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Setting Meaningful Goals for Your Life

Updated on April 9, 2014

In business, stretch-goals designed to incorporate a group effort towards a common goal is common knowledge to every good business person. Without goals in business, there is no reason to 'push' for a target, and it becomes easy to fall into complacency. That is, until another business that is hungry comes along and starts to eat your piece of the pie. No business owner likes giving up any part of their market.

Goals keep the business focused on a target, and while the business focuses on reaching this target, every decision it makes must bring it closer to attaining the goal. Simple, straight forward, and easy to apply to our own life. Right? Not really.

In this hub, we will focus on creating meaningful goals that will give you what you want most out of your life. It may mean missing things that you really love doing, but it's a sacrifice that you have to be willing to make for the end really justifies the means. Granted, there will be times when life gives you a curve ball, and it knocks you flat on your ass... get up, dust yourself off, put your head down and windmill your way back up the hill.

Here are a few of the important factors you should consider when setting meaningful goals for your life:

  • Setting SMART Goals
  • How to Set Goals in Life
  • Setting Personal Goals
  • Crazy Bucket List Ideas

The driving force behind setting goals, is the desired result.
The driving force behind setting goals, is the desired result. | Source

Setting SMART Goals

Okay, so, if you've been alive anytime in the last 10 years or so, you would have stumbled across the SMART goal acronym. Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Timely goals rolled down the corporate hill into every business across the nation.

SMART goals have become a mainstay to businesses that strive for success. It provides management with a roadmap to get from one point to another by meeting goals and deadlines. It is as important to know what you've done to be successful, as it is to know how you've failed. You would be surprised to know that some managers don't exactly understand what they did to have an increase in sales because they habitually look for business losses.

SMART goals are designed to promote a forward momentum of leap frog towards whatever your goals are. Although SMART goals are normally used in business, you can apply it's helpful points to any type of goal that you have in mind. Lets take the acronym in SMART apart:

The S stands for Specific. The goal must be plain but specific enough that you will understand what to place the target on. Just saying you want to increase sales is a very vague statement - you won't know when you've hit your goal or how close you are to it. If you include a monthly sales increase of 15% over last year, now you're really zeroing in on a specific goal.

The M stands for Measurable. You have to be able to measure where you are, and know when you have hit your goal. A daily or weekly measurement will keep the goal alive and track progress.

The A stands for Achievable or Attainable. Whatever the goal is, you should be able to achieve it - that does not mean an easy goal. Goals should be stretch goals, you should have to work towards it.

The R stands for Relevant. How is the goal relevant to your business - why should it be your goal and how will achieving the goal propel your business forward?

The T stand for Time-Bound. When making goals, you need to give them a time limit. Depending on the goal, you might make more than one time limit. You should be able to track and measure how close you are to your goal at several points along the way.

How Strong are Your Goal Setting Habits?

Do you have personal goals for yourself?

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How to Set Goals in Life

To set goals for your life, you would have to have some idea of where and how you would like to end up in life. To set meaningful goals for your life, you would also have to have lived at least a quarter of your life through to have a good idea of what you want out of life. This makes it okay if it's already late in your life - the longer you live, the more you know exactly what you want out of life. Unfortunately, the later in life that you find yourself, the harder it is to take steps to get where you need to be.

When you want to set goals in your life, the easiest way through the process is to start from the end of your life and work backwards. Think about the way you want to live - whether it's in a retirement home, with one of your children, or in your own home. Think about your expenses and money that you will need to keep yourself in the lifestyle that you want when you retire.

Think about the things that you want to get done in your life - it might be to travel the world once or twice, or climb mount Everest. It might be to write a book, or to become an accomplished writer. Will you be renting, owning your same home, or perhaps doing a reverse mortgage on your home to have money available.

Whatever your goals are, understand that goals change, and you may have to adjust - especially in life. Things happen that affect how you view and value life, and this changes everything. You should always write your goals down, it should be easy to read, and seen every day. One day you'll check it off, and this is an awesome accomplishment that will give you a boost in wanting to complete the next task.

