How to Achieve Life Goals

How to Achieve Life Goals

Life goals can make your life more fulfilling.

You might already be familiar with the concept of short-term goals. These are goals that can be accomplished in the span of a month, a few months, or a year. For example: reading more books or spring cleaning your home. 

Life goals, on the other hand, may take a year, several years, or even your entire life to come into fruition. These are goals that can have a huge impact on your personal or professional development. 

LIfe goals can focus on your career, creativity, spiritually, or habits.

Examples of life goals include:

  • Making a difference in my community
  • Writing a novel
  • Launching a successful company
  • Traveling the world
  • Buying a house
  • Running a marathon
  • Having a family
  • Become financially empowered

Why you need life goals 

So why is it necessary to have life goals? Is it even worth it if you’re not going to see results right away? 

Life goals provide a sense of purpose and direction. Think about the various times in your life in which you’ve felt lost or stuck. It is an unbelievably difficult situation to be in when you feel like you have no options available to you. 

That’s why having life goals, no matter how big or unattainable they may seem, are so valuable. They give us a challenge to meet. They motivate us to create our own opportunities. They thrill and excite us. And, in the end, they make us stronger, more resilient people. 

How to find your life goals

So you know that life goals are important for your personal and professional growth. But how do you know which big goals to pursue? And how do you know if they’re the right goals for you?

Here are a couple of different approaches to finding your life goals.

The journal method. First, take out your favorite notebook, find a quiet nook, and set aside an hour to write. 

Ask yourself: 

What are things about my life that I currently enjoy and love? What would I love to do more of? What would I like to learn? What would I like to do if fear or money weren’t a factor?

Don’t judge or question your responses. Maybe you want to move to Hawaii but you have no idea how you’ll accomplish that. Write it down anyway. Maybe you want to start a family but you’re currently single. Write it down. Maybe you want to be a published author but you’ve never written a thing in your life. Write it down.

Don’t worry if your life goals seem crazy or impossible. You don’t need a road map to your dreams just yet. At this stage, you just want to identify and write down the dreams and aspirations you have for yourself. 

The vision board method. A vision board is a fun and powerful way to hone in on your intentions and dreams. So gather some magazines. Start cutting out any image or word or headline that grabs you. Then, start gluing them to poster board or a piece of construction paper. Next, stand back and take a look at the overall picture. Do you notice any patterns? Maybe there’s a recurring theme of nature and the outdoors. Or community and friendship. Use your vision board to visualize your success

How to design a plan to reach your life goals

It is possible to reach your life goals. You just need a plan to help get you there.

So think about the life goals that you’ve journaled about or visualized on your board. For this exercise, pick one of the life goals on your list. 

Example: Become financially empowered 

Step 1: Ask yourself: How do I want to feel about this life goal?

This might be an unconventional way of thinking about your life goals. But it might just help you stay committed to them. As illustrator Mari Andrews writes: “I accomplish the goals based on feeling; I abandon the goals based on thinking.”

Like so many of us, you’ve probably been excited about your goals at the beginning only to lose interest about a month in. And you’re definitely not alone. So why do certain goals stick while others fade? The answer is likely to do with how you feel about them.

Goals require your time, energy, and mental fortitude. And you’ll have a much easier time sticking with the highs and lows of your goal if it gives you a positive feeling. 

We can all agree that managing our finances is not the most exciting task. But maybe taking control of your finances will give you a feeling of accomplishment. Or it will make you feel educated. Or maybe you want to feel a sense of freedom. Then, monitoring your finances feels less like an overwhelming goal and more like something you actually look forward to doing.

Step 2: Create mini goals to get closer to your life goal

Now it’s time to start turning your big life goal into mini goals that you can set out to achieve. After all, you wouldn’t run a marathon in a day. You would need mini goals along the way to help you get closer to the marathon goal. Running a 5K. Joining a running club. Running for fifteen minutes without stopping. These are all examples of mini goals that support your overall goal. 

So keeping with the “become financially empowered” example, here are some mini goals that would get you in the right direction:

  • Conduct an audit of my spending.
  • Create a budget
  • Read a personal finance book
  • Subscribe to a personal finance newsletter
  • Pay off credit card debt
  • Launch a side gig to increase income 

As you can see, these are all mini goals that align with the life goal of becoming financially empowered. These mini goals serve as benchmarks, and let you know that you’re making good progress. 

Step 3: Schedule your mini goals 

Now that you have a list of mini goals, start scheduling them in your planner. Give yourself something to do each month, week, and day. 

Example: Read a finance book this month. Develop my side hustle over the next several months. Read a finance newsletter everyday. 

When you put things in your schedule, you're making your dreams tangible. 

Remember: it’s not the result that makes a life goal so worthy, but the journey of pursuing your goals that’s so incredibly rewarding.

Written by JiJi Lee

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