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long term goals


Bonus Material: Learn Jeff Bezos’ Top 5 Long-Term Goals Before He Started Amazon.

Today I’m going to show you 1) what long-term goals are and why you should set them, 2) types of long-term goals 3) tips for setting long-term goals, 4) techniques for achieving your long-term goals, and 5) ninety one examples of long-term goals.
(Grab my write-up about how Jeff Bezos used five clear long-term goals to take Amazon from $10,000 to making him the richest man in the world in a few decades.)

Then read on for help on how to set clear and effective long-term goals for your business.

Long term goals are a great route to help you advance both professionally or personally. Such goals may take some significant time or effort to achieve. If you can understand how to develop long term goals effectively, it would help you monitor your progress and keep you motivated as you press towards achieving them.

In this article, we explore long term goals: what they are, how to write them, how to achieve them, as well as an exhaustive list of some long term goals examples to inspire you as you develop your own long term goals.

long term goals

What are long term goals?

A long term goal is a statement of something you desire to achieve in the future. Long term goals usually take more time, planning, and steps than short-term goals would take. It is commonplace for short-term goals to take less than one year to accomplish, as opposed to long term goals, which can often be achieved after a year or even more. Since they can often take so long, long term goals usually consist of short-term goals, smaller and achievable steps that add up to the long term goal, which is the desired result.

You can set goals for various purposes, professional and personal. For example, you may be aiming to obtain a bachelor’s degree in business administration, which is an excellent long term goal example.  This long term goal can be broken down into a short-term goal like enrolling in a leadership course. Depending on the type of leadership course in this fictitious example, it can take you a day or even less to achieve, some weeks or maybe months, to complete the course. However, obtaining a bachelor’s degree will require months and even years of study and a combination of several courses to fulfill all the requirements to receive the degree.

Pro-Tip: Grab 30 minutes on my calendar for help setting effective long-term goals for your business. I’ve launched and grown 12 businesses with a clear set of long-term goals, and everyday I help other business owners set long-term goals and create a plan of action to achieve them, regardless of what stage of growth they’re in.

~ Alan Melton, Small Business Coach Associates

Why set long term goals?

Long term goals are essential in that they give you a vision for the future and keep you purpose-driven and focused on attaining those set goals in the long run. This also helps you live a life of purpose and direction, as you have something to live for and look forward to.

It is vital to have a direction for your life, family, and career, ensuring you’re headed in a direction that’ll make you and your loved ones fulfilled and happy. Without such direction, life may feel not worth living.

To make your dreams come true and become a reality takes hard work and planning. You can’t just sit around wishing things will just happen! You need to take conscious steps to ensure things happen as you desire them to, and long term goals are a step in that positive direction. A career change or improvement often will require new training, education, or networking with new people. Your long term goals will make sure you take the right short-term actions that’ll land you the results of your long term goals.

To summarize, set great short-term goals, and you’d win battles. Set great long term goals, and you’d win wars.

setting goals

Types of long term goals

As you set long term goals, you can stratify them into identifiable categories, depending on the domain of the long term goals – personal or professional. The types of long term goals include:

Career goals

Career long term goals speak of the professional achievements you hope to reach. Career goals typically reflect your desire to advance your career or professional standing in some way. They may include a complete transition from one career field to another, a promotion to a more fantastic career vantage point, or starting a new business venture.

Financial goals

Financial long term goals represent monetary targets you desire to attain. Such financial targets may help you achieve a broader goal. For example, if you desire to buy a house, you will need to save up a specific amount of money. To do this, you can set strict financial goals, such as adding $10,000 to your savings account yearly.

Personal goals

Personal long term goals highlight achievements you desire to reach in your personal life. As we saw in the previous example of buying a house, these goals may sometimes overlap with financial goals. Personal goals may involve issues about your life like your health, hobbies, or interests.

 Tips for setting long term goals

When it comes to setting long term goals, there are many strategies you can use. Here are some quick tips you can use to help you set long term goals for personal or professional advancement:

Use visualization techniques

By visualization, we mean creating mental images of what you desire your life to be like at some specific time in the future, like 5 or 10 years from now. With the end goal fully visualized, you can then work backward to determine what steps you can and should take and the goals you should set to get to where you want to be. Creating these visual images will also help you fully internalize what you want and what your desires specifically are regarding the future.

Make Sure Your Long term goals are SMART

In writing your long term goals, you should ensure they align to the SMART model for better focused and more attainable long term goals:

S – Specific: be evident as you state your goal and define precisely what you want to achieve — be as specific as you possibly can.

