You want to improve your life. To make this year better than the one before. In fact, you want this year to be your best year yet! And because of that, you’re on the hunt for some goals to set that will put you on the right track to make it happen.
Goals that will inspire and lift you up. Goals that will help you grow and push yourself to experience bigger and better things.
Well good news, you are already taking positive steps to make that happen by being here, reading this.
But, before you can get all happy and smiley, know this: the information I provide here may give you some good ideas or tips, you may scroll away with some inspiration or a new idea or two, but it’s all useless unless you actually do something with it.
So don’t just read and leave.
Read and apply what you pick up here. Implement it into your life so that you truly make this year your best one yet.
Why goal setting?
Goal setting is important for one very specific reason – it gives a direction to your time.
It acts as a north star; something off in the distance that you are taking steps toward today.
And, hopefully, that thing down the road will lead you to a better future than where you are presently. So, following that logic, if you want to improve your life and make this year one of the best yet, setting goals for yourself is the way to do it.
Now, I’m not talking about resolutions. I’m talking about goals.
A resolution is like a wish or a reminder to yourself to try harder or lose weight or laugh more. They are grounded in something real, but they don’t have any actual weight.
I’m talking about goal setting – setting an objective for yourself and putting steps into place to make it a reality.
Some goals I’m setting this year
Each January, for the last seven or eight years, I’ve sat down and set goals for myself. I’d think about what my previous year was like and where I wanted to go/do/achieve in the coming one.
And then, I would plan it out.
Out of those eight years though, there were probably one or two that I didn’t make the time to formally map out where I wanted to go. I was experimenting with being less rigid and “going with the flow” more.
In looking back, the years that I actually set and worked towards actionable goals were both a lot more rewarding and fun.
So, this year I really went for it.
I planned a whole slew of goals that I am excited about and am working toward as you’re reading this now. Most are short term goals that I will re-evaluate and either continue/discontinue later this year. Some are really challenging for me, others are easy wins.
Some are more time consuming, others aren’t.
I’ll list more examples of goals to set below, but to start it would be helpful for you to see the kinds of goals that I’m currently working towards in my life. That way you can start letting your brain juices marinate with ideas.
That said, here are a few (out of the handful) that I have set for myself.
*I should point out, the goals I set are never set in stone. As I progress throughout the year, I make changes to my goals and objectives to match my current needs and desires. As of this writing though, I’ve set the following.
Complete two books per month
I love reading and see it as the best way to learn, improve, and grow. So in some capacity – either physical book or audiobook – I will complete at least two books each month.
You can learn more about my experience with this goal here.
Publish ten posts in January
The more I write, the more opportunities I have to connect with you. So for January, I’ve set out to create and publish at least ten posts.
Go to the beach two times per month
I recently moved and now live closer to the beach than ever before. I want to make sure I take advantage of this opportunity and visit the beach in some capacity at least twice a month.
The best kinds of goals to set
I have (many) more goals set for myself this year, but that was just a sampling so that you can get an idea of the kinds of things I am working towards in my life at the moment.
When I set goals, there are rules I make sure to follow – something I really dig into within my goal setting course. To give you an idea, when it comes to setting positive goals in life, here are four things you’ll want to be sure to do.
Look at the goals that I set for myself above. Notice anything? Right. They are all specific.
- Complete two books each month
- Publish ten posts in January
- Go to the beach twice a month
They are very specific. There is no ambiguity. My goal isn’t to read more, it’s to complete two books each month. It’s not to visit the beach as often as I can, it’s to visit the beach twice a month.
Set specific goals so that you can achieve specific outcomes.
Another thing you’ll notice is that I am in control of each of the goals that I set. Meaning that if I don’t visit the beach or I don’t finish a book, that’s on me.
I am in control of the situation and therefore my success or failure is based on my actions.
If I set a goal to make more sales in Q3 than Q4, I have no control over who buys whatever it is I’m selling. So I may fail at the goal because of things outside of my control.
