How Do You Set Personal Goals in Life?


Quick Answer

Set personal goals in life by first outlining a set of overall life goals, then breaking that list down into progressively smaller and more immediate goals. Identifying and breaking major goals down into steps helps create a more manageable plan.

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Full Answer

Begin the process by envisioning and then outlining a collection of overall life goals. These goals should encompass desired lifetime achievements, or at least achievements that take place over a significant period of years. Overall lifetime goals typically encompass a broad range of areas, including career, family, education, artistic, financial and physical. Brainstorm goals you want to achieve within each of these different ideas, then narrow them down to those most significant to you. (Make sure that these goals all reflect genuine personal desire, not the desires of others or societal expectations--otherwise, you'll be less motivated to reach them.)

Next, create a five-year plan based on what steps are necessary to fulfill the lifetime goals. Consider all major life goals and determine the steps that need to take place in order to accomplish each one. Next, create a plan for how much time it will take to complete each of these steps. The plan might take one year, six months or one month. Figure out what steps need to be completed over the coming days and weeks in order to move toward each goal. Early on, steps may include researching the logistics of goals in order to improve the plans to achieve them.

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