M – Measurable: you should ensure you have a straightforward way to measure and keep track of your progress, and you move towards attaining your long term goals.

A – Achievable: Your long term goals should be attainable. What you desire should be realistically achievable, and you should carefully assess whether or not you can possibly achieve every aspect of your goal.

R – Relevant: Is what you’re shooting for necessary? Is it worth working towards the goal now? How does it align with other goals you may want to achieve?

T – Time-Sensitive: for every long term goal, there should be a deadline for accomplishment, as you would be able to hold yourself accountable. Whether it be a few months or years, if the plan is realistic, you’d surely achieve it.

Consider writing your SMART goals down to keep track of your progress. With the SMART methodology, you’ll have a clear path to realizing those long term goals one day.

Be specific

Drawing from the SMART methodology, including specific details, can help you define the results you want to achieve, as well as the necessary steps you need to take. Let’s take an example: suppose your long term goal is to learn a new language in 12 months. You can add specific details to the long term goal, such as, “I will practice the new language for 1 hour every day”. Such small attainable steps can really break up large chunks of your long term goals into more manageable parts that you can pay attention to.

Make goals measurable

Let us also highlight one aspect of the SMART methodology – measurability. Measurability is the quality of long term goals that allow you to measure and keep track of your progress. This will also help you define the results you want to achieve. As an example, your long term goal may be to lose 20 pounds in 6 months. To make this goal measurable, you can schedule a check-in to measure your weight every week or every month. That way, you can determine whether you’re on track with your goal or you’d need to adjust your deadline. If you desire to take a trip, you can set a long term goal of a particular sum of money every set interval, and once you meet your measurable expectations, you can pursue your long term goal.

Make your long term goals achievable

If you set long term goals you cannot attain, your lack of progress will negatively affect your confidence. Your goals must be achievable and feasibly possible, as they’d keep you motivated to work towards attaining them.

But there’s a catch; just because your goals are attainable doesn’t mean they are straightforward. Your long term goals may be challenging, but once they are possible to attain, even after hard work, then you can encourage yourself to push through the pain to develop that new skill or meet that financial/family expectation, etc., and boost your confidence even further.

Identify challenges

There’s no achievement without challenges that come along. As such, you should carefully identify and factor in any challenges you may encounter as you pursue your long term goals. As you identify and understand these challenges before time, you can begin to draw up plans and strategies to overcome or avoid them. This will help maintain your progress because if these same challenges arose unexpectedly, then they could throw you off track and even set you in discouragement.

Pro-Tip: Grab 30 minutes on my calendar for help setting effective long-term goals for your business. I’ve launched and grown 12 businesses with a clear set of long-term goals, and everyday I help other business owners set long-term goals and create a plan of action to achieve them, regardless of what stage of growth they’re in.

~ Alan Melton, Small Business Coach Associates

Techniques to Achieve Your Long term Goal

Having developed your effective long term goals, there is the matter of actually achieving them. Here are some tips you can apply to ensure your goals don’t end up as written-down facts but are attained.


Write down your goals.

It is important to pen down your long term goals. Documenting them will serve as a reminder and allow you to track your progress. Many people make the mistake of keeping their long term goals in their brains, convincing themselves they won’t forget. The reality is, your long term goals don’t carry as much weight written down as they do in your mind. So, pen it down and have it as a reference to keep you focused on achieving them.

It is important to pen down your long-term goals. Documenting them will serve as a reminder and allow you to track your progress. Many people make the mistake of keeping their long-term goals in their brains, convincing themselves they won’t forget. 

The reality is, that your long-term goals don’t carry as much weight written down as they do in your mind. So, pen it down and have it as a reference to keep you focused on achieving them.Another way to keep a permanent record of your long-term goals or aims is by writing them in notes online. It is a quick as well as problem-free way of saving your goals.

Focus on one long term goal

It is essential to focus on one long term goal at a time. While it is ok to have multiple goals, you should have one goal you focus on at a particular time. By doing so, you’d achieve it faster than toggling multiple long term goals at once, which can become distracting, and the result being your failure to achieve any.

Develop a List of Milestones

You must identify any important milestones and benchmarks that can serve as indicators when you’re closer to success. Your milestones shouldn’t be so many and should take a relatively short amount of time than the long term goals. They should, however, still require some effort to achieve.

