7 Types Of Goals to Set Now (With 100+ Examples)

Categories Of Goals With Examples To Kick Start Your Future

Today I want to cover 7 different types of goals. Also, important traits that every goal should have. No matter what category it falls in.

Let’s dive right in. So you can start setting all types of goals…

7 Different Types Of Goals To Set Right Now!

To maximize your potential, I suggest setting goals from each of the following categories…

  • Educational
  • Personal
  • Career
  • Business
  • Financial
  • Interpersonal
  • Spiritual

Next, I want to explain each of these goal categories one by one. And provide dozens of examples for you to consider.

Then, before we wrap up, discuss several key characteristics every goal should have.

That’s the plan, so let’s do it…

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Disclosure: At no cost to you, I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Educational Goals

I start with educational goals because this category is a stepping stone to bigger things. Since both your personal growth and professional development partly depend on education.

First, there are academic goals. They are most useful during your high school and college years.

Examples of Academic Goals

  • Never miss class
  • Complete homework on time
  • Meet with an academic advisor
  • Get good grades
  • Win a scholarship
  • Achieve target score on the ACT or SAT
  • Work in an internship
  • Join a club or activity
  • Earn a degree
  • Obtain a professional certification
  • Conduct research and publish it

Second, consider setting lifelong learning goals. Because education shouldn’t stop after your formal classroom years are over.

On the other hand, don’t forget that life-long learning can begin while you are still in school…

Examples of Life-Long Learning Goals

  • Learn from your successes
  • Practice reflection by journaling
  • Learn to meditate
  • Improve upon a weakness
  • Become a better listener
  • Learn a new skill
  • Further your formal education
  • Master a foreign language
  • Learn a musical instrument
  • Adopt a new technology
  • Join a professional or civic organization
  • Find a mentor
  • Teach a course
  • Learn from your failures

Moving right along, here is our second and perhaps the most important type of goal…

Personal Goals

They are objectives that focus on your overall well-being. Specifically, personal development goals.

Because you can’t be your best when you don’t feel your best. And to be your best, you need to establish goals to promote good personal habits.

As a result, be sure to set one or more goals in these very important personal areas…

Examples Of Goals For Physical Stamina

To keep your energy level high…

  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Get regular exercise
  • Maintain your ideal weight
  • Find the perfect bed
  • Get enough sleep
  • Play a new sport
  • Complete a long-distance run or ride
  • Do your personal best

Examples Of Goals For Peace Of Mind

For calming the mind and keeping a cool head…

  • Develop a positive attitude
  • Accept what you can not change
  • Live in the moment
  • Manage stress
  • Create work-life balance
  • Pursue a hobby
  • Practice self-care

Examples Goals For Improving Personal Habits

To be your best every day…

  • Find your perfect location to live
  • Embrace change
  • Improve your self-confidence
  • Get up early
  • Develop a strong work ethic
  • Stop procrastinating
  • Be more decisive
  • Remove toxic people from your life

Okay. So far we have covered foundational goals related to knowledge, skills, and your general well-being.

With those types of goals addressed, let’s turn our focus to professional development. And discuss the third of today’s seven categories of goals…

Career Goals

This time we are talking about your job or career. However, you choose to describe it.

And since we all have to make a living, work becomes part of who we are. Whether we like it or not.

So, why not make the best of it and crush your career goals? Here are some examples to consider…

Examples of Career Goals

  • Find a career mentor
  • Seek out performance feedback
  • Develop a new job skill
  • Streamline processes at your job
  • Become a better collaborator
  • Enhance your interpersonal skills
  • Enhance your leadership abilities
  • Cross-train in another functional area
  • Take an international assignment
  • Expand your technological expertise
  • Win an award in your industry
  • Develop a personal brand
  • Build a personal website
  • Grow a social media following
  • Earn a promotion
  • Make a lateral development move
  • Land your dream job
  • Change to a better career field
  • Make a professional development plan
  • Expand your professional network
  • Craft the perfect resume
  • Learn to interview like a pro

Closely related to one’s career is our fourth type of goal…

Business Goals

Because selecting performance goals for your business is critical. In case having a career focused on working for someone else isn’t for you.

So, if you have an entrepreneurial spirit. And desire to own and operate your own company. Then setting and achieving the right business goals is a must.

Examples Of Business Goals

  • Create a business plan
  • Improve product or service quality
  • Achieve higher on-time delivery
  • Increase customer satisfaction
  • Improve customer retention
  • Increase sales volumes
  • Optimize product and service pricing
  • Increase market share
  • Develop new customers
  • Expand into a new geographic market
  • Market through a new channel
  • Penetrate a new customer demographic
  • Develop a new product or service
  • Start an employee development program
  • Increase employee satisfaction
  • Become a low-cost leader
  • Streamline processes
  • Migrate to a new computer system
  • Improve profits
  • Increase cash flow
  • Make long-term business investments
  • Acquire another company
  • Obtain adequate financing
  • Increase the value of your business
  • Develop a succession plan
  • Sell your business for a big gain

The next and fifth of today’s goal-setting categories is my personal favorite…

Financial Goals

Because so much of what we do in life serves to improve our financial position. I like to say…

Finance is fun when you are making money.

And with the different types of goals, we have discussed thus far. Specifically, educational, personal, career, and business. I suggest that you will be well on your way to making a good buck.

However, a well-rounded set of financial goals includes so much more than just making money.

