Long-Term Goals

Last Updated: May 24, 2024

Long-Term Goals

Long Term Smart Goals Template for Students

Long Term Smart Goals Template for Students
File Format
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Size: 73 KB


Long Term Smart Goals Template

Long Term Smart Goals Template
File Format
  • MS Word
  • Google Docs
  • Google Slides
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • PDF

Size: 100 KB


Has anyone ever asked you about your life goals?

You might have been caught off-guard by your school’s guidance counselor or felt ambushed by a family member over Thanksgiving dinner. It might have left you speechless for a moment. It might have even kept you up all night just thinking about it. Because the truth is, we all know what we want in life, but we never considered them as actual “goals” to fulfill. Don’t worry about it, because we’ve all been there. But there’s a difference between passing a test and getting a doctorate degree, as the latter can take years to achieve. This type of aspiration in life refers to a long-term goal, where it can take about five years to accomplish.

While these goals can give your life direction, getting there has to be the hardest part. You will experience a series of tests that will challenge your patience and persistence. But by the end of each chapter, you’ll come to realize that everything you’ve ever been through will pay off.

What Are the 3 Types of Goals?

There’s only one thing we want to do with our own goals in life—achieve them all. But behind our own wants, there are three types of goals that keep us going. Specifically, these are the time goals, focus goals, and topic-based goals.

1. Time Goals

These goals are simply the ones that are defined by a certain period of time. This type is divided into two, namely, short-term and long-term goals.

Short-term Goals

These are the goals that can be accomplished quickly or soon. This could be done whether later, this day, this week, this month, or this year. Elaborately, a goal that is achievable in 12 months or less is considered short term.

Here are some of the examples that are considered as short-term goals:

  • Brush your teeth
  • Eat lunch with friends
  • Buy a new soap
  • Take a test
  • Make a contract

Long-term Goals

On the other hand, a goal is deemed as long term when it takes more time to do and cannot be accomplished quickly. These are the things you want to do in the next 12 months or more.

Here are some of the examples that are considered as long-term goals:

  • Graduate from any level of education
  • Get a master’s degree
  • Run your own business
  • Raise a child

2. Focus goals

These are the supreme goals that affect your other decisions in life. From the name itself, you focus your personal and professional life to it; thus, you can describe these as life-changing goals. Moreover, your behavior and perception in life can be subconsciously influenced by focus goals too.

Here are some of the examples that are considered as focus goals:

  • Follow the profession of your lineage
  • Be the employee of the year
  • Enter the prestigious university of your dreams

3. Topic-based goals

These are the goals intended for a particular area of one’s life. This could be linked in either of your personal, professional, business, financial, etc. aspect of your life.

Here are some of the examples that are considered as topic-based goals:

  • personal goal could be acquiring 6-pack abs within half a year
  • financial goal could be saving money for your date
  • business goal could be establishing another branch on the other side of the island

Though there are specific types of goals, it does not mean that all of the goals are classified exclusively for a certain type only. In most cases, a goal could be considered under two types of goals, and sometimes, a goal falls under the three (no pun intended).

Long-Term Goals—Why Are They Necessary?

“What are your long-term goals?”

This is a question that often leaves us pondering for a moment. While it may seem like a simple question to ask, it’s actually quite difficult to answer. But really, how hard can it be?

Build a house by the beach. 

Travel around Europe. 

Win the Nobel Prize. 

Have a million dollars in cash.

Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? But not everyone shares the same dreams and aspirations, as these are typically shaped by our own experiences in life. So, why do we possess these goals? Why are they a significant part of our lives?

Let’s be honest, it’s impossible to achieve a long-term goal overnight. It usually takes years or even decades to attain. But despite the time and effort, it takes to reach one’s goals, it’s exactly what we need to keep pushing forward. A goal gives us the drive to wake up each day with as much enthusiasm as the last. But in order for us to reach our long-term goals, we need to learn how to take baby steps first. This is usually done by setting short-term goals to serve as the stepping stones for our journey towards a better tomorrow. This way, we can see the progress of our actions and take pride in the accomplishments we make, regardless of its level of impact.

You see, we are all swimmers trying to find our way in this world. And although we can never escape the doubts and fears that drown us, our goals are there to motivate us to swim even as the waves grow stronger. Nothing is for certain. You might even find yourself drifting away at some point. As the waves crash so does our spirit to keep moving forward. There will be days when it all gets a little too much for you to handle. You will get tired. You will feel like giving up. But if you focus on your goals, you’ll find a reason to swim back to the surface.

We live a life that is as beautiful as it is chaotic. These goals serve as a reminder for us to make better decisions, even when we feel like we’re running out of options. We’re like walking time bombs that could explode any minute. But having a goal in life inspires us to become a better version of ourselves each day. While the bumps in the road can slow us down, it should never serve as a reason for us to stop. Remember, it’s not a race, so treat each day as an opportunity for you to grow closer towards your goals.

