What are Long-Term Goals & How To Set Them Up (+30 Examples)
Do you find achieving your long-term goals to be an incredibly difficult process? Many individuals become unmotivated when they begin crafting goals, but cannot find a way to truly achieve them.
Without long-term goals, individuals may find a lack of purpose in their career leading to a negative attitude and decreased productivity.
You must stop avoiding your goals, as this will only cause anxiety and will delay your career progress. Instead, focus on the many goals you can create for yourself and how keeping a goal in mind will restore a sense of passion in your work.
This article will detail how to establish long-term personal goals that truly matter to you and will guide you with goal examples that you can apply to your own career.
What are Long-Term Goals? Definition & Theory
Long-term goals are things that you would like to achieve in the future. They can relate to your relationships, career, or personal struggles.
Adding a goal into your life means you would like to achieve something important to you in the future, and this is especially time-consuming when the goals are focused on the long term.
These goals cannot be achieved in a day, week, and usually not even a month. Instead, they focus on achieving outcomes during the course of your entire career/life, or at least several years.
To achieve such a goal, you will need to work hard and ensure the goal is clearly defined. Achieving such a goal can be helped by short-term goals.
The difference between the two is that if you focus on goals you’d like to achieve over the course of a career, then you think long-term.
However, if you would like to achieve something in a shorter period of time, such as acing an upcoming test, you are focusing on the short term.
Why Do You Need Long-Term Goals and Why are They Important?
One of the great benefits of focusing on long-term improvement is personal development and self-improvement.
This type of goal gives you motivation for long periods of time and gives a sense of purpose to your work, which lasts for a lifetime.
Having a deep sense of motivation is something that successful people have in common, and many find long-term plans to give them the passion to keep working.
It reminds you that all the hard work you go through will eventually pay off in the long run.
Learn More About Your Values
Some individuals create goals without having a true understanding of why they would like to achieve something.
While these can be achievable goals, achieving them will often not bring true happiness to you.
With goals that are long-term, you are forced to constantly reevaluate the purpose behind a goal.
If you do not have a deep desire to pursue a goal, you simply will not stick with it in the long run.
If you do, however, you can learn about your passions, desires, and values. This knowledge can lead to higher degrees of emotional intelligence and will make your goals more purposeful.
Types of Long-Term Goals
Career goals focus on achievement in an individual’s job and career.
These goals can be career skill development, such as furthering your communication skills to benefit a team.
They could also be more life altering or a larger goal, such as changing careers, starting a business, or going back to school for a college education.
These goals center around money, both spending and creating wealth.
For example, you could have a goal to invest in the stock market and make a certain amount of project.
Buying a house, decreasing credit card debt, boosting your credit score, saving for an education or for retirement are all examples of financial goals.
Personal goals revolve around an individual’s personal life goals.
These can include learning a foreign language, finding a spouse, seeking out a new passion, pursuing a new hobby, or dedicating more time to something you already enjoy doing.
30 Examples of Long-Term Goals
The following is a shortlist of goals that can assist you when brainstorming a personal goal, career goal, or any other type of goal.
1. Get a raise/get promoted– a career goal which seeks to help advance your career.
2. Start a new job in a different field– this would help you change your career plan and pivot to an industry where you are truly happy.
3. Craft an actionable plan for advancing your career– this goal motivates you to truly consider the future of your career.
4. Gain attention within your field– you will become more respected if you work toward improving your image in the field.
5. Develop a career-specific skill– this will help you with time management at work and will improve your productivity.
6. Find a dream job and work to get it– this might require getting additional education and research but will ultimately contribute to your happiness and will help you lead a successful life.
7. Create a network of like minded individuals– doing this will create new relationships with people who can assist you throughout your life.
8. Join a charity or other organization– this will give you firsthand insights into ways to solve today’s societal problems so you can help your community.
9. Earn a certificate– this helps employers understand your skills and will make you a better and more well-educated job candidate.
10. Publish an article or novel– this will build your brand/name reputation and help you use your writing skills to your advantage.
11. Become a better parent or partner– improves the relationship between your loved ones and yourself.
12. Join a demanding sports group– will test you mentally and physically as well as improve your persistence and mental toughness.
13. Develop and follow a fitness plan– sticking to a clear action plan will build up your physical and emotional strength, allowing you to apply these new skills to other aspects of your life.
14. Learn another language – expands your horizons and gives you insight into the world outside of your comfort zone.
15. Eliminate junk food from your diet – teaches you how to build healthy habits and ditch bad habits.
16. Volunteer – helps you develop new relationships and understand your privileges while you help elderly, unprivileged individuals, or a child through charity or volunteering.
17. Increase EQ (emotional intelligence) – makes you more empathetic and understanding of others’ situations and feelings.
18. Get a college degree – makes you a more competitive job applicant and expands your knowledge.
19. Live abroad – will help you understand other cultures and broaden your horizons as you experiment with new food and activities.
20. Cook new food – will allow you to go outside of your comfort zone.
21. Purchase a home – this is one of the biggest goals individuals have as it signals security and stability.
22. Invest in the stock market – gets you more comfortable with risk.
23. Start a college fund for your child – improves your long-term planning abilities and shows your children you support them.
24. Create a business – this goal lets you invest in your future and gets you comfortable with risk while also learning new skills, such as leadership and communication.
