Personal Goals

We explain what short- and long-term personal goals are. In addition, we tell you what the steps are to establish them.

A runner triumphs in a race and reaches his own personal goal.A runner triumphs in a race and reaches his own personal goal.
To the extent that someone achieves their personal goals, their personal satisfaction increases.

What are personal goals?

Personal goals or personal objectives They are the conditions, achievements or events that you want to achieve in life. They may be related to professional, financial, emotional relationships or lifestyle. Anything desired can constitute a personal goal, as long as it is important to the individual and can be obtained in the future.

Since everyone wants different things in life, personal goals can be very different from one individual to another, even when they have to do with similar aspects of life (love, professional, etc.). In any case, personal goals They constitute a north towards which, ideally, everyone directs their steps.that is, a task that defines or conditions the personal decisions of each person.

For example, if a person wants to take a trip next year, he or she will need to save money for transportation and expenses, which probably means cutting back on other, less important, everyday expenses. In addition, he must renew his passport, obtain the necessary vaccinations and undertake other procedures.

To the extent that someone achieves their personal goals, their personal satisfaction increases as well as their self-esteem and overall sense of happiness.

See also: Self-realization

Importance of personal goals

personal goals They are a determining factor in life planningsince they are key in people’s relationship with themselves, in their happiness and their ability to harmonize with others.

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This is because failure to meet personal goals brings with it a feeling of frustration, futility and discomfort, decreases self-esteem and makes interpersonal relationships difficult. Thus, To live a moderately happy life, an important step is to have achievable personal goals. and work to achieve them.

Long and short term personal goals

An artist draws with chalk on the ground.An artist draws with chalk on the ground.
Learning an artistic discipline can be a long-term goal.

Personal goals can be of different nature, but in general they tend to be of two types, depending on how long it takes to achieve them:

  • Short-term goals. They are those that can be achieved in a relatively short period of time, that is, in the near future. They involve conditions that have already occurred or are close to occurring, and do not require large and prolonged investments. For example, studying hard to get a good grade on an exam.
  • Long term goals. They are those that are visualized in the distant future, that is, they will require a prolonged and continuous effort to be achieved, and that in turn encompass different short-term goals. For example, graduating as an engineer from university (which will require several years of meeting short-term goals, such as passing exams).

It is also possible that there are medium-term goals, that is, intermediate goals that are neither short nor long term. But, in general, almost all goals can be seen in the distant future or in the near future.

How to set personal goals?

Setting personal goals correctly is key to achieving them. In principle, because setting impossible goals only leads individuals to frustration, but also because without setting goals correctly, it will be more difficult to take the necessary steps to move forward with the correct decision.

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The following are some elements to take into consideration to correctly set personal goals:

  • Set realistic goals. What distinguishes dreams and fantasies from actual goals is that the latter can be achieved with effort, while the rest is usually left to fate. Thus, setting impossible or unrealistic goals is the simplest way to fail and become frustrated. For example, considering being the richest person on the planet is a very unrealistic goal, at least for the vast majority of the world’s population.
  • Set achievable goals. The goals that someone sets for themselves should consist of issues on which they can work actively, that is, they depend on their own effort and will, and not on the intervention of chance. This is because controlling destiny is impossible, while directing one’s own behavior is possible. For example, it is useless to set the goal of winning the lottery, because no matter how many tickets are purchased, it is impossible to force the number purchased to be chosen by chance.
  • Distinguish goals according to their deadline. It is important to identify short-term goals and long-term goals, so as not to expect conditions in the near future that normally take years to build. It is also vital to identify short-term goals that are an integral part of long-term goals, since meeting close goals is the best way to achieve distant goals and stay motivated. For example, if the long-term goal is to visit all the countries in America, it will be more manageable to consider visiting each country as a short-term goal.
  • Set goals as part of a routine. Goals are not isolated events in life, but are the result of perpetuating or correcting personal routines so that they gradually approach the ideal state. Therefore, when setting an objective you must also set out the routine to obtain it. For example, if the goal is to be in very good physical shape in a year, the ideal is to consider what series of exercises should be practiced to do so and in what way.
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Examples of personal goals

Some examples of personal goals may be:

  • Complete the bachelor’s thesis and complete university studies.
  • Saving up for a long-postponed trip.
  • Read a new book a month for a year.
  • Start a healthy eating regimen and lose weight.
  • Become a relevant politician on an international scale.
  • Buy your own house in a good neighborhood of the city.
  • Sell ​​the car to buy a new and better one.
  • Making new friends.
  • To learn a new language.

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  • “What are personal goals?” in Campus Training.
  • “How to set your personal goals” in Developing the Business.
  • “Personal goals: definition, 30 examples & Tips for goal setting” at Berkeley Well-Being Institute.