Today we are talking all about setting and reaching life goals. Not necessarily daily goals, weekly goals, or even yearly goals. But rather big, huge lifetime goals.
Because when it comes to setting and then reaching major lifetime goals, there is something I want you to know. Something that may even seem obvious once you hear it, but yet, it’s not.
Keep reading to learn more about how to set life goals. Or skip ahead to the end of this article for what you need to know about reaching life goals (that no one ever tells you- until now!)
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Have you ever made a list of life goals?
Do you enjoy planning for the future and setting goals in life? When you take a step back and think about your life, what are your biggest, most important goals? What do you really want to experience or accomplish in your lifetime?
These kinds of questions and more can get you thinking about what your life goals are. It’s important to know that your goals in life will be different at different times in your life- and that is perfectly normal. We can never predict the future or know how our goals in life will change.
Still, it’s good to have a sense of what you really want out of life.
Common life goals
There are some things that pretty much everyone wants in life. And some things that many of us would like as well. Common life goals include:
- Having a good-paying job.
- Falling in love.
- Getting married.
- Having children.
- Owning your own home.
- Being healthy and fit.
- Helping others.
Thinking of whether or not any of these common goals apply to you is a good starting point when thinking about your own major life goals.
Making a list of life goals
Beyond some of the more common life goals, what else do you see for yourself? You might consider your hobbies, passions, community, family, religious influences, and more when considering your life goals.
You may also want to consider what you don’t want in life. What you do not want can be just as important to consider as what you do want.
You can make a mental list of your goals, or write them down as a list on paper. Whatever works for you.
Journal your goals to see the big picture
Journaling can be an excellent way to get to know yourself better and understand what you truly want out of life. Because sometimes, you have to go deep and ask yourself many questions to understand your own needs, wants, and desires. Journal writing can help define your major life goals list.
If you enjoy journal prompts to help you write and brainstorm, you may enjoy the following:
(More journal prompts to help you with writing at the end of this article.)
How many lifetime goals should you set?
Depending on where you are in life, you could set a few or a whole bunch of life goals to reach. There’s really no such thing as dreaming too big, and we will talk about that in a minute.
Considering how much we all grow as people over our lifetimes, what you set for goals now may change 5 or 10 years from now. You may or may not hold the desire to reach those goals forever. But write them all down anyway. It’s good to think about what you want most strongly. Knowing what you want helps you plan, take action, and manifest your best life.
What about setting unrealistic goals?
Some goals are more “unrealistic” than others. For example, you may have the goal of going to the moon, but we all know that goal is a tough one.
On the other hand, don’t discount yourself. Much of what you imagine to be unattainable may in fact be closer to reach than you think. Don’t be afraid to dream big- it’s the only way to start the process of actually achieving your major life goals. A dream leads to action, which leads to attainment in the big picture.
If you have a strong passion for something, a strong desire, then it’s always worth following your heart. Forget what anyone says and follow your heart to reach your big goals anyway. You never know where your heart will lead you.
But what about failing and not reaching your goals in life?
Just about everyone has fears about not reaching their goals in life. It’s a fear that you simply have to face. And live your life how you want to, going after the dreams and goals in life that matter to you.
It helps to adjust your mindset so that failing isn’t seen as a bad thing. Failing always leads to learning. To personal growth. And paves a new, previously unknown pathway forward.
If you fail, you still achieve something; knowledge. You might want to roll your eyes, or you might even feel angry hearing that. Yes, I know your big goals are important. They are critical. I’m not trying to make them seem less so. But if you do happen to fail, you have to find a way to give yourself grace, accept it, and move on. Learning from failure is a hidden gem.
The bottom line? You need to face your fears and do it anyway.
What about not setting any goals in life?
What if you don’t have any goals? What’s wrong with simply existing in the moment?
But ask yourself Why?
Is your goal to live in the moment, each moment? Is that your spiritual journey? Or is there something else going on with you, like apathy or depression?
How do you feel about not having any goals? Peaceful or low? Do you have a vision for life rather than goals? A big picture?
Maybe you don’t like the word “goals.” Maybe you don’t want to put pressure on yourself to reach some ideal. Or there is some other reason for your lack of goals in life. It’s OK, give yourself some self-acceptance and grace. You are entitled to your own point of view.
Alright, we have talked a bit about setting big life goals- how to set them, what to consider, and about not setting any goals. Now let’s get to the ultimate point of this article. What no one ever tells you about reaching big lifetime goals- until now.
I’m going to start with the backstory of how I came to this realization about reaching big lifetime goals.
Reading and reconciling my journal writings of life goals
Rewind time back to March of 2021- My family and I were packing to move from Maine to Florida. I had boxes of old stuff to sort through. I needed to declutter before packing the POD.
Some of the boxes I had to sort through contained my old journals. I’d saved each and every journal over the years. All of my journals from my entire life. That’s a lot of journals!
But I simply couldn’t take them all to Florida. There was no room. It was time to build a fire pit.
As I sat there next to the fire, snow, and winter dirt all around on a cold Maine day, I skimmed through each journal as I placed them in the fire to burn one by one.
And I felt very, very sad.
I realized I’d been writing about reaching the same life goals for my entire life. My goals really hadn’t changed much since I first started journaling years ago. And many of my life goals I still hadn’t accomplished. I felt like a total loser and quite sorry for myself for a few moments.
Considering life goals achieved versus goals still in progress
Two steps forward, three steps back.
I saw in my journal writings years of the same lame problems. I felt heartbroken. Why hadn’t I figured some of this stuff out yet? Why were so many of my life goals still not accomplished? What the heck was wrong with me??
But then I stopped wallowing for a moment. I asked myself What have I accomplished all these years?
And I was able to answer myself with some pretty incredible responses: 11+ years of marriage, 3 children, and a ton of amazing live music events to name a few things, LOL.
I also came to a realization about reaching big lifetime goals. It’s the entire point of this article.
What no one ever tells you about reaching life goals
Here is what I came to know about reaching life goals that I’ve been wanting to write about ever since:
Do not feel bad if you still haven’t accomplished your major life goals, at any age. I’m 41 and still have many life goals left to accomplish. The thing is this:
Life goals really can take you your entire life. That is why they are called “life goals.”
Not daily goals, not yearly goals but life goals. This may sound obvious, and I hope you’re not disappointed in reading, but sometimes you realize something like this and it feels profound.
So many times, I’ve felt frustrated that some simple concept took me so long to grasp. How come no one ever told me about this??? I’ve often wondered. That’s why I’m sharing this revelation with you, friend! I hope it shines a light at the end of your tunnel and helps you see the bigger picture about reaching your big goals in life.
Consider this about reaching big life goals
It can take your entire life to process your relationship issues in order to be able to manifest true, lasting love.
It can take years of soul-searching to find the perfect career you absolutely love.
Or years of failing as an entrepreneur to finally reach success.
It can take a lifetime to heal from abuse and trauma so that you may have the love and stability you desire.
And so much more. There are so many examples of how and why life goals really can take your entire life to reach. So, never, ever feel badly if you’re not there yet. Never give up on reaching your goals in life and living your dreams.
Take a step back and see the bigger picture when it comes to achieving or experiencing your life goals. Know what you want and go after it, no matter how long it takes you.
Please let me know what you think in the comments.
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