Goal Setting Tracking Achieving

Types of Goal and 40 Ideas for Goals

If you want inspiration for the kind of gaols you might be setting yourself then this list should help. First let's look at how goals are sometimes classified as this will affect how you frame your goal.

Goal Types

Time-based goals: These are where the end date is the most important thing. An example could be, “I am going to run a certain race in three months' time”. Without more specification about what you are going to do to get there or any attainment expectations it is little more than making an appointment. If you are unsure of what you can achieve, then just commit to go for a run every day, i.e. creating a habit will at least put you in a good position when it comes to the race itself.

Process goals: A process goal is where you have a vision you are working towards and you are not clear how you will get there or how long it will take. The process for going in the right direction is the main thing. What you need is to form a habit around the process to keep you moving forward.

Topic goals: These are for when you want to focus on an area of your life that may be hard to measure such as improving relationships. You will need to form a habit around spending enjoyable time with your partner, children, friends, etc.

Performance goals: Performance goals set measurable standards to achieve. You really need a deadline too otherwise you risk the goal slipping to eternity. These are the best sort of goals to create if you can as you will stand the best chance of making the most progress towards your desired outcome.

So, when it comes to framing your goal, decide if you want to produce a full performance goal, with a measurable target and deadline, or whether simply a habit is appropriate where you are putting in a certain amount of effort regularly and just wanting to improve over time.

Ideas for Goals

  • Loose weight. X lbs to Y lbs.
  • Run 5k in under 24 minutes.
  • Eat veg and fruit every day.
  • Dead lift 300 lbs.
  • Cut smoking to five or less per day.
  • Do 30 minutes swimming three times a week.
  • Get 7 hours or more sleep every night.
  • Cycle to work every workday.
  • Save $6,000 over the next year.
  • Cut grocery bills by 15%.
  • Earn $2,000 in tips in the next three months.
  • Build a rainy-day fund of $X by Y.
  • Clear credit card balances by X.
  • Earn $X,000 by Y.
  • Launch a side-hustle this year devoting three hours per day in preparation.
  • Agree with boss on how to get a promotion and carry out plan to achieve this.
  • Submit X job applications per week until landing a better job.
  • Do no more than 8 hours work per day while achieving more recognition.
  • Aim for four group meetings and eight one-to-one meetings per week.
  • Read X chapters per week on a subject.
  • Commit to a course spending X hours per week on it.
  • Complete all sections of a Duolingo course for a language.
  • Pass exams in X with grade Y.
  • Decorate house by watching YouTube how-to videos.
  • Start blogging writing a blog every two weeks.
  • Play in a band to a venue of 1,000 people.
  • Get a patent on a device that then gets to market.
  • Develop graphic art for clients as a side-hustle on Upwork making $X.
  • Learn a musical instrument to grade 8.
  • Spend X hours per month 1:1 time with partner going out.
  • Read bedtime stories every night to my kids.
  • Arrange a holiday with my friends and organize end to end.
  • Do X, Y & Z to find a partner.
  • Contact close friends once per week to see how they are.
  • Go to three Meetup groups per month.
  • Cook one new recipe per week.
  • Learn to sail and achieve Yachtmaster.
  • Take the kids out once a week.
  • Start new hobby and spend X hours per week getting good.
  • Work out disposable income each month and give 10% to a good cause.
  • Give 4 hours per week to helping at a local food bank.

Setting Goals and Habits

These ideas should provide some inspiration as to what you might aim for to improve mentally, physically or your happiness. You need to find objectives that are meaningful to you. If you are serious about hitting a goal it should have the following elements:

Specific objective: Frame what you want clearly so you know when you have got there.

Plan: How are you going to achieve your objective? The plan should be sufficiently detailed so you know exactly the path to get to your objective.

Measurable: This will tell you how you are progressing and let you know when you have arrived.

Deadline: Without a time-limit, human nature means we focus on other things, and goals never get achieved.

Relevant: This simply means you own this goal and you want it. It has come from something inside you that says this is what you should be doing with your life. Without this you probably won't have the motivation to succeed at your goal.

In writing: Write down your objective, plan, target measurement and deadline, even pin it on the wall. This will improve your accountability and motivation. Don't file this away. Track your goal and review it periodically to see if anything needs to change. It is ok to change deadlines, targets and plans but be realistic and keep some pressure on to achieve your goal.

Now you know how to effectively set and track goals. There will be things you want to do that don't make the grade of a performance goal. We call these habits, and they are like goals, just without a measurable target or deadline. They are things like maintaining strong relationships and going for a daily run simply to stay healthy. These are great things to be doing and until they are embedded into your life without thinking, then it is good to set them up along with other goals.

What goals and habits are you going to focus on?

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