Have you ever wanted to achieve personal success in your life but aren’t sure how? Almost all of us have. Except it is only a select few that realise that it is having the right goals in life that will carry you towards the dream of having your best days in front of you.
Personal goals come in every area of life, whether it be deeply personal ones, health-related, financial-related or how to become a better person in society. Prioritising sleep, practising mindfulness and keeping up with long, lost friends are just some of the goals you need to adopt to lead a happy and successful life.
Imagine if you had a set of amazing goals that you could begin today and continuing pursuing until your final days. How would that make you feel?
Once you realize that there is no set destination in this game of life, only a dance to be danced, you are free to achieve your own version of personal success.
This article is set out to help you achieve just that. It highlights a variety of goals in life in different areas such as health, finance and creativity that will help guide you toward fulfilling your own potential.
With 23 different goals, it is intended for you to take your favourites and run with them:
Personal Goals in Life:
1. Pursue Equanimity in Yourself
Whilst many people pursue happiness, wealth and health in themselves, it is usually only through equanimity where most of these things become accessible.
Equanimity is defined as peak calmness and composure, no matter what life is throwing at you. If you can find equanimity in the most difficult of situations, then you will breeze through situations that others (and your previous self) found extremely stressful.
The best way to achieve equanimity is to practice putting yourself in tough situations again and again. Just like learning to drive a car, gradually what used to terrify you becomes routine and that is how you start to level up.
2. Travel as Often as You Can
People often talk about travel being a gateway to the soul but it is hard to recognize just how true it is until you have done it for yourself.
Travelling doesn’t even have to involve flying to the other side of the world to become a Buddhist monk for a year. The benefits of travel can come from something as simple as a weekend away in a foreign city in your own country.
Travel not only opens you up to new people, new cultures and new experiences, it also helps you grow as a person by reminding you that there is more life going on outside of your own personal bubble.
So get out there and make travelling one of your goals in life!
3. Take a Class That Interests You but Is Irrelevant to Your Career
As a person who is passionate about self-improvement and creating a better quality of life, you probably love to learn new things and feel productive.
Sometimes though, you can overdo the whole career thing and forget about what truly sets your heart on fire. You forget about all of the hobbies you used to pursue before ‘life got in the way’.
So go out and take a class that you are fascinated by or used to love that has nothing to do with your work. Not only will life get back some sparkle but it will keep you much more refreshed for when it is time to work again.
4. Practice Mindfulness
Things that get a load of hype very rarely live up to their expectations. Mindfulness is definitely an exception.
People have been preaching about mindfulness for a long time now and its roots go all the way back to early Buddhism. Until very recently, the benefits were purely anecdotal but scientific evidence is now emerging about the power of mindfulness.((Science Direct: Mindfulness-based stress reduction and health benefits: A meta-analysis ))
Mindfulness is most effective when it is practised daily, even for just ten minutes. Sit comfortably and simply pay attention to your surroundings and your thoughts. It sounds simple but is incredibly effective.
Take a look at these 7 Simple Tricks To Bring More Mindfulness Into Your Life
5. Love Life for What It Is, Not What You Think It ‘Should’ Be
There are countless times when life doesn’t go your way. It is useless to fight it, so you just need to accept and embrace whatever life has in store.
When you are consumed by what life ‘should’ be like, you are drowning in your own expectations and shortcomings. This is a sure-fire way to lead a life of frustration and disappointment.
The only way around this is to enjoy every up and every down. Life is a symphony with a variety of notes and melodies; stopping and replaying one note that you like or don’t like spoils the whole thing.
6. Live Presently
Living in the past or in the future is where most of human suffering lies. It is often regrets about what you should have done or worries about what you need to do that lead to unnecessary negative emotion.
It is easy to forget that you only ever live in the present moment. Every thought and experience that you have ever had has taken place in the ever-flowing ‘now’.
Therefore it makes a lot of sense to make one of your life goals to live presently, as this is the only place where life happens.
7. Run for 10km
Why 10km? Because it is not short enough that you can tick it off your life goals list with only minimal training but isn’t too long that you never start training.
10km at a good pace equates to about an hour of running. You can do that, right?
Even if you do happen to fall short of the marker, running is an excellent health habit to pick up anyway as it requires no gym membership and is accessible to anyone with a pair of running shoes. It should definitely have a place on your list.
8. Hold a Deep Squat for One Minute
You might think that this is an easy goal in life to accomplish because tiny babies can do it with ease. You might want to think again!
Although some of us can do it with relative ease, a surprising majority of people either struggle to get deep enough or fall backwards off balance when they get into the deep squat.
