The Best Areas Of Life To Set Goals [Improve Today]

The Best Areas Of Life To Set Goals [Improve Today]
goal setting, vision blocks

It’s a new year and we have big visions this year.  We may have set new year resolutions and we may be trying to find areas of life to set new goals that we know we can reach a breakthrough with this year.  The problem that arises is we often fail to prioritize these goals and focus on key areas of life that we are wanting to improve.

It’s important to stay laser-focused on goal setting.  We discuss this in several posts and how it’s important to stay on track after having setbacks. The first step any goal setting campaign needs to go through is a “reason why” and an ending point and full vision in mind. Instead of being all over the board with your goal setting, I wanted to break goal setting down into categories and give some small examples.

The hope is that this can potentially lock in your focus and give you potential ideas on areas to get to really double down on and begin improving immediately. When you pick on area to improve on and focus all efforts at it, amazing things can happen.  Let’s jump into these categories and cover some potential goals you can set to achieve this year.

Here is a list of my top Areas of goal setting to get you started on the right path.

Health Goals- No More Cigs, Cigars or Cupcakes

Health goals are always at the top of all our list. For whatever reason, we are never happy with the current state of our health, bodies or overall nutrition and always feel like we need to improve.  This is a good thing and we should be trying to balance a healthier life and taking active steps towards things that are good for us.

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However, we usually run into the problem where we are terrible at setting realistic goals with health-related goals.  We usually set goals like losing 40lbs. With no timeline and reasonable way of reaching this goal.  Obviously, losing 40lbs by itself is a great goal but it’s so broad with no action plan that it’s tough to stay the course. Here are some of the top areas to set goals in the health category toward improving a quick little tip you can use to help achieve the goals with a little more ease.

Weight

When setting goals for weight, stop being so vague and just picking a goal such as lose 10lbs in a few months.  Break it down step by step.  Try setting goals such as

  • Losing .5 per Week Over the Next 20 Weeks
  • Avoiding Carbs
  • Adding in 30 Minutes of Cardio 3x A Week

These small goals are the foundation of reaching the ending desired outcome and the part of goals that’s typical left out of the equation.  Try this method and see what results it nets you. Be specific.

Stopping Tobacco Use or Smoking

This may easily be one of the toughest goals to achieve for most.  Cold turkey works for some but not at all. Some do well this form of goal setting until a night out at happy hour with the friends breaks down all will power.  This is a goal, you really must “want it”.  A good direction to go is to start by not being so hard on yourself.

This can be a goal where you work on cutting back before fully quitting.  Again, this goal is tough to gauge and so many people have different results that it’s tough to even give goal related advice on.

Try starting by kicking back to one cigarette at night and one in the morning or only smoking on a night out with the friends.  The biggest key to achieving this goal is to take baby steps and have a real reason to want to quit.  Typically, a goal like this, doesn’t do very well if it’s just a vague goal of “I want to be healthier this year”. Sadly, this is also a goal where it sometimes takes tragedy striking to realize it’s time to make a change.

Maybe a family member or someone you know is now going through lung cancer or another health related issue. It’s crazy how these life events all of the sudden light a fire under us to get moving with goals. Eric Thomas (motivational speaker) likes to call this “the goal changing from a want” to ” A Must”.

Drug Use (Marijuana)

Maybe your vice isn’t tobacco but it’s marijuana instead.  You can try the same approach of cutting back first to eliminate the horrible feeling of cold turkey quitting a bad habit.  Again, this goal isn’t going to work well without a clear reason for “wanting” to accomplish it.  Dig deep to find the real reason you want to quit and create and action plan to achieving it.

Overall Peak Fitness

Sometimes we aren’t necessarily trying to lose a certain amount of weight or give up a certain vice.  Sometimes we are just looking to take things to the next level.  If this is you, approach the goals with small milestones.  Give yourself a goal each week and slowly work your way toward the end results.

Anxiety and Stress

Good luck with this one.  Kidding.  It’s completely doable to find active ways and set goals to find ways to lower your overall anxiety and stress levels.  Sometimes this could be setting goals to pick up new hobbies such as yoga or meditating.  Sometimes it’s just setting the goal of slowly eliminating the root source of stress. Start finding what’s actually cause the stress. First way to solve a problem, is recognizing there is a problem. Find it and start actively finding ways to fix the issues.

Personal Goals- Getting Your **** Together and Self Improving

Reading More

This is much more common than you think.  This probably in the top 10 for goals people set on a regular basis.  Reading more, especially on topics that interest us is a productive goal.  This can also double down to help you improve more in your career or other endeavors. 

