Friday, January 03, 2014

Life Goals Cheat Sheet

"Setting goals is fun! It is about giving you exactly what you want in life"

Goals are a passion of mine. I love, love, love working with clients on setting goals and putting a structure in place for them to make improvements in life so they can get more in control of their life and importantly, their time and get rid of some stuff that is not doing them any good, to free up space for things that matter most to them but have been off the agenda for too long.

Now one of the strange things is that when you get right down to it, it can be hard to think of what you want!

When setting goals we need to look at all areas of life so we don't forget something important. For example, achieving financial goals is not much benefit if your health and relationships suffer as a result. So ecology needs to be kept in mind - across all the areas of our life.

So I thought it might make things easier if I wrote out some sample goals. Now you can adapt these to suit your situation but these goals should prompt you in the areas of your own life where you can more easily imagine a parallel goal that would work for you.

Also worth thinking about in setting your goals is the time frame. Like saving, it is good to have goals for the year, and goals for the longer term, say 5 years, which you may reach by attaining smaller goals as steps along the way.

Some goals - those for material things - need to be really specific. On the other hand, goals around relationships require actions. You can't "make a better relationship" but you can implement actions, which result in better relationships. Keep these two kinds of goals - material and abstract - in mind.

If you are in a relationship - remember your goals, and your partner's goals should be complementary. If your goal is to be single that could be a problem for your partner! And remember to set another list of joint or family goals that you can work towards together.

Goals should be well formed - this checklist does not meet that criterion but they can be easily adapted when you come to writing your goals down.

In no particular order...

Goals to achieve in the next 12 months


Assess your current state of health. You want to use this as a benchmark for future comparison

Stop drinking cola and sodas. Switch to making your own unsweetened iced tea instead of fizzy drinks

Start cutting down current alcohol intake

Improve your diet by cutting out junk food to get to a better weight.

Walk or cycle for one hour 3 days a week (specify days and diarise)

Learn to cook 3 great recipes for meatless main meals to serve regularly

Stop doing - (that activity that is hurting your body or peace of mind)

Financial Health

Write up a budget with all  current spending.
Review and adjust your budget to improve your cash position

Build up savings of $2000 in emergency savings account and maintain this at all times

Open a savings account for long term goals or bigger items and deposit $100 per pay

Reduce credit card debt to zero

Increase payments to mortgage by $100 per month above required payment

Learn about how money works in the economy, how interest rates work and compound interest


Set aside one night a week for a romantic dinner and a movie

Make arrangements for the kids for these nights

Schedule in your diary 2 long weekends during the year for you and your partner to go away alone.

Make one hour every week to spend time with just one child to play or do an activity together as an outing

Phone parents every Sunday night for half an hour minimum

Make a visit to your parents twice a year for no special reason

Make time to spend with brothers and sisters each 2x per year outside of family get-togethers

Contact your good friend that you have not seen for a long time and reconnect and maintain


Develop the skills you need to be promoted to the next level

Work towards a pay rise

Find a better job

Ensure that you apply yourself to your work every day - seek assistance if you are having problems with your work.

Seek training in areas that will improve your job opportunities

Find a mentor in your industry to help you develop your career

Start the part time business that you have been talking about for years. If it is complex, begin by making a plan of what is required and setting aside the resources that you will need and a deadline to begin.

Self education/ personal growth

Enrol for that course you wanted to do

Learn piano or guitar

Teach a class

Learn Italian

Start a kitchen garden and grow your own herbs and a few vegetables

Learn to cook

Learn about fashion style tips for your best look

Do a values inventory to understand your core values, motivators and beliefs

Get a coach - one on one coaching can be a real catalyst for personal development

Recreation and Indulgence

Take up a hobby or learn to do an activity - dance class, sailing, karate, swimming, ice skating, birdwatching, yoga, tai chi

Make a list of 5 books to read this year and read them

Schedule 2 long weekends away for the family

Plan and book a holiday during the year for the family

Set aside an hour per week just for you to spend doing nothing.



Join a community group

Adopt a rescue dog

Choose a charity to support


Learn to meditate

Set aside 30 minutes twice  week to meditate

Keep a log of your meditations

Learn about Hinduism and Buddhism and other western religions

Read works from these religions

As you can see, even just choosing one goal from each of these areas would combine to have a dramatic effect on your life in the year to come.

Importantly, setting goals should be fun! After all, it is about giving you exactly what you want in life, instead of just getting what you get.

Related articles on Goals

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