Stefan James of Project Life Mastery, he takes his nearly 1.3 million viewers on a journey of self-discovery as he shares his top strategies for mastering and living life completely.

Sharing tips for being motivated, gaining success, making money online, changing your beliefs and mindset for the better, and increasing happiness, his channel is worth checking out.

40 Quotes to Help You Feel Inspired and Stay the Course 

As you set your short-term and long-term life goals, here are some quotes to help inspire you to stay motivated on your course.

From the words of prolific poet Maya Angelou to Oprah Winfrey to Serena Williams and many other inspiring thinkers, feel free to print them out to read or write them down on sticky notes and place them on your mirror or laptop to give you that extra push each day!

1. "Everyone's dream can come true if you just stick to it and work hard." — Serena Williams

2. "You can, you should, and if you're brave enough to start, you will." — Stephen King

3. "If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes." — Andrew Carnegie

4. "People often say I have so much energy, that I never stop; but that's what it takes to accomplish your goals." Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson

5. "Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible."– Tony Robbins

6. "Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes
on the stars, but remember to keep your feet on the ground."
– Theodore Roosevelt

7. "We think, mistakenly, that success is the result of the amount
of time we put in at work, instead of the quality of time we put in."

— Arianna Huffington

8. "It always seems impossible until it's done."Nelson
Mandela

9. "I love the challenge of starting at zero every day and seeing
how much I can accomplish."
― Martha Stewart

10."What I know for sure is this: The big secret in life is that here is no big secret. Whatever your goal for this year is, you can get there - as long as you're willing to be honest with yourself about the preparation and work involved. There are no back doors, no free rides. There's just you, this moment, and a choice." — Oprah Winfrey

11. "Once a positive goal is chosen, you should decide to pursue it
all the way to the end. Even if it is not realized, at least there will be no
regret."
— Dalai Lama

12. "As soon as I accomplish one goal, I replace it with another
one. I try not to get too far ahead of myself. I just say to myself, 'All
right, well, I'd like to headline a tour,' and then when I get there, we'll see
what my next goal is."
Taylor Swift

13. "If you spend a lot of time thinking about your problems,
they'll grow bigger and stronger. Is that what you want? Of course not!
Instead, focus on your goals. Start your day with them at the front of your
mind, and use notes to recall them strategically throughout your day."

— Les Brown

14. "I'm inspired on a daily basis by my personal goals. I make it
a habit to write down what it is that I want to accomplish. And I check that
list. I keep myself accountable. My kids inspire me, of course. My ambition
inspires me. I want to win at everything that I do in life. I understand that
it takes hard work to reach my goals and I'm prepared to do it. My confidence
comes from preparation. So I spend a lot of my time preparing."

— Laila Ali

15. "My definition of success is: 1.) The progressive realization of worthy goals 2.) The ability to love and have compassion 3.) To be in touch with the creative source within." Deepak Chopra

16. "Habit is habit and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time. You cannot eliminate habits that no longer serve you. You can only replace them with new habits that support your goals. Moment by moment, you need to live with awareness and structure the habits that you include or exclude in your days." Mark Twain

17. "The goal ever recedes from us. The greater the progress the greater the recognition of our unworthiness. Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment. Full effort is full victory." – Mahatma Gandhi

18. "People with clear, written goals, accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them could ever imagine." — Brian Tracy

19. "We can each define ambition and progress for ourselves. The goal is to work toward a world where expectations are not set by the stereotypes that hold us back, but by our personal passion, talents and interests." — Sheryl Sandberg

20. "The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise."— Maya Angelou

21. "Cherish your visions and your dreams, as they are the children of your soul; the blueprints of your ultimate achievements." – Napoleon Hill

22. "If you can dream it, you can make it so." — Belva Davis

23. "Never quit. It is the easiest cop-out in the world. Set a goal and don't quit until you attain it. When you do attain it, set another goal, and don't quit until you reach it. Never quit."Bear Bryant

24. “Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” Marie Curie

25. “Circumstances may cause interruptions and delays, but never lose sight of your goal. Prepare yourself in every way you can by increasing your knowledge and adding to your experience, so that you can make the most of opportunity when it occurs.” Mario Andretti

26. “Your complaints, your drama, your victim mentality, your whining, your blaming, and all of your excuses have never gotten you even a single step closer to your goals or dreams. Let go of your nonsense. Let go of the delusion that you deserve better and go earn it! Today is a new day!” Steve Maraboli

27. “Set realistic goals, keep re-evaluating, and be consistent.”Venus Williams

28. “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.”Maya Angelou

29.“I think education is power. I think that being able to communicate with people is power. One of my main goals on the planet is to encourage people to empower themselves.”Oprah Winfrey

30. “What has made me successful is the ability to surrender my plans, dreams and goals to a power that's greater than other people and greater than myself.” Oprah Winfrey

31. “What you want to do is to get to the point where you only do what matters to you. The real goal in life is to become more of who you are, so that you can make the choices that really satisfy who you are and what you want to do.”Oprah Winfrey

32. “The only reason we really pursue goals is to cause ourselves to expand and grow. Achieving goals by themselves will never make us happy in the long term; it's who you become, as you overcome the obstacles necessary to achieve your goals, that can give you the deepest and most long-lasting sense of fulfillment.”Tony Robbins

33.  “Remember, you and you alone are responsible for maintaining your energy. Give up blaming, complaining and excuse making, and keep taking action in the direction of your goals - however mundane or lofty they may be.”Jack Canfield

34. “Write it down. Written goals have a way of transforming wishes into wants; cant's into cans; dreams into plans; and plans into reality. Don't just think it - ink it!”Michael Korda

35. “Clear, written goals have a wonderful effect on your thinking. They motivate you and galvanize you into action. They stimulate your creativity, release your energy, and help you to overcome procrastination as much as any other factor.”Brian Tracy

36. "The secret to productive goal setting is in establishing clearly defined goals, writing them down and then focusing on them several times a day with words, pictures and emotions as if we've already achieved them.”Denis Waitley

37. "When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.”Confucius

38. "I had always been an overachiever, so I felt I could just "wing it," reasoning that if I don't set clear, written goals I wouldn't have to account for anything if I failed. Now I'm the opposite! I am always setting goals, and I get very specific about where I'm going and take the time to learn the steps needed to take to get there.” Edwina Findley

39.“Set your goals high, and don't stop till you get there.”Bo Jackson

40. "Life is teleology par excellence; it is the intrinsic striving towards a goal, and the living organism is a system of directed aims which seek to fulfill themselves.”Karl Jung

Overall, there is no one way in particular to set life goals. However, you must be true to yourself and what you really hope to achieve in this lifetime.

Once you've honed into what exactly it is you're seeking – and not what you think you should want because society says so — it all comes together for the better.

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