Maybe you are trying to launch a business? Start with setting a goal of reading one new book on entrepreneurship each week and slowly increase reading time as you progress.

Courses and Classes

Maybe you have the desire to eventually launch a new career or begin something new.  No better way to do so then getting a degree or taking classes to advance your knowledge in any given field.  If you haven’t been to school in a while. Start with a small goal of taking 1 or two classes to start with and then slowly increase as you become more comfortable with the schedule.

Patience

This is another area I’m still working on myself and it’s a tough goal to set but it can have major benefits.  Learning to have more patience and learning clever ways to remind yourself that it’s something you want to improve on can dramatically reduce stress and help you with other areas of life.

You can set this goal in so many areas that it’s hard to list them out but to just name a few examples, maybe you want more patience

  • With Your Kids
  • With Your Spouse
  • With Your Employees or Employer
  • With Financial Situation Such as Reducing Debt
  • With Achieving Results in General

All things worthwhile take time and it doesn’t happen overnight. Learning to increase patience and get better accepting that things take time can go a long way to making you happier, less stressed and overall reduce anxiety levels.

Sleeping Less

This goal personally took me forever to achieve as well. Man, does it make a difference once you get in a groove.  When I launched my own blog and was currently running another business.  The difference of achieving this goal in your life has endless results.  Start this small as well. 

Maybe just get up at the same every day at first.  After you get in a rhythm, begin knocking back a few minutes each day and hold that time for a few weeks and slowly keep cracking the time back.

Once you have this goal pushing along, the difference it can make on your work, fitness schedule or just seeing your kid off onto the bus each morning is benefits that make it tough to go back to the old schedule.

At first, it will be terrible and then you will find yourself wishing more and more time as available throughout the day.  This is one goal I’d place at the top of the list of setting immediately and getting used to.  It’s one of the best things you can ever do.

More Organized

Any of you have a garage that looks like an episode of Hoarders? Maybe you have an office that’s impossible to even focus because everything is all over the place?  This could be a simple and popular goal to kickstart. Learn to get more organized, document calendar items and take control of your day.

Marriage, Romance and Dating Goals- Improving Our Relationships

This is by far a neglected goal but still popular.  It never seems to be at the top of the list for Americans anymore but it sure is an important facet of goal setting.  Our families are the most important things we can ask for or work toward getting better for.  Let’s dive into some of the goals and areas you can look to improve on this year with your relationships and family.

Setting Time Aside

Here’s an easy but neglected often goal.  Learn to set time aside for your spouse.  We all have the tendency to lose sight and tunnel vision on the task at hand and forget the little things in the process. Learn to set goals to set aside just a small amount of time for your spouse or significant other.  Overtime you can find clever ways to keep this goal active and your relationship thriving.

Financial Goals- Stop Throwing Money Out the Window

The big money goals.  Perhaps the most popular category of goal setting we come across. We all want more money, we want it faster and we want all the cool toys that come with it.  Financial goals are important but often targeted with bad approaches. Let’s take a look at a few primary goals we can focus on.

Savings and Retirement

None of us want to work the rest of our lives but sadly, that’s exactly what we will be doing if we don’t start setting goals and milestones for putting money away for the future.  Again. Start small and stay dedicated and have some consistency.  Maybe start a Roth IRA or contribute more at work to your 401K.  It doesn’t mean you have to give up Cable TV and your daily coffee at Starbucks.

Sure, some things may need left out of your budget that you don’t need but if you slowly set goals for your future, you’re not going to regret it.  Remember. Anything that sucks now, usually benefits you greatly in the future.  Anything that seems purely awesome now, usually cost you something in the long run.

Children Savings

College cost a lot of money.  So, does weddings.  This is an area where setting goals to contribute just a little bit of money to something like a 529 plan or even a simple savings account could save us a lot of anxiety and stress down the road.  Again, start small and put just a little back each month.

Purchasing a Home

If you are a younger reader out there or maybe just getting ready to get your first home, this is the time to set some financial goals to start putting away money toward your first home purchase.  Quick reminder. Without 20% down with most new home purchases, you get hit with something known as (PMI) or personal mortgage insurance.  This adds a hefty amount to your monthly mortgage bill.

Setting goals to get a nice down payment on your home is a great idea and starting today could result in more money stocked away then you think.

Reducing Debt

This one is stressful but goal that needs considered before many of the other goal categories on the list. Reducing debt can dramatically improve the quality of life and lead to your relationship with your spouse improving, and your overall stress levels dropping.

Did you know that over 30% of divorce occurs due to money related issues?