Let’s take a long term goal example of writing a book within two years. Here’s a sample list of milestones you can have:

Goal: Writing a Book within two years

Milestone #1: Setup a convenient writing space

Milestone #2: Create a plan of work

Milestone #3: Do some more research on the topic

Milestone #4: Compile the draft of chapter 1, etc.

Create Daily Steps

Once you’ve set your milestones, you then need to break them down into daily baby steps you can take towards achieving your long term goals. Your daily steps are smaller actionable short-term goals. And the good thing here is, it doesn’t need to be overly complex or a giant leap that’ll last hours daily. Your daily steps can be as small as 10 minutes of actions that sum up to your long term goals.

Sticking with the example of writing a book within two years, here are some possible daily steps to consider:

Milestone: Prepare the writing space

Daily Step #1: Choose a location in the house that’ll serve as your writing space

Daily Step #2: Clear out any unnecessary items from the selected space

Daily Step #3: Make a list of items needed for space

Daily Step #4: Research the best table and chair set up, lighting setup, etc.

You can also put the daily tasks into your calendar or to-do list to not miss any of the tasks.

Share your goals with others

One tip to achieving your long term goals is holding yourself accountable to others. You can share your goals with someone else, like a trusted friend, family member, or colleague. This will promote accountability and push you to be focused on achieving those goals, and you’ll have someone to answer to if you don’t.  Depending on your goals, these individuals may even be able to help you achieve them by providing opportunities, advice, encouragement, or support to keep you moving forward.

How to prioritize goals

If you’ve followed up until this point, then you know it’s completely fine to set multiple goals, just so long as you stick to one at a time. That is when prioritizing comes into play. Here are a few steps you can apply to prioritize your long term goals.

  1. List your goals

If you have multiple goals, then the first step is to list them out. This will lay it all out for you to quickly choose which long term goals to start up with. And as a pro tip, try not to list beyond 25 goals to ensure you don’t get entangled and confused with too many long term goals to choose from.

  1. Tick the most important goals

Having listed out all your long term goals, the next step is to tick the goals you consider the most important to you. While the definition of “important” may vary from person to person, you generally want to select the most beneficial goals to your life at this point.

  1. Assess the timelines

Having selected the most important goals for your life at this time, the next step is to determine when you would like to achieve your goals. You may, for example, have a long term goal of acquiring a promotion at work within the next five years. Determining the timeline to each long term goal will help you identify the goals you should start working on right away and the ones you can push forward to some later time. And as a pro tip, be sure to set realistic timelines for each long term goal so that you don’t set yourself on an impossible task.

  1. Choose which goals to focus on right away

Having selected the long term goals that are important to you and assigned realistic timelines to each, you can now use this information to prioritize your long term goals. For example, goals with a high degree of importance and short achievable timelines can have a greater priority.  And as a pro tip, try not to start working toward another goal on your list until you have completed the initial goal with the greater priority.

  1. Make changes as needed

Having prioritized your goals, it is vital to keep in mind that your priorities can change with time. So, don’t get rigid. Be flexible enough to make any necessary changes to your prioritized long term goals as needed. For example, you may have had a priority long term goal to acquire a postgraduate degree within three years. But then, after meeting up with a friend who opens up a multi-million-dollar business opportunity, you may then set a new priority towards establishing a business with two years or so. Getting a postgraduate degree would now matter less as you’d need to focus on the business idea.

Long term goals examples

What goals do you want to achieve? Here’s a list of over 100 long term goals examples across six general categories to make things easy for you.

financial goal

Long term career goals

Here are examples of long term goals for your career that you can adopt:

  •         Become a certified professional
  •         Become a high-level manager like a director
  •         Become a thought leader
  •         Earn an academic certificate to add to your resume
  •         Find a career you love
  •         Get a promotion at work
  •         Get a raise in your salary
  •         Go to college if you haven’t before
  •         Grow your current business, e.g., Gain a new market or introduce a new product.
  •         Increase your sales
  •         Learn a new skill
  •         Mentor a friend to guide their subsequent career decisions
  •         Publish professional articles online to build your resume.
  •         Resume your studies and finish a degree
  •         Start a new business
  •         Win an award at work
  •         Win over a certain number of clients
  •         Develop your soft skills, like self-confidence, communication, work ethic, etc.