But, if I set a goal to make 25 sales calls each day, I am in control of that. If I make the calls, I am achieving the goal. If I don’t make the calls, I’m not. And hopefully those calls made will result in increased sales.
Set goals, then, that you can control so that you are the owner of your success.
Notice how the goals I set aren’t just career-related? They involve other areas of my life like going out into nature and educating myself.
There is more to life than just work and not work. It’s about balance in all areas of your life.
So set goals that are bigger than just your working hours. Be creative and think about where you want to go with all the aspects of yourself.
Something else you may have noticed – I’ve provided an explanation as to why those goals are important to me. When setting goals for yourself, you need to write down the importance behind the goal.
Because those goals may be fresh and exciting right now, but in a few months you might be feeling a little tired, burnt out, or bored with them.
But if you can look at your goals, re-read why they were (and are still) so important to you in the first place, it will remind you of the value that you saw when you first set them. Often, that is enough to get you out of your head and back into action mode.
So write down why that goal is important to you to serve as a reminder when things get tough.
Goals to set – ideas to make this year your best one yet
Now that you have some rules to follow, let’s dig into the list of goals to set for yourself. I created this list through a combination of my own experience with goal setting, through observing popular goals that I’ve come across over the years, and through research on the topic (sources listed at the bottom of this post).
Don’t feel like you need to apply all of them to your life. Read through the list, feel which ones resonate with yourself, and choose one or maybe two to start with.
Then, set your goal(s) and start taking action!
Goals to set – health
Goals that involve both your physical and mental health.
- Lift weights at the gym four days a week.
- Track your caloric intake five days a week.
- Take a digital detox and go one day a week without technology.
- Meditate for five minutes a day.
- Get eight hours of sleep each night for a month.
- Take one day off work every other month to do something fun.
- Go for a walk after lunch each day.
- Take a walk through nature once a week.
Goals to set – education
Goals that involve learning and educating yourself.
- Take a class in something that interests you once a quarter.
- Listen to one audiobook each month.
- Read one physical book each month.
- Travel to one new city each month for the first half of the year.
- Listen to a new podcast once a week.
- Write in a journal about three things you are grateful for each day for a month.
Goals to set – career
Goals that you can set to enhance your working life.
- Arrive to work ten minutes early each day for a month.
- Make 20 extra sales calls each day for two weeks.
- Take a course in something career-related each quarter.
- Leave work on time each day for a month (no staying late).
- Spend two hours working on your side-project each day.
- Write one extra blog post each week for three months.
- Email 15 potential guests for your podcast each day for a month.
Goals to set – relationships
Goals that are related to the relationships you have in your life.
- Call your parents and check in twice a month.
- Plan a date with your spouse once a month.
- Schedule lunch with someone you haven’t seen in a while, once a quarter.
- Call your grandparents and check in once a month.
- Volunteer somewhere with your best friend once a quarter.
As you can see, these lists can go on and on and on. There are so many ideas and so many great goals to set. Like I mentioned previously, don’t try and tackle all of them!
Instead, choose one (or maybe two, tops) and start there. Pick the one that most resonates with you and just focus on that one goal until you feel you have a strong grasp on it.
Once you do, then try experimenting with adding new goals into the mix.
Plan out your goal, make time for it in your busy schedule, and work towards achieving it.
Moving forward with your goals to set
Use the goals examples I listed above as inspiration. Choose one or two and get to it. Put in the time and take action.
Don’t feel like they are your forever-goals though. Be flexible.
Imagine it like you’re sailing a ship. Your goals are what you are heading towards. And as you progress along your journey, you may realize you don’t actually want to go to that island, you actually want to visit some other one.
So you redirect your course and keep on sailing.
See your goals in the same way. Chart your course towards where you want to go right now, but as you sail through life, feel free to change course and sail somewhere else as your interests, needs, or desires change.
Return back to this post for examples of goals that you can set, and continue sailing towards a better and brighter future.
You got this!