Here’s what I mean…

Examples Of Financial Goals

  • Assess your current money state
  • Read a book about personal finance
  • Develop a plan for your financial future
  • Put the right insurance in place
  • Improve your credit score
  • Create an emergency fund
  • Establish a monthly budget
  • Reduce unnecessary expenses
  • Refinance your debt
  • Eliminate non-mortgage debt
  • Save for a down payment on a home
  • Save money for something fun
  • Start college funds for your kids
  • Save for retirement
  • Negotiate a pay increase
  • Get a higher-paying job
  • Start a side hustle
  • Declutter and sell your stuff for cash
  • Buy a home
  • Invest in stocks
  • Become a better investor
  • Invest in land
  • Find a money mentor
  • Monitor your money
  • Create a plan for your money
  • Become financially independent
  • Become a millionaire
  • Create your end-of-life documents
  • Leave a financial legacy

Next, let’s move on to the softer sides of life. As our discussion of different types of goals by category continues …

Interpersonal Goals

Just about everything we do revolves around other people in our lives. I often think about this old saying…

“It’s not what you know, it’s whom you know”.

So, it’s a good idea to think about how to surround yourself with the best people. And for getting the most out of those relationships.

But always make sure to give back as much as you receive. To keep your relationships balanced.

Examples Of Interpersonal Goals

  • Have family meals together
  • Take a family vacation
  • Do your share of the household chores
  • Make time for important conversations
  • Find your life partner
  • Become a better parent
  • Exercise patience
  • Visit your parents
  • Stay in touch with your siblings
  • Make a date with an old friend
  • Expand your circle of friends
  • Volunteer for an important cause

Ready or not, here’s the last of our 7 different types of goal categories…

Spiritual Goals

Unlike the other types of goals we have discussed today, spirituality can mean different things to different people.

Broadly speaking, this area of life goals represents your intentions for discovering a greater purpose and for living a life full of meaning.

They may be religious. But they do not have to be.

Examples Of Spiritual Goals

  • Establish what you believe in
  • Be mindful of your thoughts and actions
  • Practice tolerance
  • Be kind and grateful
  • Learn to be at peace with yourself
  • Join a church and attend services
  • Sacrifice something important to you
  • Seek advice from a spiritual advisor
  • Support a meaningful charity

Okay. That concludes our discussion about the 7 types of goals to set. With more than 100 goal examples to get you started on your way.

But don’t go just yet. I have a little more to share…

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Characteristics Of Every Goal Regardless Of Type Or Category

Next, I want to discuss several points that every goal you set must have…

Make All Types Of Goals SMART

No matter how many goals you choose. And regardless of what type they are. I suggest you make SMART goals.

Making them SMART ensures you are set up for success. And success means achieving every goal you set for yourself.

SMART goals have 5 elements. Thus, put together a goal-setting worksheet. And for each goal you choose, write down these things…

Specific. Be as detailed as possible about what you want to achieve.

Measurable. Determine exactly how you will know if and when a goal is accomplished.

Achievable. Yes, you should challenge yourself. By setting stretch goals. But don’t waste time with things that are not possible.

Relevant. Every goal should make sense for your situation. Thus, each should move you forward in an area of your life that you consider important.

Time-bound. All goals should have a deadline. Doing so builds commitment and provides a sense of urgency.

Next, I want to touch on the range of possibilities for time-bound goals. Using finance as an example.

Then I will wrap up. I promise!

Make All Types Of Goals Time-Based Goals

As you now know, the last point in setting SMART goals requires they be time-bound. Yes, give each goal an exact deadline. But first, think of the timing in these broad categories…

Short-Term Goals

These are objectives you want to achieve in no more than one year. Often they are foundational goals or stepping-stone goals. Because they are required in the near term. To have success in the long run.

Example of a short-term financial goal: Establish an emergency fund.

Medium-Term Goals

First of all, medium-term goals are to be completed in more than 1 but less than 5 years. Furthermore, I think mid-term goals are my favorites.


Because they are substantial enough to require more than a year to complete. But not too distant to seem irrelevant or unreachable.

Example of a medium-term financial goal: Save for a down payment on a home.

Long-Term Goals

Long-term goals are the heavy hitters. Being goals that require more than 5 years to complete.

Example of a long-term financial goal: Become a millionaire

Lifetime Goals

Finally, your life goals will typically take more than 10 years to complete.

They are the overarching dreams that require the bulk of a lifetime to accomplish. Or, they are a type of goal you work on every day for the rest of your life.

Example of a lifetime financial goal: Leave a financial legacy for my children

Okay. That’s all I have for today.

So, allow me to wrap up with a few parting thoughts…

7 Types Of Goals And How To Set Them For Success

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As you set your objectives 1, 5, and 10 years out. Be sure to take a balanced approach to the various goal-setting categories.

Do so by choosing goals across a variety of the 7 areas we have discussed today. And over a range of time frames.

Then make sure your short-term goals support the long-term goals. And all of your goals pull together your vision of the future.

Because by first stepping back and looking at the bigger picture of what you want to accomplish in life. Then choosing goals to make that vision become a reality. You have a much greater chance of success.

Thanks for reading. If you found this article useful. You may enjoy checking out our archives of…

Articles about Goals and Goal Setting

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Author Bio: Tom Scott founded the consulting and coaching firm Dividends Diversify, LLC. He leverages his expertise and decades of experience in goal setting, relocation assistance, and investing for long-term wealth to help clients reach their full potential.

Types Of Goals Explained With Examples