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Types of Goals and How to Set Them

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Types of Goals and How to Set Them

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It is very important for us to have goals for every stage of our lives. A life without a goal is only an aimless journey, in which we have no clue about our progress. More often than not, we don’t set goals because we don’t know how to set them.

In this article, let us see about the main types of goals we need to have in our lives and the way in which we need to set them.

types of goals

Many Types of Goals

Broad classifications

Goals can be broadly classified into two types – result-oriented (or outcome) goals and performance (or execution) goals. There may be many more types that you would have heard of, but all of them fall into either of these two broad categories. As the name indicates, outcome goals are those that focus on the result whereas performance goals are those that give importance to the process/execution or implementation of actions that help you achieve a particular result.

Common classifications

Goals can be long-term goals or short-term. Usually, goals that are set for a time of around 5 years are considered as short-term, whereas goals set for a time longer than 5 years are considered as long-term. Planning to save enough to take your family on an international holiday is a short-term goal. Planning your finances well so that you can enjoy your retired life peacefully is a long-term goal.

Long-term Goals

These are further classified into lifetime goals and capstone goals. Lifetime goals are the ultimate goals that you plan to obtain at a certain stage in your life. Capstone goals are periodic or interim goals that help you achieve the long-term goal. In the above example, having a peaceful and financially secure retired life is your lifetime goal. Small goals that help you in this objective (such as putting aside monthly savings regularly, choosing your investments carefully, planning for contingencies, etc.) are capstone goals.

Short-Term Goals

These are further classified into foundational and provisional goals. Foundational goals are very short-term goals that you plan to achieve within one year. Provisional goals are those that you can set yourself on a daily basis so that it helps you to prioritize your work.

How to Set Your Goals

Irrespective of whether you are setting goals for your personal or professional lives, you should always remember to set SMART goals. No, we don’t mean that your goals should be intelligent. SMART is an acronym for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.

  • Specific – Be very specific about what you want to achieve and by when, as it will give you a clear idea to plan your goals accordingly.
  • Measurable – You should be able to measure the success of your goals at different stages so that you can be sure of traveling on the right path.
  • Attainable – You need to be reasonable while setting goals; don’t be too hard on yourself and set impractical goals that you have no clue of.
  • Relevant – Set goals that are related to your overall personality development. There is no need to travel the road less explored or thinking out of the box if you can do without innovation in your life.
  • Time-Bound – All your goals (short-term and long-term) should have a completion target. Having a set deadline will motivate you to work hard to achieve your goals.

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