Goals we set to gain the success we want now is the second post in the series. Did you have time to read the first installment?  If not, here is a link to it.  In this continuation we are going to delve into the brand or type of goals we set, and how they are key to achieving what we want.

It’s already established, successful people set goals. In fact, it’s second nature to them. They learned to do it at an early age and perfected the process by the time they reach adulthood.  It is a constant part of who they are.  At some point, it becomes habitual because they don’t think about it, they just do it consciously and subconsciously. Thriving because of the goals they set is not uncommon, it’s second-nature.

Successful people are consummate goal setters

And if what they are doing works, then they shouldn’t change a thing. That Includes following the fundamentals in this post. But for those of us who’ve dabbled with goal setting through the years, this post may be beneficial. Delve further into goal setting and how it can help to change your intentions to actual results. To actually achieve your objectives can be life changing. It shouldn’t surprise you to know you already set goals. What you most likely don’t realize, or are unaware of, is what type of goals you set when you do set them.

When we wake up in the morning and plan our day, are we setting goals? If so, what type?  What about when we decide to lose ten pounds? Or to have children?  These scenarios represent different goals we set. It’s normal to not think about the essence of goals we set, when we’re setting them. However, a step towards setting effective goals is understanding and being aware of our goal and their classifications. Awareness helps to not just set realistic goals, but also achievable goals.

Familiarity with the goals we set has many benefits. Knowing contributes to the likelihood of success by making our objectives tangible and more reachable. The goals we set consciously are reachable because we focus on the reason for setting the goal and the expected outcome.


What are the essentials of goals we set?


Does the word time-based sound familiar? It’s a part of the golden rule of goal setting mention in the first post in the series. As mention, when you add a deadline to goals, it shows a willingness and eagerness to achieve the goal. Time-based goals fall into three categories.

Short-Term Goals

The goals we set daily are short-term goals. They are short term because we intend to accomplish them soon, or in a short time. The time frame can be today, tomorrow, or even a week from now. Some say a short-term goal can take as long as a year to achieve. However, the longest duration of a short-term goal shouldn’t be longer than six months. If a goal takes a year to achieve, then it falls into another category.

Here is another way to look at short-term goals.  When you go on a job interview and the interviewer ask what are your short-term goals? What do you think the interviewer is trying to find out?

They don’t want to hear “I want to be in charge of the company in a year” – that’s grandiose and potentially unrealistic.”  They want to determine your level of commitment right now, or if your employment expectations are realistic or fleeting. When we set short-term goals, we are showing our commitment to pursuing our objectives daily; chances are those objectives are realistic ones. It also means you are not daydreaming and have pragmatic objectives.

Here are examples of short-term goals we set compared with mid-term goals, the next type of goals mention below.




Lose 10 pounds Join Jenny Craig in a month
Exercise daily Join gym in two months when I have the money
Jog 1 mile each day Run a 5K marathon this spring
Update my resume Ace the interview I have with Google in a month


Mid-Term Goals

Mid-term goals connect your immediate or short-term goal with your long-term goals. See your mid-term goals as a compass; its purpose is to guide you and keep you on track to achieving the immediate goals you set, and to point you towards the long-term goals you plan to achieve.

Let’s say your short-term goal is to lose ten pounds. How do you plan to lose the ten pounds? When you create a plan, when you implement steps towards achieving the plan, you are setting a mid-term goal.

The purpose of setting mid-term goals is to further define a short-term aim which leads to a long-term objectives.

Here are examples of mid-term goals we set compared with short-term goals




Attend a seminar Produce a seminar
Go to New York City for a job interview Move to New York City
Resize my engagement ring Plan my wedding for next year
Research where to spend the summer Next year, spend the summer in Brazil


Long-Term Goals

Did you know when we set long-term goals we never forget them? Our subconscious mind actively continues to make our intentions a reality. These types of goals can aid in the actions we take and even contribute to our sense of purpose.

Long-term goals are the type of goals we are essentially familiar with; consider the examples listed below. As you can see, they are the typical life goals we set, whether it’s having a child, or buying a home. For long-term goals, we set them because we have these hopes and aspiration we want to see become a reality, so we tell ourselves we are going to accomplish them.

It’s easy to see how setting long-term goals can seem idealistic.  Even with the risk of fantasizing our objectives, long-term goals fuels our intentions and give purpose to our lives. Every effort to not form impractical or dreamy intentions is the ideal. Instead, try to focus on goals that’s achievable.

The key to setting effective long-term goals is to use short term and mid-term goals as a measure for achieving long-term objectives.When we set long-term goals, we should keep in mind they won’t happen immediately, and should expand to shorter, manageable, continuous steps.


Here are examples of long-term goals we set compared with mid-term goals


Long -Term


Buy a car Produce a seminar
Start a family Move to New York City
When I get my masters teach at Oxford University Plan my wedding for next year
Retire at 65 Next year, spend the summer in Brazil

Life-Based Goals

Creating life-based goals are key to living a life that is in harmony with your ideals. When you set goals that conforms to what your values, hopes and dreams are, you are on a path to creating the fundamentals needed for a balance life. You can easily see how time-based goals contribute to life-based goals. To clarify, your life-based goals lacks effectiveness if they don’t conform to a time-based design. Here are examples of goals that’s considered life-based.

Career Goals

For most of us, from the time we are old enough to realize it, we know we will not go through life aimlessly. In fact, at a young age, we aspire to be something, a doctor? A lawyer? For some, what we aspire to be and what we are actually doing is so fulfilling, it feels like a life calling. For others, it a process that starts by identifying a career that eventually leads to a calling. The above label says career goals because that’s where it starts for many. It’s through the inception of a career that we learn what we want to do. The aim however is finding that which we want to do, that leads to what we are doing. I know that was a mouth full!

Financial Goals

Money goals are something we all set, because money is a sustaining factor of life. We all need it, want it, and know we can’t live without it. Even the most frugal individuals need a measure of money.

Because it is a basic need, we strategize how to spend the money we have or earn. Read this post by The Penny Hoarderon how to make your money work for you. If we make enough to pay our living expenses and still have a surplus, we usually set financial goals to save and invest with retirement in mind. If we don’t make enough to have extra, then we implement goals to make more, whether with an additional job, moonlighting, however we can supplement what we have.

Yes, with financial goals, the ordinary steps are usually budgeting, saving, and paying off debts. Even with finances, you still apply the short-term to long-term concept. In fact, it’s what most people strive for, to make enough money to take care of short-term needs, so they can set mid-term goals leading to long-term objectives.

Essential Goals

These type of goals comprise of goals we set for the basics of life. The basic can range from waking up at a certain time, to volunteering, or taking a vacation. Essential goals are anchored by the other life-based goals we set and how successful we are at achieving them. For instance, if your career is questionable, then your finances may not be what you want it to be. If both of the above goals are off, then they directly affect the essential goals. Let use taking a vacation as an example. It’s an essential goal because it contributes to the quality of your life. If your finances are within your expectation, you can take that vacation. If it’s not, then you can’t.


Even though we set goals daily, it’s rarely we set conscious goals. Setting conscious goals is the first step to turn invisible goals into visible ones. When we set conscious goals we deliver decisive messages to ourselves, one of which is a belief in ourselves and what we can accomplish.

Think of the words of Earl Nightingale when he says: “ People with goals succeed because they know where they are going.” Start today to create conscious goals that will guide you toward accomplishing your long-term objectives.


How do you set goals? Share with our community.