25. Pay off your car – is a simple goal with actionable steps you can take to achieve it.
26. Open an emergency fund – will keep you financially secure in the long term.
27. Save more money monthly – the amount will vary based on why you are saving the money, but doing so will create a safety net and teach you to regulate your spending habits.
28. Craft a thorough retirement plan – creates a safety net and teaches you long-term thinking.
29. Save money for a vacation – allows you to quickly reap the benefits of steady saving and control over your spending.
30. Build an energy-efficient home – a goal that connects your actions with your values (if you value keeping the Earth clean) and saves you money.
How to Set (and Reach) Your Long-Term Goals
Do not let your options overwhelm you when making important goal-setting decisions.
The following tips will help you set and reach almost any long-term goal you wish, no matter how impactful and life-altering it may be.
Make Goals, Not Wishes
Wishful thinking and relying on chance do not make a great goal.
Goals are not achieved through luck, but rather concrete steps you take toward success.
A wish is believing you can earn a million dollars through gambling while a true goal would be “I would like a million dollar e-commerce business by the end of 5 years”.
In fact, the latter is a SMART goal, making it specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.
Taking the prior example into account, simply stating you want a successful business is not specific enough to make a good personal goal.
On the other hand, specifically stating a revenue goal makes understanding your goal far easier and success will be measured in a simple manner.
This way, the target of success is not constantly shifting in either direction, and you have a clear path toward reaching your goal.
Write Down Your Goals
Writing down your goals can serve as a helpful reminder and ingrains these goals into your head.
Writing down goals also materializes your thoughts and takes this theoretical idea of a goal and transforms it into a physical piece of writing.
Break Down Your Long-Term Goal into Smaller Goals
Breaking down large goals into smaller chunks makes achieving the goal far more achievable. It also assists you when crafting a plan of action on how to achieve the goal.
For instance, if you wish to build a million dollar marketing agency by the end of 2024, consider what you would like to accomplish before then.
These smaller tasks will contribute to your overall goal. For instance, if you would like to improve your search engine optimization to rank on the first page for a certain keyword, use alt tags, backlinks, and other SEO techniques to contribute to that high ranking.
Once you achieve this smaller goal, you will likely move your business forward and generate revenue.
Over time, taking these steps along with other smaller achievements can help you achieve your initial goal.
Remember Your Long-Term Goals
Constantly remind yourself of why achieving these goals will benefit your life, and what this success will mean to you.
Consider hanging up a paper with your goals and desires, alongside why you wish to accomplish such goals, in a prominent area of the house.
Alternatively, you could set a screen saver with your goal listed on it so each time you check your phone, you are reminded of your desires.
Even when issues occur and your goal achievement does not perfectly follow your plan, remind yourself of your long-term goals and the desires behind them to keep yourself motivated.
Tools, Tips, and Techniques that will Help You with Achieving Your Long- Term Goals
Knowing a few simple tips and techniques can go a long way when you are trying to achieve your goals. Firstly, make sure you hold yourself accountable for your goals.
Accomplishing them can be difficult or even at times scary, so stay accountable instead of procrastinating about tasks and taking action.
Tell others around you about your plans, and ask them to remind you about your goals if you forget or get side tracked.
Your current beliefs may also limit your ability to achieve your goals.
Past experiences can make you believe that some goals simply are not achievable when they are possible to reach. So, make sure you visualize yourself reaching your end goal.
This will remind you that no matter what your past experiences are, you can work hard to achieve your desires.
Predicting obstacles in your goal achievement path can also be a helpful tool.
Understand the possible ways you could make mistakes in this journey, and actively take steps to avoid such mistakes.
Planning will help you understand possible future positions so that if you are met with a difficult circumstance, you do not give up but rather continue forward with your plan.
Finally, understand that failure is temporary and a necessary aspect of success. If you develop a negative mindset from failure, you may feel like you are not good enough and wish to quit working toward your goals.
Instead, maintaining a positive attitude and accepting failure will keep your motivation levels high. You will begin to see failure as an opportunity to learn and improve yourself rather than a major flaw in your journey.
Frequently Asked Questions About Long-Term Goals
How Long is a Long-Term Goal?
Long-term goals last for long periods of time and cannot be achieved in a day, week, or month.
They usually focus on things an individual would like to achieve over the course of a lifetime or a career.
Additionally, long-term goals can be applied to relationships and these goals usually take multiple years to achieve.
How to Choose Long-Term Goals?
Goals should be centered around your desires when it comes to relationships, you personal life, career, or financial well-being.
Think about what you would like the next 5-10 years to look like and what you would like to change about your current situation, especially when it comes to your career.
If you have aspects you would like to change, make a goal that would contribute to your long term happiness, health, and success.
Long-Term Goals with a Company
What kind of measurable impact would you like to leave on the world? This is the question your goals should center around.
It is especially important for these goals to be specific so you can assess how well you are doing as a leader.
For example, a good goal combines values that matter with you with specific targets, like “I would like to increase international access to clean water by achieving $25,000,000 donated through my platform.”
Overall Conclusion Of Long-Term Goals
Goals are like the fuel toward career success. If you are passionate and create specific goals, you will certainly have a bright career ahead of you.
This will make the goal achievement process quicker and more enjoyable. Once you see your hard work paid off, you will likely feel immensely proud of your success.
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