As an article on QZ points out, it is a form of active rest that is evolutionarily designed to counteract the bodily harms caused by sitting for long periods during the day.((QZ: The forgotten art of squatting is a revelation for bodies ruined by sitting ))
Holding a deep squat for a minute or more every day is a great way to boost your ankle, knee, lower back and core mobility as well as boosting your balance. All essential for moving (literally) through life.
9. Eat for 80% Health, 20% Pleasure
One of the best pieces of advice that I have ever received comes from a certified dietician talking about her own diet. She eats 80% for health and 20% for pleasure.
Let me explain: 80% of what she consumes is food that she knows is good for her that she may or may not particularly like. The other 20% is food that she loves, no matter how ‘bad’ it is for her.
This is an awesome life goal and diet to have and live by. It recognizes that the vast majority needs to be the good stuff but life isn’t truly lived without the tasty stuff every now and then too.
10. Drink More Water, Less of Everything Else
Although things like coffee, protein shake, herbal tea and even nicotine have their place for making you feel like a more productive human being, it is important to remember the water.
With over half of your body made up of H2O, getting at least a couple of glasses of the good stuff a day is essential to your overall well-being. Especially as your body uses water in all of its cells, organs and tissues and the role it plays in many other vital processes.
All of the other stimulants can also be addictive – everyone knows a guy who is hooked on coffee to keep a normal functioning body. Substitute in the water as a worthwhile long-term life goal for your health.
11. Prioritize Sleep
The hustling ‘no-sleep culture’ is slowly fading away and with it, a new appreciation for our oldest biological friend – sleep.
The literature on the importance of sleep is growing every day and is causing even the hardest-working entrepreneurs out there like Gary Vee and Mark Manson to start prioritising some shut-eye.
Sleep has been shown to improve learning, reduce risk of depression and even napping has been shown to be a great way to counteract some of the effects of a bad night of sleep.((Nature Neruscience: Sleep benefits subsequent hippocampal functioning, Sleep and Depression, The Short Term Benefits of Brief and Long Naps Following Nocturnal Sleep Restriction))
These are just some of the exhaustive number of benefits of getting a good night sleep; so make it a priority.
12. Write Every Day for a Month
This is one of the goals in life that isn’t actually as complicated as it might first seem. By writing every day, it might mean anything from one page of journaling to writing 1000 words per day on your blog.
The act of writing helps to both clarify and organise your thoughts. It is common to be brooding over a problem for days at a time only to realise how silly it sounds and looks when you see it written down on paper.
Simply keep a small pad of paper and a pen with you wherever you go. Sit down and write a story at your desk or write down some ideas about your next business venture.
Even if you only pursue this goal for a short period of time, you will learn a lot about how creative you can be.
13. Write down 10 Ideas a Day on Any Subject
Legendary entrepreneur James Altucher was the first to coin this idea of becoming an ‘Idea Machine’ and the effectiveness of writing down just 10 ideas a day. Since it went viral, thousands of people have adopted it as a life goal of their own.((James Altucher: The Ultimate Guide for Becoming an Idea Machine ))
The concept is simple: by writing down 10 ideas, you flex your ‘creativity muscle‘ that rarely gets pushed hard. Your theme for the day might be ideas for a book to write or ideas for becoming more productive or even something as silly as ideas about what you would spend $1 million on.
The theme doesn’t matter. The thinking does. It is usually around point five or six when people have to start thinking. Don’t give up! This is where the goal becomes most valuable and in no time, you will be an Idea Machine.
14. Pursue Being a Beginner Again
As you progress through life, your late teens and early twenties is far behind you. You have a better sense of who you are, what you like doing, what gives you joy, what irritates you and how to interact with other humans (usually!).
All of this might be convenient but it involves a slow slide into your comfort zone. And as you probably know by now, not much exciting life is lived in the comfort zone.
Ask yourself when was the last you time you were a beginner at something? The last time you knew that you looked a fool because you didn’t know what you were doing?
The answer should be often if you want to keep growing your character, personality and fortitude when it comes to dealing with new and uncertain situations. So get out there and try a new sport or a new hobby!
15. Learn How to Say Sorry
Alongside ‘I love you’ and ‘Irish wristwatch’, saying sorry is one of the most difficult phrases to say in the English language.
There is something about an apology that can really interfere with your ego and lead the blame to be passed on to something or someone else on a frequent basis. Because of this, not many people apologise in their lives at all.
Therefore it might seem like a bit of a trivial goal to have in life but if you can learn the art, you will be one of the few people out there who knows how to say sorry. That is something worth striving for.
16. Call or Text Someone You Haven’t Spoken to in Months
As life ticks on, you tend to drift away from certain people that you were once close to. Even with your best friends or family that you still love deeply, it might be the case that you now only see them once a year as life starts to ‘get in the way’.
