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It’s time to dream big and meet your biggest goals now! Find out all about what personal goals are and how to set them to achieve the success and happiness that you crave.
You can also find 100 personal goal examples that you can copy and adapt to suit yourself – read on to find out what they are!
What are personal goals?
A personal goal is something that you want to achieve for yourself; they are unique to each and every individual.
One person may be striving to better their career, and another might be more concerned with how many countries they can travel to that year.
Personal goals are important because they give you a focus and a direction in life.
There are no “right” or “wrong” answers when it comes to setting personal goals, as long as they resonate with you and make you feel good when you think about working towards them.
Here are ten common personal goal categories:
- Personal growth
- Health and fitness
- Personal finances and money
- Life satisfaction
- Legacy and philanthropy
How to set personal goals so you can achieve them
To set and achieve personal goals, it’s helpful to understand how to structure your goals correctly. One of the best ways to do this is with long-term and short-term goals.
This way, your goals aren’t just goals; they become a map for you to follow to make your dreams come true!
What are long-term goals?
Your long-term goals are the big, life-changing dreams at the end of your map. Things like: losing weight, traveling more, or saving more money.
What are short-term goals?
Short-term goals are the smaller steps you will take on the road to achieving your goals. Each step is crucial, no matter how tiny, because each keeps you moving towards the final destination.
FIND OUT MORE: How to Make a Vision Board That ACTUALLY Works [10-Steps]
What is a SMART goal?
Sadly, most people who make goals are doomed to fail, with one study finding that only 8% of those who set goals for the New Year achieve said goals, which means that 92% fail.
But according to another researcher, people who wrote down their goals were 42% more likely to meet them. That tips the odds in your favor for sure!
Goals become even more powerful when you write them using the SMART goals formula; here’s what that means.
How to write SMART goals for maximum success
The acronym S.M.A.R.T. stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.
- Specific: The goal should be specific, concrete, and well-defined.
- Measurable: The goal should be quantifiable so that you can track progress and determine whether or not you’ve achieved it.
- Attainable: Make sure the goal is something you’re actually capable of accomplishing. Set goals that challenge you but are still possible for you to reach.
- Relevant: The goal aligns with your core values and beliefs.
- Time-based: Put a deadline on the timeframe for when you will meet your goal.
Personal goals vs. SMART goals: what’s the difference?
Personal goals give you the general direction, and SMART goals are the compass you follow to get there.
A personal goal would be something like “lose weight,” but a SMART goal would break down the exact steps you need to take to actually lose the weight.
- I will exercise 3x per week for three months (and re-assess after that.)
- I will drink eight 16 oz glasses of water each day.
- I will eat three meals a day that are balanced and healthy, and one snack.
- I will complete the Chloe Ting 2-week challenge by the end of January.
FIND OUT MORE: My entire career before blogging revolved around writing SMART goals for my patients to rehabilitate their speech, language, memory, and swallowing following traumatic brain injury, stroke, and more. I used the exact same formula to write goals that helped us pay off $250k of debt, find happiness as a minimalist family, and hit 100,000 subscribers on YouTube in one year!
100 Personal Goal Examples
Here is a list of 100 personal goal examples in ten of the most popular goals in life – the ones people make every year!
Remember, these personal goals are the big-picture goals, and you need to figure out the SMART goals that will get you there.
Things you can do to help you chase your dreams include making a vision board, writing down your goals, and talking about your plans with family or friends!
Since people who write down their goals are 42% more likely to achieve them, you might want to grab one of my beautiful SMART goal planners to help you write down your goals in style, or check out this list of free printables for all of your goals.
Personal Growth Goals
1. Read self-help books
Take a look at the areas you want to improve in your life and find a “best of” list of self-help books to help you target and improve that area.
2. Learn a new skill
Learning a new skill gives you a feeling of accomplishment and boosts your confidence, and gives you something fun to do in your spare time.
Consider learning how to play an instrument, knit, or speak another language.
💡 FIND OUT MORE: My favorite way to learn new skills is with Skillshare. Click this special link for a FREE 30-day trial of Skillshare premium and start learning all sorts of new skills, from plant care to watercolor to interior design – there are 27,000 to choose from for your studying pleasure!