A trip to tour the Hoover dam is always a great goal to see more of America.
A trip to tour the Hoover dam is always a great goal to see more of America. | Source

Your Goals in Life

Period in Life
Goals Expanded.
Tools to Accomplish Goals
Your income gathering years. Focus on career building.
Higher education, jockeying career for best position.
Family and Home
1st home, family already started, career in full-swing.
Solid investments, further education to stay ahead in career.
Kids in college, vacations and travel
Investments for kid's college, saved positive cash flow for expenses.
Medical expenses, more travel.
Living off of investments.
An overview of what a very basic goal list would look like.
Everyone has their own mountain to climb, with perseverance, determination, and the ability to continuously affirm your desires, anything is possible.
Everyone has their own mountain to climb, with perseverance, determination, and the ability to continuously affirm your desires, anything is possible. | Source

Setting Personal Goals

When setting personal goals, think about goals that would benefit you personally. These could also have underlying benefits that would be helpful to your work, or your family and friends, but it should serve a main purpose - that being yourself. It should bring a sense of accomplishment in your life. and like all goals, it should be specific, and time sensitive.

Setting personal goals are for personal growth, or personal satisfaction. Goals like learning how to play the guitar or learning a foreign language is always a starter goal that can tag on other goals like; Learning how to speak Spanish for a trip to Spain, or learning to play the guitar to surprise your wife with a love ballad on your 10th anniversary.

Sometimes personal goals can be a lot of fun, and other times, it's a goal that you have to push forward with until you have completed it to enjoy it. Spending more time with family means lots of play dates, road trips, and weekend excursions. But it could also mean having to spend time away from family and friends because you need to spend your down time learning your foreign language.

Try to keep your personal goals as light as possible. It should never be too hard to accomplish, but accomplishing your goal, should give you cause for celebration.

Crazy Bucket List Ideas

A bucket list, you may have heard is a list of things that you need to accomplish before you kick the bucket. This term made famous by the movie; The Bucket List with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. It is a must see, if you have not seen it yet.

Basically, you would write down a list of things that you would like to have done before you die. Now, we should take into consideration that these are things that should be realistic. If for example an item on your list is to run with the bulls in Spain, you should be in some physical shape to actually run form them, or you may not get to the rest of your items on your list. If you have a dream to climb Mount Everest, you should know what to expect as far as conditioning and expense. Unless of course, like the movie, you run into an eccentric millionaire that wants to share the wealth with you.

If you make such a list, it needs to be treated as a long term goal. If you make this list early enough in your life, you should be able to check off the more physically demanding ones. Later in life when you have bankrolled enough of your investments, you will be able to take on the more costly items on your bucket list.

As far as danger is concerned, that's a tough call. You should realize that if your bucket list contains items that would endanger your life, you have to understand the risk you're putting yourself under. However, if like the movie, you find that you are dying anyway, well, what the heck.


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    • KawikaChann profile imageAUTHOR

      Kawika Chann 

      4 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      Thanks for stopping by DDE, I appreciate your comment. Meaningful goals tend to hold better because they are important to you. Peace. Kawi.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great idea to set meaningful goals a very useful hub indeed.

    • KawikaChann profile imageAUTHOR

      Kawika Chann 

      4 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      HI Deb, thanks for stopping by - thanks for the comment and good words. Peace. Kawi.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Very sensible and well done!

    • KawikaChann profile imageAUTHOR

      Kawika Chann 

      4 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      I like your way of thinking dataload. That's a neat perspective. Thanks for your comment, I really appreciate it. Peace. Kawi.

    • DATALOAD profile image


      4 years ago from Michigan

      I like to think of goals as a road map. After you break down your goals you just need to follow the "map" to success.

    • KawikaChann profile imageAUTHOR

      Kawika Chann 

      4 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      Lol. Baby steps. Thnks for your comment flourish. Peace. Kawi

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      4 years ago from USA

      Good recap of SMART goals, and I like the photo of that mountain that you've climbed!


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