8 Personal Long-Term Goals to Inspire You

We all have our personal goals to pursue, whether these are career-driven ambitions or family-centered aspirations. But sometimes, we find ourselves staring blankly into space, just wondering what options we have and which path to take. Long-term goals may vary for each individual, depending on one’s values and outlook in life. However, it’s always exciting to contemplate the future. The uncertainty may seem scary at first, but it gives you something to look forward to and work for as each day goes by. While reality may have other plans for us, there’s no harm in setting goals for oneself to accomplish. Here are a few examples of long-term goals for you to dwell on:

1. Pursue a Higher Education

Graduating from high school can be a scary thing. You have to make a crucial decision that may affect your life forever. Some people go to college to get a degree, while others go further along to get a Ph.D. If you’re the type of person who holds a vision with education as a priority, then don’t think twice about it. If money becomes an issue, then get a scholarship or look for a job. You don’t have to do this right away, either. You can go on and chase other dreams before you begin hitting the books again. This will allow you to weigh your options before you commit to a life-changing decision. It doesn’t matter when you start, as long as you have the drive to finish it.

2. Travel the World

You don’t need to create goals that revolve around your career path all the time. Sometimes, it can be about finding yourself. Who you are, who you want to be, and how you could become that person.

If you haven’t noticed, there’s more to life than Facebook posts and Instagram likes. There’s a whole world out there that’s ready for you to explore. From the flashing lights of Times Square to the northern lights in the outskirts of Iceland, there are so many places waiting to be discovered. You can go to exotic locations with your significant other to achieve one of those relationship goals that everyone seems to be obsessed with. Traveling the world can give you an experience like no other, as you meet people from various cultures, visit the historical land with that have lived through time, and learn languages that are a whole lot different from your native tongue. But do this at a time when you need it the most. It could be a part of your retirement plan or you could start while you’re still young and able. There will come a moment in your life when you’ll feel as if you’ve lost your way. When this happens, find yourself by getting lost in this wonderful world. By the end of your journey, you’ll learn to appreciate the life given to you.

However, if you do wish to travel, make sure you have a sufficient amount of resources ready. After all, plane tickets aren’t cheap. So this is one short-term goal to reach before you begin planning your long-term goals.

3. Open a Business

For business-minded individuals who want to make a break in the industry, this one’s for you.

Running a business is one thing, but starting a company is a whole other story that could take years to accomplish. For one thing, entering the corporate world can be risky. There’s always the possibility of going bankrupt over wrong investments or being scammed by fellow associates and other investors. Because of this, you need to prepare yourself financially, mentally, and emotionally. The stress and pressure of being an entrepreneur can take a toll on your well-being, so you need to take good care of yourself. Although this can be quite daunting, don’t be scared to take the leap. You can’t expect a return on investment anytime soon, but it’s a gradual process that’ll all work out in the end if you put your heart into it.

4. Start a Family

Almost everyone dreams of starting a family of their own. Some couples are blessed enough to get pregnant, while others are fortunate enough to seek adoption. This core group of society can give any individual a reason to chase their goals. In fact, every other item on this list can involve a family as well. Both parents and their children are willing to make grave sacrifices for the hopes and dreams of their own families. The love, care, and support that one receives from this entity serve as an inspiration to work harder each day. But a family is also a responsibility, and keeping your family whole requires a level of commitment. Your family must be a significant part of every decision as well, especially when it comes to developing a stronger relationship with one another. Despite the trials and hardships that a family faces, the value of a family is worth every blood, sweat, and tears shed.

5. Buy a House

A house may be nothing without the people in it, but there’s something about having a roof over your head that’s absolutely special. For most, a house is a product of one’s hard work. It’overarvelous investment for all the overtimes, sleepless nights, and extreme budgeting you’ve done for years. A house is one of those things a family can share with one another and create memories together. The size of the house is not much of a big deal, nor is the location of the structure, as what matter most is the story behind it along with what’s to come. While some individuals opt to buy a house from the market, others would rather build one from the ground. Seeing your dream house come to life before your very eyes is an unforgettable experience for anyone. But this involves commitment, patience, and determination, so you need to be prepared for whatever may come along in the near future.

6. Pursue a New Career Path

Tired of spending your weekdays with the usual nine-to-five shift behind an office desk? Maybe it’s time to switch things up a bit.

People can be quite hesitant about changing career paths, especially when it becomes a little difficult to let go of what we’re accustomed to. But if you desperately yearn for a thrilling experience, then this can be your best option. Don’t be afraid to try something new. You can quit your job as an accountant and go to law school instead. Don’t listen to what other people have to say about this change and focus on what you want to do. It won’t be a smooth road ahead, but it might just be what you need to make your life a lot better than before. This is great for individuals who want to do something drastic with their lives. Who knows, maybe you really are destined to be an artist than a doctor.

7. Publish a Book

Can you just imagine a book written under your name flying off the shelves at Barnes & Nobles? How about having a best-seller in Amazon? Publishing an actual book can be an unusual goal for some, but it’s certainly something you might want to consider.