3. Define your core values and beliefs
There’s a country song that goes, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything,” and that is so true.
When you define your core values and beliefs, it helps you make life choices much more straightforward.
4. Stand up for yourself
There’s nothing wrong with helping people, but if you become a doormat, you’ve gone too far. Make sure to stand up for yourself and your beliefs because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.
5. Improve your communication skills
Communication is how we interact with others and what better skill to master than that? Whether personal or professional, having strong communication skills can help you in so many ways.
6. Think before you speak
Do you have a bad habit of talking before you think?
Well, stop that! Take a breath and think about what you’re going to say before blurting it out. It’ll save you from saying something you’ll regret or making an embarrassing mistake.
7. Plan for the future
What do you want to achieve in life? What steps do you need to take to get there? Planning ahead keeps you on track to making your dreams a reality.
8. Stop procrastinating
Procrastination is a temporary coping mechanism that usually causes us more stress in the long run. Recognize when you are procrastinating, and make a plan to overcome the behavior.
9. Wake up earlier
The proverbial early bird catches the worm.
If you feel like there’s not enough time in your day to accomplish your goals, try waking up earlier to get a head start – 5 am, and 6 am morning routines have gotten very popular lately!
10. Be more productive
There are a million and one ways to be more productive, but some basics include breaking down your tasks into manageable chunks, focusing on one task at a time, and taking breaks intermittently.
Find habits that help you be more productive and stick to them.
Personal Career Goals
11. Get a degree
If you’ve always dreamed of getting a job in a certain field, earning a college degree can be a part of that for many!
My husband and I were both the first to get college degrees in our families, and it was not only a moment of pride but also gave us valuable knowledge and skills that helped us get ahead in life.
12. Take up a trade
Not interested in going to college? That’s totally okay! Why not take up a trade instead?
Tradesmen and women are always in high demand and can make a very good living. Some examples of trades include electrician, carpenter, welder, and many more!
13. Find a mentor
Mentors can help guide you, give you advice, and support you along the way. They can be instrumental in helping you reach your goals!
There are many ways to find a mentor, such as online forums, social media groups, or even by asking people you know in your current career or life.
14. Find out how to be a better leader
Good leadership skills can get you far, farther than simple knowledge of a subject alone.
There are many ways to get better at leadership, such as learning from role models or mentors, practicing public speaking, or even taking a class on the subject!
15. Ignore drama and gossip at work
Gossip and drama in the workplace can be detrimental to your mental health and has the potential to cause friction, either now or later. Make sure that you stay away from this type of behavior at work.
16. Find your true passion
Do you feel bored with your life and crave finding purpose and meaning? Some people know their passion from an early age, while others spend years trying different things before settling on what they love.
The important thing is to never stop searching. Try to notice what you enjoy doing, whether it was in the past or present, and explore new avenues of growth.
You might be surprised by what you find!
17. Look for a new or better job
Do you feel stuck in your current job? Do you hate waking up every morning and dread going to work?
If this sounds like you, it might be time to look for another position.
Take some time over the next few weeks or months and see what other opportunities are available. Beef up your resume and start the hunt.
Switching jobs can often result in better opportunities and higher salaries than simply staying in place.
18. Earn a promotion
If you like your current job but feel you aren’t being challenged enough, check and see if there are any opportunities for a promotion to a new position.
This can mean more opportunities for growth and more money without finding a new company and interviewing elsewhere.
19. Tackle your weaknesses
We all have weaknesses, but if you want to make the most of your personal and professional life, you must take steps to address them.
It can be hard to acknowledge that we lack a skill or talent, but if we take steps towards bettering ourselves, that proves there’s room to grow.
20. Challenge yourself
Whether it’s taking on a new project at work or trying something completely new, stepping out of your comfort zone can be incredibly rewarding.
Not only will you gain new skills, but you’ll also develop a greater sense of self-confidence and resilience.
Personal Relationships Goals
21. Use positive self-talk
I bet you say things to yourself that you would never, ever dream of uttering to a friend or loved one – so what makes you think you can say them to yourself?
Raise your awareness of negative self-talk and flip the switch to be kinder and more supportive to yourself, especially when things get tough. The more you love yourself, the more likely others are to love you too!
