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5 ways to start thinking long-term about your life goals

Goal-setting is an important part of growing up and being successful. Without direction, you may miss out on long-term ambitions and dreams.

Sometimes the easiest way to think about life goals is by breaking them down into smaller, digestible pieces. Here are five ways to start thinking long-term about your life goals.

1. Health Goals

Whether you currently work out and eat healthily or want to one day, having health and fitness-related goals can help you work toward becoming your healthiest self. Think about big goals like running a marathon or losing 50 pounds, but also factor in smaller goals like listening to your body or learning to cook nutritious recipes. Without health, no other areas of life will be manageable, so it’s wise to make these goals a priority.

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2. Relationship Goals

Relationships are incredibly impactful on who you become, and they’ll change and evolve throughout your life. Write down goals that reflect where you want your relationships to go.

For example, if you’re single, maybe getting married is one of your long-term relationship goals. Or those who already have a spouse and kids may be more focused on building those relationships further or establishing deep connections with a close group of friends.

3. Financial Goals

Having a long-term goal for your money is important at any age. Goals in this arena may encompass retirement plans, savings goals, and life insurance protection to make sure it all goes off without a hitch.

If you struggle to come up with meaningful financial goals, sometimes meeting with a financial professional is a great option. They can help navigate choices you may never have considered, such as whether term or whole life insurance is right for you.

4. Personal Goals

Personal development goals tend to be broad and may encompass other categories. For example, you may want to declutter every closet in your home, read from a list of the 20 most influential self-help books, or learn to meditate. Think deeply about the kind of person you want to become and personal goals to help you get there.

5. Career Goals

No matter which career path you’ve chosen, take time to set goals for your next step. That may look like targeting the next promotion at your current company, shifting to a new industry, or becoming a mentor to younger workers. Include any education you want to get and the dream job you want to hold before you retire.

The Bottom Line

Life goals can act as guardrails to keep you following the right path as life goes on. But as you get older, goals may shift and change. That’s why it’s wise to think long-term about your life goals in categories like health, relationship, financial, personal, and career. Keeping these broad areas in mind can help you move toward living a more fulfilled life in all aspects of who you are and want to be.

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