When setting this goal, it may seem like a daunting task but chip away slowly. Stay disciplined and consistent. Once you knock out one debt, take the money you just jail broke per month and double down on the next debt. 

After you do this a few times you have a boosted confidence, feel relieved and it may become an addiction. Keep at it and set small milestones until you are pocketing a majority of your pay. Once you have this goal knocked out of the way the key, don’t let yourself slip back into debt.

Business Goals- Stepping Up to The Next Level

This is the area of goal setting that has been spreading like wildfire.  Everyone wants to launch a new business, find ways to make money from home and be the next Mark Zuckerberg.  While I’m not Mark Zuckerberg or even close, I can tell you that I personally believe anything is possible with solid goals, discipline, consistency, vision and pure execution. 

Let’s look at some of the areas you begin setting goals and improving on within your business.

Growth Goals and Expansion

If you own a business you don’t necessarily have to grow or expand but, in most circumstances, this is the general idea and great for the business.  Sit down and look at your business and how it could 10x to the next level. What does this look like? Visualize it.  Write ideas down as they come and find a way to translate these ideas into actionable goals that you can begin chipping away at.

Revenue Goals

Didn’t bring in enough as a business last year? Been there.  It’s extremely common. It’s also extremely frustrating. So common that they are favorite friend the IRS even allows us to claim losses on our business for three years in a row before they start prodding around.

This year, if this is you, it’s time to set goals to get these numbers up.  If you’re in sales maybe you need to set a goal of adding a certain number of calls to your day. Maybe you need to learn or take a free online course about how to sell more efficiently or even teach employees to do so better. Regardless, this is an easy fix and low revenue is no excuse for throwing in the towel.

Most businesses fail, shut the doors and give up way to early. With some goal setting that starts today and has a clear path that you and your employees can act on, it’s possible to turn your fortunes around starting immediately.

Employee Goals

This ties directly into growth and expansion or just learning not to be an *** to your employees.  If you have employees, maybe it’s time to set goals to find clever ways to becoming a better boss.  Maybe this takes more profit out of your pocket and maybe it doesn’t.  Maybe it just means leading by example more often or teaching your employees your vision and the correct way of doing things.

Sometimes, you may not have employees yet and your goal should be to take the pressure off yourself.  I once read a book called the “The 4 Hour Workweek”.  Talk about lighting a fire under me.  If you don’t learn to outsource the task, it’s difficult to grow. You need to learn to remove yourself from the operations and teach others to handle the task.

If you don’t learn to remove yourself from everyday operation, you can’t grow. It’s that simple. If you do grow, it peaks early and at low numbers. Teach others to take over, be the visionary and leader and not the one making sales calls daily or taking out the trash.

Leading by example doing these task is one thing but doing them because you think others can’t is more pure stupidity than anything. Any task can be outsourced if you take time finding the correct employees.

You know those guys out golfing on random weekdays that still look like they afford nice things with no issues? There’s two scenarios in play when you see this. Either they learned to set goals and outsource work, or they can’t afford what they are doing and it will eventually catch up.

Get to the point where you can afford those luxuries and set goals to expanding with employees or to be a better boss toward your own employees that you currently have.

Pivot Goals (Moving On)

This is one of favorite areas of goal setting.  We call this stop doing things you hate and learn to recognize the things you love.  Unfortunately, we all have obligations and bills.

We all also dwell over some silly stuff sometimes.  What will my family think if I do this? What will my co-workers think when I quit?  Here’s my answer. Who cares.  Are you happy? If, you are. Awesome and I’m happy for you.  If you aren’t. Stop thinking of ridiculous reasons to stay inside the analysis paralysis mode.

If you haven’t picked up on the trend and what I like to preach, it’s setting small goals to hit the MEGA goal.  If you need to pivot to a new career, a new path or anything along these lines, start working on it today. Take blogging for example. Just don’t use me as an example.  I was the idiot who went all in with no sailboat to return to shore.

As stupid as many could call me, I also took massive action. I still do to this day. It hasn’t been easy but I can wake up excited to work. I can help others with writing, I can do SEO which I love. Although tough, 100% worth it.

I did, however, have a much better alternative.  Start slow. Set a small goals of completing a few small tasks that is slowly building the new island you intend on traveling to.  Rome wasn’t built in one night and you don’t need to try to be the first to do so.  Even Facebook took years to see success.  If you are thinking of pivoting, most likely you need to. Set some small goals and get started on your new life plan today.