You can write about anything you’re passionate about. It could be a guide on how to live a happy life, a novel about two souls that fall in love in the city that never sleeps or even a cookbook of homemade recipes that have been passed down from generations to generations in your family. Whatever it is, be open to the idea of writing. Whether your book sells a thousand copies or less, this can be a good learning experience that may change your life forever. It may not be for everyone, but it’s definitely worth a shot.

8. Retire at Age (“Insert Age Here”)

There’ll come a time when your legs won’t work like they used to before. You’ll start forgetting the things you knew about an hour ago. You might even have a hard time climbing a flight of stairs you used to dash pass a couple of years before. When all these occur, maybe it’s time to consider retirement.

When you’re young, it’s good to plan ahead. This allows you to make the right financial investments for the future. Retirement is bound to come somehow, whether it’s due to old age or health issues. Setting a goal on when you wish to retire is an excellent way to prepare yourself for what’s to come. You’ll learn to make the most out of present scenarios and plan on what happens after you retire. Do you plan on moving away from the city? Or do you want to start a charity foundation with your retirement money instead? Although these goals may possibly change as time goes by, it’s good to have something planned nonetheless.

How to Achieve Your Goals

Envisioning your future can be fun and all until you realize what it takes to get there. It’s pretty clear that long-term goals cannot be accomplished by just sitting back and letting the universe take its course. It involves an extensive process of planning and perseverance. If things take time, then you need to make it worthwhile. Although we all have our own way of getting by, here are a few life tips on how you can achieve your goals:

  • Focus on making yourself better. Constantly doubting yourself will get you nowhere in life. Before you even begin setting your goals, you have to believe in yourself first. You can never run away from the insecurities that consume you, but you can learn to live with them. Take care of yourself. Don’t worry about what others are doing, where they are in life, and how much they’ve accomplished, as we all run at our own pace. Life’s not a competition, but your greatest competitor is yourself. The only way for you to get where you want to be in life is to believe that anything is possible.
  • Set your priorities straight. Do you really need to buy a new dress when you could be spending that money on your college fees? Is procrastinating a good idea right now? Even with our goals in mind, we can get sidetracked at times. This is not something we could avoid so easily, considering how, as human, as we are, like to make spontaneous decisions without thinking it through. That being said, try not to make decisions when your mind is filled with things that may affect it. After all, you don’t want to make a decision you’ll end up regretting.
  • Let go of the “what if’s” that cloud your mind. What if I screw up? What if I’m not good enough? What if it doesn’t last? — see, this is where everything goes wrong. When you begin making negative assumptions before you even took the chance. This type of negative energy will cause you to lose everything you’ve worked for because it’s the only thing that’s stopping you from experiencing something great. Learn to take risks, even if you feel unsure about its outcome. In the end, you’ll only regret the chances you didn’t take.
  • Every time you fall, get back on your feetThe only thing worse than failing is to never have tried at all. There are thousands of inspirational stories of celebrities, politicians, athletes, and other famous personalities hitting rock bottom at some point in their life. These touching tales remind us that there will be obstacles along the way. But with the right attitude, you’ll learn to jump over each hurdle and come out victorious. But then again, reaching your goals won’t be easy. You’ll be battered and bruised along the way, but all these will be more than worth it by the very end of your journey.
  • Rest when you’re tired, but never quit. Life always has its setbacks. This is something we can never avoid, no matter how careful we are with our choices. And sometimes, it can get extremely overwhelming. You’ll start to question yourself, and the goals you once set out will start fading far into the distance. This can be a painful experience for anyone to bear. You’ll shut yourself out from the world and spend your days thinking of what went wrong. When this happens, allow yourself to rest. Spend time with the people who mean a lot to you and work on getting yourself back on track. It’s okay to take the time off, but never use this as a reason to quit. It may not work out for you now, but there’s no telling what the future has in store for you.
  • Surround yourself with people who support your ambitions. Find someone who shares the same ambitions as you, who understands your vision, and is willing to help you pick up the pieces when it all breaks. And when you do find these type of individuals, don’t let them go. You should never depend on people because people are only temporary. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t let them support you. Open your heart to those who have nothing but good intentions for you. Learn to accept the love they give. You need to accept the fact that there are things you cannot do alone. We all need a shoulder to cry on, someone to lean on when everything turns grey, and a helping hand to hold when it becomes too hard to stand on your own. These type of people are rare, so make sure you keep them in your life for as long as the universe lets you.

Reaching a long-term goal requires more than just a positive mindset. In life, you have to make sacrifices. Sometimes, the right decisions may not always be the best ones. It may seem like the only option left, but the reality is that there will always be something better. So never sacrifice the things that make you happy, especially when they’re one of the few things that are keeping you alive. Because one day, you’ll regret it. And when that day comes, it will be too late. Let go of the things that stop you from chasing your dreams, but don’t lose yourself in the process. You can change your goals over time, but you can never replace the moments you missed and the people you lost throughout this process.

Step back. Take a deep breath. You only have one life to live, so make it count.

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