22. Let go of toxic relationships
It can be hard to let go of loved ones who have hurt you. But if someone is constantly bringing you down, it’s time to rethink the relationship and either cut ties or make some improvements.
You don’t need anyone in your life who doesn’t support your personal growth; there are plenty of good ones out there!
BE INSPIRED: 20 Things to Let Go of for a Happier & Better Life
23. Nurture good friendships
On the other hand, good friends are hard to come by, so make sure to nurture your relationship with the keepers!
24. Go on a date night
If you’re single, go on a date.
If you’re married – GO ON A DATE!
It can be easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day routine of work, kids, and errands. But make time for each other by scheduling regular date nights – even if it’s just a simple dinner and wine together at home.
The quality time will help keep your relationship strong!
25. Be honest
Don’t be afraid to be honest with yourself and others.
Honesty is usually the best policy in personal relationships because it will save you from unnecessary conflicts that could arise if dishonesty was involved.
26. Speak their love language
Are you familiar with the five love languages? If not, you NEED to read that book!
There are five primary ways people express love and affection, and The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts can help you understand and communicate better with the ones you love.
(Psst – it’s not just good for romantic love – the concepts can also help you understand family and friend relationships better as well!)
27. Give a compliment
Compliments are a great way to make someone feel good, and they’re also a fantastic way to show your appreciation for someone. Why not try to give at least one compliment every day?
It can be something as simple as “You have a really nice smile” or “I appreciate the work you put into this project.”
28. Make time to catch up
Make time to regularly catch up with your partner, friends, or children. This doesn’t mean that you have to talk about serious things all the time – in fact, it can be enjoyable to just chat about nonsense!
But by making a point to catch up regularly, you’ll stay close with the people you care about and keep communication flowing smoothly.
29. Take turns treating each other
No matter what kind of relationship you are in, sometimes you give, and sometimes you take! If one party is always taking but never giving, that’s a recipe for dissatisfaction.
Be thoughtful and generous and take turns treating each other to a nice dinner, movie, or weekend away. It’ll help keep things fresh and remind you both that you care about each other.
30. Make eye contact
Eye contact is the first step towards a deeper connection with another person, so make it a habit to look people in the eyes!
Personal Health and Fitness Goals
31. Quit smoking, drinking, or doing drugs
There are no long-term benefits to bad habits like this; sooner or later, you’re going to lose in a big way.
Commit to yourself and your loved ones to get clean and sober for good.
32. Eat healthily
It’s easy to say, “I need to eat healthily,” but it’s a lot harder to put into practice.
Start by making small changes – like adding one piece of fruit or vegetable to every meal or reducing the number of snacks you keep in the pantry.
Gradually increase the number of healthy foods you eat until it becomes a habit.
33. Lose weight
Set a realistic goal for yourself and gradually work towards it. Making small changes to your diet and exercise routine will help you lose weight safely and effectively.
34. Drink more water
Keeping your body well-hydrated is key to maintaining your health. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water per day – more if you’re active or live in a hot climate.
If you find it challenging to drink enough water, try adding lemon or cucumber slices to make it more interesting.
35. Move your body
No more couch potatoes!
Find ways to move your body every day, whether it’s taking a brisk walk, going for a light jog, or doing some basic stretching exercises. Not only is it good for your physical health, but it also releases endorphins, which make you feel good and can help to improve your mood.
36. Play a sport
Play your favorite sport or try a new one. Sports are a great way to get active, have fun, and meet new people.
37. Join a gym
If you find it hard to work out at home, consider joining a gym.
Just make sure you USE that gym membership so you don’t regret spending the money later. It helps to pick 2-3 days a week and stick to those days to make going to the gym a habit.
38. Sleep for eight hours or more
A good night’s rest is essential for a healthy body and mind. Getting enough rest will also improve your mood, help you stay focused, and give you more energy during the day!
39. Cut back on sugar and sweets
Sugar isn’t good for you. It can cause weight gain, cavities, and other health problems. Try to reduce the amount of sugar you eat daily.
40. Walk and take the stairs
Instead of riding the elevator or escalator, make it a habit to take the stairs. You’ll get in a few extra steps and get that heart pumping with minimal additional effort on your part.
Personal Finance and Money Goals
41. Ask for a raise
If you like your job but feel like you should be making more money, why not ask for a raise?
