Setting long-term goals sound simple, as we all want the same things — to be wealthy, to live in a big house, and be in a loving relationship. The reality is, societal rules oftentimes impose these goals.
Even if you achieve them, it doesn’t guarantee you happiness and fulfillment. Because happiness and fulfillment are unique to each individual. So, setting long-term goals in alignment with your unique Soul’s blueprint is paramount for living an extraordinary life.
With that being said, how can you set long-term goals that are truly unique to you? Here’s what you need to know to discover your authentic aspirations and make them real:
- What Are Long-Term Goals?
- What Are Examples of Long-Term Goals?
- 6 Tips to Set Up Long-Term Goals
- How to Achieve Long-Term Goals?
The idea of long-term goal setting is to build a series of short-term goals that bring you closer to it. So dreaming big and taking small incremental steps are keys to your success.
What Are Long-Term Goals?
Long-term goals are goals you envision for your future. This is why they require commitment, perseverance, and timing. In short, they meet the following criteria:
Think of them as your North Star — they drive direction and strategy in life. Not only do they reflect your priorities and values in life, but also your personal vision and mission. So they can’t be attained overnight.
According to Jon Butcher, creator of Lifebook and trainer of Mindvalley’s Lifebook Online Quest, living your life to the fullest requires setting long-term goals for all aspects of life. In Lifebook, there are 12 major dimensions:
- Health and fitness
- Love relationship
- Quality of life
- Life Vision
These dimensions are interconnected, so you shouldn’t skip them. Most importantly, having long-term goals for each dimension will make your life vision complete.
How do short-term goals differ from long-term goals?
The main difference between the two is timing. Short-term goals can be accomplished within a short period, from six months to three years. Achieving long-term goals may take five years or longer.
Another significant difference is that short-term goals reflect your current situation, so they are more flexible than long-term ones. They can be stepping stones towards reaching your vision in different aspects of your life. In other words, these are bite-sized tasks you need to accomplish to manifest your big dreams.
What Are Examples of Long-Term Goals?
Here are a few good examples of long-term goals ideas in life:
- Start a family
- Buy a house
- Go on vacation
- Pursue higher education
- Increase your level of fitness
- Start a business
- Pursue a new career path
- Go abroad
- Learn a new skill or trade
Long-term goals examples for students can be: getting a diploma, finding a good job, paying off a student loan as fast as possible.
Examples of long-term career goals
What are your long-term career goals? It’s crucial to first understand that your career isn’t just your job. It can be any type of meaningful work you’d like to do.
Jon explains that even if you are retired, you can still continue your career way past retirement age. It can be something you always wanted to do but couldn’t do because of other responsibilities.
He says, “Your career is how you spend most of your time, so you will spend most of your waking hours doing it, so it makes sense to choose something you really enjoy.”
Here are five examples of inspirational career goals:
- Start my own business
- Earn a degree
- Switch my current career to something completely different
- Become an expert in the chosen field
- Reach a leadership role
Examples of long-term financial goals
Your financial life is one of the most profound categories, as money permeates every aspect of your existence. At the same time, money is a very mysterious and perplexing topic for many that hold many limiting beliefs.
So, before you set any financial goals, ensure that your core beliefs about money empower you to achieve financial success.
According to Jon, money represents the best things people can offer each other. “With money, people can easily exchange their work, talents, and skills — the very best what they have within themselves for the best what is inside of others,” he adds.
Money is a symbol of human productivity and human achievement.— Jon Butcher, trainer of Mindvalley’s Lifebook Online Quest
Here are five examples of inspirational financial goals:
- Attain financial freedom
- Become a successful entrepreneur
- Maximize my earning potential
- Eliminate all financial debt
- Save for retirement
Examples of long-term relationship goals
Your relationship goals include your love relationship, parenting, and social life. This area has a direct impact on the quality of your life.
It determines how happy you will be more than any other dimension. The goals in this area are timeless, as most require your ongoing daily commitment without specific deadlines.
Here are five examples of inspirational relationship goals:
- Cultivate deep listening skills
- Spend quality time with my family/partner daily
- Don’t lose touch with close friends and family members
- Become a conscious parent
- Manifest love
Examples of character goals
Attaining your life goals is possible when you become a person that matches your ideal life vision. In other words, it requires you to cultivate certain traits and virtues.
Jon elaborates that your character is the total sum of your personality traits. It’s who you are inside, but it determines who you are outside. And self-discipline is one single trait that can help you realize any goal in life.
Here are 13 virtues you can cultivate to build character by Benjamin Franklin:
- Temperance: Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
- Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
- Order: Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
- Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
- Frugality: Make no expense but do good to others or yourself, i.e., waste nothing.
- Industry: Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
- Sincerity: Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly.
- Justice: Wrong none by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
- Moderation: Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
- Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.
- Tranquillity: Be not disturbed at trifles or accidents, common or unavoidable.
- Chastity: Rarely use venery, but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.
- Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates.
Examples of long-term goals for intellectual life
The mind is one of the most substantial assets we have. We create our reality through the mind, consciously or unconsciously. In fact, everything we witness in the world is a result of someone’s thinking process.
So you want to set goals for your intellectual life to bring into reality your life vision.
A true indicator of your intelligence is how intelligently you live your life.— Jon Butcher, trainer of Mindvalley’s Lifebook Online Quest
Here are five examples of inspiring long-term goals for your intelligence:
- Cultivate a better growth mindset
- Learn a new language or skill
- Read a book a day
- Get a new degree
- Master public speaking
Examples of long-term health and fitness goals
There is not a single aspect of your life that your physical health does not affect. And a good state of health and fitness is what you want to work on to support your life goals in other areas.
