Setting Personal Goals

Personal Goals, Ambitions, Purpose, Dreams, Targets, HopesMany people in our society feel adrift in our world and although they work hard, they don’t seem to get anywhere worthwhile or anywhere near where they want to be.

The reason they feel this way, is due to thought and their lack of personal goals. They have not thought out clearly what they want in their life and have failed to make definitive decisions on how they are going to get there. This is where setting personal goals comes in.

If you want to conquer success in life; where you reach your potential and get what you want and deserve, then the setting of personal goals is a must! Person goal setting is a process that can be very powerful in taking your vision of the future and turning it into reality.

Related Reading: 7 Top Tips For… Setting Personal Goals

Why Set Personal Goals?

The process of setting personal goals will help you decide where you want to be in life, and by helping you decide exactly where you want to be and what you want to achieve, then you will know exactly where you have to make your efforts to improve and succeed.

This world and every life in existence within it is hailed by a huge wind each and everyday; it’s this wind that takes us places. But without a sail, the wind cannot be controlled and a journey cannot be made in the right direction. This is likewise in terms of personal goals, without them you feel adrift and are pushed from place to place within our society; never feeling fully fulfilled and never getting to where you want to be.

But with a set of personal goals, you’ll know your long term aims and you’ll know the direction you must go. Your personal goals list is like your sail in the wind, after giving you the map of where to head, it helps you put up your sail and move in the right direction (in the short term to reach your goals in the long term.)

Setting Personal Goals (A Life Overview)

When looking to develop your life into one you want, you need to know what you want! What kind of life do you want? What kind of person do you want to be?

When setting personal goals (although this is more of a philosophy, as they are not all necessarily measurable or completable goals) you gain a sense of understanding and a vision. It gives you the chance to straighten out that vision of your life, and gives your sub-conscious mind something to secretly work towards every single day.

Exercise: Brainstorm an overview of the life you want.

Setting Personal Goals

Personal Goals Setting

Many people suggest setting both long term and short term goals, but I don’t agree. I find that having the two, plus life goals, a calendar and several to do’s can be quiet confusing at times and so I have personally condensed that to just Current goals, Life goals/aims, a calendar and a general to do.

Current goals are a list of personal goals that I am currently working towards. When setting these up I usually do this through a table with a box for each, covering goals for the following categories: Career; Lifestyle; Financial; Educational; Relationships; Artistic/Creative; Attitude; Physical; Pleasure; and Public service.

Smart Personal Goals

S – Specific: Your goals need to be specific in the way they are written and intended.
M – Measurable: Your goals need to be measurable in time, distance, amount, etc.
A – Attainable: Your goals must be possible to be achieved, this does not mean they cannot be demanding, but they must be possible; else motivation will be lost.
R - Relevant: Your goals should be relevant to your life, why do something if you have no interest in it?
T – Time-Bound: You goals should have a time of completion to them, this motivates you get them done.

When setting your goals in the table they should be all of the above. An exemplar SMART personal goal would be: To run the London Marathon in less then 4hour 20mins at next years event.

Planning Your Personal Goals

Once the overall goal is decided, sub goals and planning for each personal goal may also want to be done. This gives you a plan to reach your goal and a set of targets to be met along the way. In the example of completing the london marathon you may set targets of shorter distances that are raised as time goes on and as you get fitter. You would also want to set tasks, such as running on certain days for a certain distance.

Personal Goals Example

Example Personal Goal & Its Planning:

Goal: Run the London Marathon in less then 4hour 20mins at next years event.


  • Run 1 Mile by May 2013
  • Run 5 Mile by June 2013
  • Run 8Mile by July 2013
  • Run13Mile by August 2013
  • Run 17Mile bySeptember 2013
  • Run 21Mile by October 2013
  • Run 23Mile by November 2013
  • Run 26 Mile by December 2013
  • Run 13 Mile in less than 2hours 30mins by January 2014
  • Run 13Mile in less than 2 hours by February 2014
  • Run 26Mile in less than 4hours 20mins by March 2014
  • Run the London Marathon in under 4hours 20mins: April 2014

Tasks To Complete Target 1:

  • Run on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday working from current level to 1mile until April 29th
  • Run 1 Mile on April 30th 2013

Now the numbers above may not be true to a real marathon training scheme I know! But hopefully you get the jist of what I’m saying. And once your personal goals are planned you can go ahead and start taking the first steps to completing your now set and planned personal goals and begin to achieve the life you want and deserve.

Next Page: Taking Action

Wrote by Joe Brown