More often than not, it’s easier and cheaper for a company to give a current employee a raise than it is to find, hire, and train new talent.
Just make sure to show up with solid evidence that you are a valuable employee, like performance reviews and data on significant milestones you’ve helped your company hit – I once convinced my way two raises in a single year!
42. Pay off all of your debt
It can be hard to be relaxed and happy if you are constantly worried about your debt.
Make a plan to pay off all your credit card or personal debt as soon as possible. Once you are debt-free, you’ll be able to breathe a little easier and save up for the future with more peace of mind.
43. Save up to buy a home
A home can be a great investment and provide stability for you and your family.
Start saving up for a down payment, researching mortgages, and getting pre-approved. With some planning and hard work, you will be able to buy your dream home in no time!
44. Track your spending for 30 days
It’s important to know where your money is going each month, so if you’ve never tracked your spending, now is the time to start.
At the end of 30 days, you’ll have a good understanding of where your money is going and what areas you can cut back on. This knowledge will help you save for your personal finance goals in the future.
45. Participate in a no-spend challenge
No-spend challenges are another great way to save more money.
Pick a set period of time, such as one week, 30 days, or even one full year, and commit to halting spending during that time.
46. Create a budget
Budgeting is a personal finance skill that everyone should learn. Start with your income and expenses to create an effective budget you can follow each month.
47. Read books on personal finance
It’s a shame that most of us don’t get enough personal finance knowledge in school, but luckily, there are tons of great books to educate ourselves in this area.
Make a list of must-read personal finances books and get started ASAP!
48. Start a side hustle
Just imagine what you could do with an extra $500, $1,000, or more!
A side hustle is a great way to make extra money, and it can also help you develop new skills – you might even find a new passion that can turn into a full-time career like I did when I started my blog and YouTube channel!
49. Sell clutter for extra cash
There’s no downside to this!
On the one hand, you clear out anxiety-causing excess clutter in your home, and on the other, you make extra cash on the side. Win-win!
50. Be mindful with your spending
Practice intentional buying and mindful spending habits, and you can reduce the likelihood of wasting money buying stuff you regret later, which saves you time, space, energy, and MONEY!
Personal Travel Goals
51. Learn a new language
Studying a new language gives you valuable life skills, boosts your confidence, and even furthers your career in certain fields.
Pick a language that appeals to you and start studying!
52. Go to a theme park
There are so many fantastic theme parks worldwide waiting for you to explore them! Pick a new one to visit every year and make some unforgettable memories.
53. Do a zipline tour
How fun would it be to see new sights while ziplining down a mountain or over a rainforest canopy?
It’s sure to be an adrenaline rush!
54. Visit a new country each year
Why not travel to a new country each year? Pick somewhere a place you’ve always wanted to go, make sure your passport is up-to-date, and start making plans!
55. Go on a cruise
A cruise is a great way to explore new destinations while enjoying a floating hotel’s amenities. There are cruises to suit every budget and interest.
56. Take a road trip
Road trips are a fun way to bond with friends or family as you tour and explore new destinations. Pick a route and start planning your pit stops!
57. Volunteer or teach overseas
There are tons of terrific programs that allow you to teach English in foreign countries, or you can travel to volunteer to help communities in need.
Do some research and find a program that speaks to you – your personal goals, interests, and skills.
58. Climb a mountain
Choose your mountain, and start planning your ascent! This personal goal can take many different forms – from an easy hike to a more difficult summit climb.
59. Participate in a wine tour
Whether it’s Napa Valley in California or traveling along the Rhine River in Europe, wine tours are a fun adventure for any wine lover.
60. Go camping or hiking
There are so many beautiful places to explore in this world – why not go camping or hiking in one of them?
This personal goal can be as simple as finding a new park near your home or planning a more elaborate backpacking trip.
Personal Mindset Goals
61. Be positive
Turn that frown upside down!
Bad things happen, even to good people, but a positive attitude can help you bounce back and keep reaching for your dreams even when the going gets tough.
62. Go outside
Get out in nature instead of sitting at home all the time. Nature is calming to the senses and can give you a fresh perspective along with that fresh breath of air.