Here are five examples of inspiring long-term health and fitness goals:
- Run a marathon
- Build strength and develop flexibility
- Exercise regularly and eat nutritious foods
- Live a healthy lifestyle
- Reach and maintain my ideal body weight
Examples of long-term goals for emotional life
Emotions are the innate intelligence that helps you navigate your life. For example, anger signifies that your boundaries are being violated.
Emotions like joy and pleasure tell you that you do things aligned with your Soul. So you want to set goals that will help you cultivate an intimate connection with this aspect of yourself and support your emotional growth.
Willingness to experience your emotions is healing in itself.— Jon Butcher, trainer of Mindvalley’s Lifebook Online Quest
Here are five examples of inspiring goals for emotional maturity:
- Grow emotional awareness
- Master emotional regulation
- Cultivate the ability to choose emotions and emotional states
- Attain inner peace
- Heal deep emotional wounds and traumas
Examples of long-term spiritual goals
Spirituality is often overlooked by many people because we are wired to be result-oriented in everything we do. But it isn’t about the results — it’s your spiritual path to enlightenment, so it’s a process of self-discovery and self-actualization.
Discovering your spiritual purpose can lead you to discover your purpose in life.— Jon Butcher, trainer of Mindvalley’s Lifebook Online Quest
Here are five examples of inspiring goals for your spiritual path:
- Attain self-actualization and self-transcendence
- Make this world a better place
- Elevate the consciousness of humanity
- Develop my intuition and trust it at all times
- Live in alignment with my spiritual essence
Examples of long-term goals for the quality of life
Your quality of life reflects what happiness and fulfillment mean for you in your everyday life. It encompasses three areas you want to focus on:
- The material things you want to have,
- The experiences you want to create, and
- The environments you want to be surrounded by.
In other words, this is where your dream house, dream car, and dream travel trips live.
Jon explains that every goal you set for yourself in different dimensions is designed to improve the quality of your life.
Here are five examples of inspiring goals to improve the quality of your life:
- Attain freedom to do what I want, where I want, and when I want
- Travel the world and enjoy lavish vacations
- Live in my dream house with a breathtaking view and peaceful surroundings
- Enjoy high-quality goods and services
- Get a yacht and take my family on weekly sea trips
6 Tips to Set Up Long-Term Goals
Believe it or not, setting long-term goals is a journey in itself. Why? Because the point of identifying the goals is to discover your Soul’s true desires. If your goals are based on societal rules, their achievement won’t bring you happiness and fulfillment.
So, how can you tap into your true end goals, the goals unique to your Soul’s blueprint?
Here are some tips from Mindvalley’s trainers:
1. Identify your core beliefs
In the Lifebook framework, before setting up long-term goals for a specific area of your life, you identify your fundamental beliefs about it.
For example, if you believe that your genetics determine your health and fitness, it will subconsciously block you from achieving your health goals. This is how powerful your beliefs are — they control your thoughts, decisions, and behaviors.
2. Find your purpose
According to Jon, your reasons why you want to achieve your goals determine whether you get what you want or not. The more compelling they are, the more motivated you will be to move toward them. If you can’t come up with a purpose, this goal isn’t authentic.
3. Write your vision statement
Your vision is a big picture of the area. It’s your biggest aspiration for career, money, relationships, spirituality, etc. When you tune into the vision, you can see the stepping stones clearly.
4. Find your passion
Ajit Nawalkha, co-founder of Evercoach by Mindvalley, explains that passion will drive you forward in challenging times. Without it, you will eventually give up on your goals. Similarly to your purpose, it motivates you to pursue your dreams against all odds.
5. Make it practical
Your goal should be practical in terms of the skills and resources needed to make it real. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dream big. It only means that it must be feasible.
6. Ask yourself three most important questions
The 3 Most Important Questions (or 3 MIQs, for short) is a goal-setting method that can help you tap into your Soul’s blueprint. According to Vishen, founder of Mindvalley and trainer of 3 Most Important Questions Quest, it helps you discover what you truly want to experience, how you need to grow, and what contribution you can make to the world.
How to Achieve Long-Term Goals?
Having an actual plan or strategy is crucial for achieving your long-term goals, and the HAAM approach helps you move towards your goals consistently.
HAAM stands for Habits, Accountability, Achievement and Rewards, and Motivation triggers — these are the things that you do on a daily basis:
- Creating small habits support your action plan, so you want to identify these small habits that will help you move forward.
- Accountability helps you stay on track. It can be self-accountability or peer-to-peer accountability.
- Rewarding yourself for small achievements keeps you motivated.
- Motivational triggers are the things that motivate you to do something. You want to find these triggers to follow through with your action plan.
If you do your goal-setting and action plan right, you will have a completely different life in a few months.
Dare to Live an Extraordinary Life
Jon Butcher believes that our primary and most crucial goal is live for our own sake to be happy and fulfilled. And if everyone had the same belief, we would live in a better world.
While you can’t control what other people believe or choose, you can take responsibility for yours. Most importantly, you can choose empowering beliefs to change your decisions, daily choices, and habitual behaviors and create your own destiny.
He calls this goal-setting process Lifebook — your ultimate guide to living an extraordinary life.
If you want to discover what you want, why you want it, and how you can achieve it, take a free, 90-minute Lifebook Online masterclass with Jon and Missy Butcher. They will guide you through the fundamental process of envisioning your ideal life in multiple areas.