Incredibly, you are fortunate enough to live in an era where distance has shrunk because of technology. Those friends and family that you don’t get to see face-to-face anymore are just a text or phone call away.
It is an extremely easy and fulfilling goal to satisfy and one that you can complete today. Pick up the phone and have a quick chat with someone you haven’t spoken to in months. You will be glad you did.
17. Consciously Maintain a Work Life Balance
When you are at your productive best and the work piles up just as quickly as you complete it, it can become easy to get lost and think that work = life.
The two are not equated though. Work is just one facet of life; usually the activity that you complete to make money or if you are fortunate, something that you enjoy too.
However, there is far more to life than just work. Your relationships, friendships, hobbies, health and many other aspects are just as important and often become neglected in the face of work.
It is a noble goal in life to limit your work and to take time for all the other essential parts of life as well. Nobody regrets working too little on their deathbed, only too much.
18. Communicate Your Ideas with the World
It is surprisingly common for an infinitely complex human like yourself to put themselves down and not feel like they are worthy enough to share their opinion.
Whether you realize it or not yet, the world needs you. It needs your ideas, your enthusiasm and your unique perspective on the human experience. Whilst many people think they are doing good by keeping thoughts to themselves, they are actually doing a disservice to everyone who would benefit from their voice.
Your communication goal doesn’t have to be giving a TED Talk. A great goal is to simply be more expressive about your thoughts and opinions and to be receptive to those of other people.
Starting your own blog or podcast is one of the best ways to do this, but simply telling your ideas to a friend is a fantastic start.
19. Fix Things That Are Broken
If you pursue this goal, even passively, it will lead to not just a much better life for yourself but also for the world around you.
The beauty of this goal is that it can be as small-scale or as large-scale as you want it to be. Don’t like the way the door handle to your bathroom is wonky? Fix it. Don’t like the fact that there is no app for that problem yet? Build it.
Entropy may be the natural state of the observable universe, but we can keep things in order for just a little longer.
20. Volunteer for a Charity
This is one of those life goals that seems to be on everyone’s bucket list but not everyone gets round to doing. If you can manage to complete it, the results can be life-changing.
Volunteering for a charity gives you an impression of what life is like for those in less favourable circumstances than your own. It provides a unique perspective about all of the blessings in your own life and is usually followed by a profound sense of gratitude.
Of course, not all of the reasons to volunteer for a charity are self-focused. Many people are left benefitted by your charitable actions and like with the ‘fix things’ goal, the world is left in a slightly better way after you have done your part.
21. Aim to Live Debt-Free
Debt is something that will hang over your head for the rest of your life if you let it and it can definitely be a hindrance to achieving the other goals on this list if there is too much of it.
Debt is almost inevitable in life. Whether you are paying off a mortgage, have monthly car payments or use a credit card. However, living debt-free has to be the goal and the associated peace of mind to go with it.
There are a number of ways to manage it, but perhaps the best way is to save a little more money when you get paid. Not only is it easier to save when you get paid compared to when you are running out of money, these small savings eventually accumulate to big ones that allow you to pay off big chunks of debt.
This is one of the best goals in life.
22. Stop Trading Time for Money
Most conventional jobs do just that. The one resource that you can never get more of – time – is traded away for a resource that you can always get more of and beyond a basic level of income, is only used to by wants not needs.
To stop trading time for money is to enjoy freedom. It is to take advantage of the universe’s scarcest resource and live life on your own terms.
There are a couple of ways to achieve this goal; either find a job that you enjoy and you get paid for or build new income streams like a side-hustle that helps you to buy back your time.
23. Live Below Your Means
To live below your means is the knot that ties the bow to the previous two goals.
Just because you earn a certain amount of money doesn’t mean that you should spend that amount. In fact, you shouldn’t.
Living below your means is spending less overall than what you earn and it ties back to the preciousness of time.
Trying to fund a specific lifestyle to impress others is not only exhausting but costs both time and money.
Spend less and you will gain much more than money. You will gain time to get after all of the other amazing things in life, including some of these new goals that you have set yourself.
With all of this information on the various goals that you can pursue in your life for greater personal success, I hope that you feel a little less stuck and a little more inspired than when you first stumbled across this article.
As mentioned in the introduction, these goals are something that you can work at basically forever. Because the path is so long, don’t be disheartened by all of the bumps and jerks that will inevitably arrive in the journey. This is just part of the process.
You don’t have to wait to begin any of these goals. You can begin working on any and all of them today.
So what are you waiting for? Your personal success awaits!
Tips to Help You Achieve Goals
- How to Create an Action Plan and Achieve Your Personal Goals
- How to Write SMART Goals (With SMART Goals Templates)
- How to Become Goal Oriented and Achieve More in Life
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