63. Reduce overwhelm
We all get overwhelmed sometimes, but don’t allow yourself to become paralyzed.
Nothing is impossible if you break down big items into smaller chunks; you’ll feel less stressed out, and things become much more manageable.
64. Let go of grudges
Most of the time, the grudges that we hold hurt us more than the people we hold them against, eating away at our happiness and health.
Let go of your wrath; you don’t have to forgive someone who hurt you, but you can let go of your anger and hate and choose to move forward and heal instead.
65. Love yourself
This doesn’t mean being conceited or narcissistic but rather accepting yourself for who you are and embracing your quirks.
When you love yourself, you’ll be less likely to put up with negative people or situations because you’ll know your worth and won’t need validation from others.
66. Ask for help if you need it
Everyone can use a helping hand sometimes. It’s okay to ask for help when you need it, and there is no shame in doing so.
Remember that asking for help does not make you weak; even the strongest people experience struggle.
67. Find work and life balance
If your life has been feeling unbalanced, then it’s time to find that work-life balance.
Ask yourself if that thing you think you need to do really needs to be done. Try putting away your work on the weekend and seeing how much better rested you feel.
68. Meditate for 30 minutes a day
Meditation is a great way to find focus and personal time. It can help manage stress, anxiety, and depression.
Focus on nothing but breathing in and out; if thoughts come into mind, acknowledge them, and let go of them. You can start with five or ten minutes if you’re new to meditation and work up to 30 minutes a day.
69. Reduce social media interaction
Social media is real, but it isn’t reality.
People often compare themselves to others and find their lives lacking, when in reality, the person they see shows a highly edited slice of their life.
Try reducing the amount of time you spend on social media and find other more meaningful ways to spend your free time.
70. Do a digital detox
Like reducing social media interaction, doing a digital detox can be beneficial.
A digital detox is essentially unplugging from all electronic devices for a period of time. This could be a day, weekend, or even longer!
You can also work on decluttering and organizing your digital life, such as the files on your computer or the apps on your phone. You can get more help by checking out this blog post on how to declutter and organize your home
Personal Life Satisfaction Goals
71. Declutter your home
If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed at home, it might be time to declutter your personal space.
Decide how you want to tackle your home decluttering project, whether it’s with the KonMari method or going room by room, and do a little bit every week.
72. Go for quality over quantity
Less is more!
It’s better to choose high-quality items that can last you a long time than to waste money buying crap that doesn’t last long.
This can look like thrift shopping for nice clothing instead of buying cheap fast-fashion items. There are so many ways to go for good quality without having to spend a ton of money.
73. Own less
This goes hand in hand with the last goal. You have less to take care of, clean, and spend money maintaining if you stop always wanting more and choose to own less!
Be mindful of what you bring into your life and only keep truly useful items or things that bring you joy.
74. Be authentic
Be yourself and stay true to your beliefs and values.
75. Simplify your life
Find ways to simplify your life. These don’t have to be big; even small changes over time can add up to significant results.
76. Unfollow people
Unfollow people who are not bringing you joy or do nothing for your personal growth. This will leave room for you to pay attention to those who matter most and make you feel good.
77. Make the bed
Make the bed at the beginning of each day. This one small task will give you a sense of accomplishment and help set the tone for the rest of your day.
78. Live with intention
Strive to live with intention, which means being purposeful in your actions and decisions.
This doesn’t mean you have to have everything figured out, but instead that you’re taking the time to think about what you want and how you can make it happen.
79. Find healthy ways to de-stress
How do you like to de-stress? Maybe you want to take a nice, hot bubble bath, go for a walk, or read a book.
Whatever your personal preference is, do that as often as possible and look forward to it – just try to avoid social media or anything that could make you feel worse.
80. Start a gratitude journal
A gratitude journal is a great way to keep track of all the good things that happen in your life, no matter how small they may seem.
It can also help you focus on the positive aspects of your day-to-day, which can be beneficial when times get tough.
Personal Family Goals
81. Listen to your loved ones when they speak
Make an effort to listen to people when they speak to you and hear what they say. This can deepen your friendships or relationships and help you understand each other better.
You’ll probably become more popular, too!
82. Have a screen-free day once a week
Screen-free days are becoming increasingly popular and for a good reason. They can help us take a step back from the constant stream of technology that now dominates our lives. They also make room for personal reflection.