Long term family goals

Here are some examples of long term family goals:

  •         Decide the perfect size for your family
  •         Donate old clothes or toys every year
  •         Find a life partner
  •         Finish a book list on family relationships
  •         Enhancer strong relationships with your parents and/or siblings
  •         Foster strong relationships with your extended family, such as grandparents or cousins
  •         Go on annual family road trips
  •         Organize yearly celebrations for your parents, siblings, or children
  •         Plan an annual family Olympics
  •         Plan to visit some locations on your family bucket list
  •         Spend money on experiences instead of things
  •         Start a family
  •         Take professional family portraits every year

Long term life goals

Here are some examples of long term personal goals:

  •         Purchase a primary home by the water body (seaside or lake, etc.)
  •         Be able to purchase a home for vacations
  •         Renovate or update your current home
  •         Become a black belt in Judo!
  •         Build your dream home
  •         Climb a mountain
  •         Complete a triathlon
  •         Create and commit to a fitness routine
  •         Create and finish a reading list
  •         Learn a foreign language
  •         Learn how to play an instrument
  •         Master an art or craft like painting, knitting, woodwork, etc.
  •         Move closer to your family or friends
  •         Move to the city of your dreams
  •         Move to your dream country
  •         Own your own land
  •         Run a full marathon
  •         Run a half-marathon
  •         Take a vacation to your dream destination
  •         Travel to your home country
  •         Work on your public speaking skills
  •         Write a book

Long term financial goals

Here are some examples of long term financial goals:

  •         Become financially independent
  •         Become financially free (no debit or mortgage)
  •         Build a business
  •         Build a retirement nest egg
  •         Build an emergency fund
  •         Earn a certain amount of money through multiple passive income streams
  •         Earn more money from your job
  •         Generate passive income
  •         Increase your credit score
  •         Invest in real estate
  •         Invest in the stock market
  •         Pay for a car in cash
  •         Pay off credit card debt
  •         Pay off student loans
  •         Pay off your mortgage
  •         Purchase a house
  •         Retire early by the age of 50-55
  •         Save enough money to send your children to college.
  •         Save for your children’s weddings
  •         Semi-retire early

Health and fitness goals

Here are some examples of long term health and fitness goals you can consider:

  •         Adopt a healthy lifestyle
  •         Implement practices to reduce the risk of diseases such as diabetes or heart disease
  •         Be able to do a one-rep dead-lift with 100kgs
  •         Fit into your old-size jeans
  •         Follow a healthy diet for life
  •         Get abs or tone your legs
  •         Lose a certain number of pounds
  •         Lose weight from certain body areas like stomach or hips
  •         Lower your BMI
  •         Lower your cholesterol levels
  •         Master yoga
  •         Practice endurance training and strength training
  •         Run a full marathon
  •         Run a half marathon

Long term spiritual goals

Here are some examples of long term spiritual goals you can consider:

  •         Attend church service every Sunday
  •         Be clear about your beliefs
  •         Do a kind deed every day over the next 365 days
  •         Forgive your foes
  •         Go on some mission trips in a year
  •         Go on a personal retreat to reflect and pray
  •         Help someone restore their spirits
  •         Join a Bible study and participate weekly
  •         Mentor a young believer
  •         Observe and recognize the interconnectedness of everything
  •         Practice gratitude
  •         Read about your religion’s history and origin
  •         Read biographies of early church leaders
  •         Read the whole Bible over the next two years
  •         Reflect on your actions
  •         Support a child through a charity


So there you have it. Do you have any ideas that we overlooked? If so, comment below.

Are You Ready To Set Long-Term Goals For Your Business?


Have you lost site of where your business is going? Every business owner goes through it. Sometimes it’s helpful to take cues from the world’s best business builders and see that clear, simplified goals in alignment with your strategy and values can be the best place to start.

If you want to see how one of today’s most famous entrepreneurs used long-term goals to go from $10,000 to the riches man in the world in a few decades, click the button below:

Want Personal Help Setting Long-Term Goals For Your Business?

Every business owner hits a point of burn out or overwhelm where they lose site of how to get where they want to go.

But buckling down and working harder only gets you so far, because there are only 24 hours in a day.

I remember the moment – 8 years into my first business – when I was at my limit and didn’t know where to go next with my business. Then my partner and I discovered the way out – someone who could help us take a step back, analyze our business, and set and prioritize realistic goals.

Finding someone who could help us with goal-setting, planning, overall strategy and regular accountability allowed us to give ourselves raises in under a year.

The right coach can help you set goals, add more profit to your bottom line, free up time on your calendar, and systematize your business so your team performs the right way every time. 


~ Alan Melton, Small Business Coach Associates

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