Religious and Spiritual Goals- Get Back to Church

A good goal to have and a popular area of goal setting.  If you haven’t been to church or been practicing your given beliefs, maybe it’s time to set goals to get back to church or back to the old ways?  Simply setting the goal of becoming more involved in the church or just attending again on a regular basis could be a good start to getting back on track.

Community Service and Being Active in the Community- Help Someone Out Today

This is a nice feel good area of goal setting and something more of us should probably look to add to list.  Set small goals to get back out into the community and find active ways to take part in your community. Maybe it’s just participating in a food drive or helping with a local salvation army. Nonetheless, it’s a good set of goals to strive to achieve.

Charity

Granted, not all of us can donate to charity but those that do may make the goal to start donating to our favorite causes on a more frequent basis. Doesn’t have to be loads of cash but this is a popular area many individuals elect to improve on and we can take something and learn from them in this noble motion.

Hobby Goals- Do Something You Enjoy Again

These are not only my favorite area of goal setting but also maybe the most underserved area. We all need to get better at making time to improve our hobbies, enjoy our hobbies and even become experts in our hobbies. Whether you like to fish, hunt or shoot guns, you need to have that time for yourself and set goals with hobbies too.

Making Time

This is step one with the hobby goals. Don’t neglect things you enjoy otherwise you will slowly begin not enjoying anything.  Make time and make it priority to perform your hobbies. All other areas in your life will be more enjoyable. Maybe the goal is to go just once a month because of time.

That’s perfectly fine. Just find a way to make time for hobbies and slowly get back into them if you have neglected them for a period.

Improving a Hobby

Improving hobbies is perhaps the best goals for pure enjoyment that exist. For me, I love fishing. I set little goals to increase my catch rate each year or to even fish a different body of water each year.  These may sound trivial, but they aren’t.

it’s important not to always just strive at getting better at your job and the most serious things in life but also the things you enjoy that overall reduce stress. I also love firearm collecting and shooting. It relieves massive amounts of stress for me. However, I don’t just go shooting. I try to improve and learn new skills with it on a constant basis.

Picking Up A New Hobby

Some of you may have just read the top advice and thought to yourself, I don’t really have any hobbies. If this is the case, your goal should be to find a hobby and something new. 

Set a goal to try something new once a month until you find something you can see yourself enjoying for the foreseeable future. No need to ignore the goals in general just because you are still searching for a favorite hobby.

Friendship and Other Relationship Goals- Call an Old Friend

Friends are important as well. We should make goals to keep in touch with our old friends and set goals to carve out time to see them and stay active in each other’s lives.  Sometimes friendships fall apart because of different interest overtime but sometimes it’s from pure lack of effort. Set some goals to catch up with an old pal.

Parenting Goals- Be A Better Mother and Father

Probably one of the most frequently search items on the internet is how to become a better parent. The answer? Work at it.  It takes work as well. Just like anything that takes work, goals can be set to improve. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can set small goals to becoming a better parent.

Make More Time

Begin by setting more goals just to carve out a little more time for your kids. Even if it’s as small as 15 minutes of undivided attention.  That 15 minutes of you caring about nothing except for them and go a long way.  Writing these down and reminding yourself that this a real goal that you want to improve on and go along way as well.

Create a New Hobby with Your Kids

Here’s a way to blend two areas of goal setting together. Mix things up and start a new hobby with your kids. Maybe it’s fishing and maybe it’s another sport. Hell, it could even be playing a video game. Whatever it is, set the goals and make it a priority to do so.

Vacation

Sometimes setting the goal of improving on the parenting side of things may require a breather from reality. Maybe grab your calendar and set the goal of getting the family on a camping trip or family vacation a few times a year even if it’s just for a day or two.

Get Involved

Set the goal to get more active with your kids and put work and other obligations to the side briefly.  Set the goal to attend more functions with your kids. This could include sporting events or even school related events. Nonetheless, an area I’m sure many of us could do better at.

How Do We Get Started, Where Should We Begin?

If you have read many of the other blog posts on this site, you know where we are recommending beginning with all areas of goals. Find your “reason why” and motivation. Create clear stepping stones that get you to the goal sole and tackle the goals in bite size chunks that are manageable. The bite-size accomplishments over time add up to the entire meal.

What Are You Going to Change About Your Life This Year? How Are You Going to Do It?

So what plan of action are you going to put together? Where are you going to make a change? Which area of the goal setting that are most common are you struggling with the most? Which areas are you crushing it at right now?  Whatever the struggles may be, find a way to reset your mind, rethink the strategy and get back on track.  Take it slow and get to a point where you taking down 1 goal after another till you reach the ultimate success.

About the author

Joshua Martin


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