So pick one day a week for the entire family to put away the screens and be fully present and together.
83. Go outdoors together
If you want your children to learn how to spend some quality time with one another and enjoy the great outdoors, they must see their parents doing just that regularly.
Find ways to get outdoors as a family and appreciate the natural world around you. Children who love nature are more likely to grow into adults who protect and preserve it.
84. Start a family hobby or activity together
The family that plays together stays together! Find a hobby or activity that you can all do together. This could be anything from hiking and camping to bird watching or painting.
The important thing is that you’re doing something as a family, forging memories and relationships along the way.
85. Be there for your kids
Life is busy, and it can be challenging to spend time together, but it’s so important to be there for your kids.
Children need their parents to be present and engaged for them to feel safe, secure, and well-loved. The time you spend together now creates stronger family bonds for the future.
86. Establish family traditions
One way to create strong family bonds is by establishing family traditions.
These could be something as simple as sitting down for a movie once a week or making pizza together on Fridays.
Whatever it is, make sure it’s something that everyone in the family enjoys and looks forward to doing.
87. Laugh together
Find ways to laugh together each day, whether playing silly games or making funny jokes. Laughter is good for the spirit!
88. Make a family bucket list
It’s fun to sit down together and talk about fun things you want to do together!
Make a bucket list of places you want to go, the food you want to eat, and things you want to do as a family and put it somewhere you can see it every day – then cross them off as you go!
89. Share chores
Sharing chores is a great way for the entire family to contribute to the household.
Make a list of all the chores that need to be done and divvy them up evenly – everyone will feel great knowing they’re pitching in!
Yes, kids can help with things like drying the dishes or folding clothes – it’s good for them!
90. Play games
Playing is a good way for parents to connect with their kids, from board games to video games.
Games teach kids essential life skills like turn-taking, how to follow directions, cooperation, and much more. It’s valuable family time!
Personal Legacy Goals
91. Find a local cause you want to support
There are always great causes looking for volunteers and donations. Find one that resonates with you and dedicate some time (and maybe even money) to helping out!
92. Set aside 10% for tithing
If you belong to a church, you can practice tithing to donate a portion of your income – usually 10% – to your church. This is a common way for religious people to give back to their spiritual community.
93. Start your own charity
If you want to do more than just donate money, consider starting your own charity. This can be a lot of work, but it’s incredibly rewarding to help people in need directly.
94. Prepare your will
Secure your legacy by preparing a legal will and testament. This will ensure that your wishes are honored after you die.
95. Sponsor a family in need
Some charitable organizations allow you to directly sponsor a family or child in need, providing food, clothing, and housing.
Often you get pictures or letters with life updates as they grow, which is a nice personal touch.
96. Collect trash or clean up local parks
Your local parks and other green spaces can become cluttered with trash, so why not donate your time to help clean them?
This personal goal helps maintain the beauty of nature while providing personal satisfaction.
97. Run a 5k or marathon to raise money for a charitable goal
It can be fun and motivating to run or walk for a charitable cause, so search for charitable events in your area and participate!
98. Write your autobiography
Put pen to paper and start writing your autobiography! You can start with your personal story, the struggles you’ve overcome to get where you are today.
This personal goal helps build self-awareness and creates a legacy while giving others the opportunity to read about the valuable life lessons you’ve learned over time.
99. Donate blood or plasma
You can donate blood or plasma to help save lives! It’s a quick process, and you can feel good about doing something helpful for those in need.
You also get rewarded with a little extra cash in your pocket. Just make sure to check donation center policies on receiving compensation for plasma donations.
100. Build a free Little Library in your neighborhood
This personal goal is a fun one – build a Little Library in your neighborhood! It’s a great way to share your love of reading with others, and it can also help promote literacy.
Just gather some old books, create or buy a small wooden structure or box, and paint it however you like. There are plenty of free or paid woodworking plans and instructions on how to build them online so that it can be a fun project for sure!
Final thoughts on personal goals
Setting personal goals is a great way to improve your life and achieve what you want.
It can be tough to think of good examples of personal goals that appeal to you, especially if you’re not used to them, so hopefully, this list has given you some helpful ideas!