When we talk about achieving success and creating extraordinary results in life, there is no way we can skip the topics around long-term goals.

Long-term goals are like your visions for the future that you want. And without the vision, you will never gain the success you want because you don’t have a clear direction.

In my previous article, I talk about short-term goals vs long-term goals, you should read it to understand how these 2 types of goals affect our lives and are important to us.

Both short-term and long-term goals are important. Long-term goals are like a roadmap. It tells you where you want to go.

Whereas short-term goals are like the actionable steps you can execute to get to your long-term goals.

Imagine you are driving in the dark in a foreign country. Identifying your destination is like clarifying your long-term goal. You start with your destination.

And then when you drive through the darkness, although you can’t see the entire roadway to your destination, you can only see where your headlamp shows you, but it is enough to get you to your destination.

And driving with your headlamp on is like your short-term goal. You don’t have to see the entire journey, you just need to know what’s right in front of you and what route to take.

This is why you need both short-term and long-term goals.

Why Long-Term Goals are Important

Now you know you need both long-term and short-term goals in order to make it through, but why are long-term goals important? Here are a couple of reasons…

1. They give you clarity and direction

Long-term goals give you clarity and direction. Think about it, can you embark on a journey if you don’t know your destination?

Well, probably yes, because you don’t have a destination, anywhere can be. Since you don’t know where you want to go, you will end up anywhere.

The same applies to life. Imagine if you don’t have a long-term goal, guess what will happen? You’ll feel lost.

When you lack clarity and direction, what you do on a daily basis becomes less purposeful. This is because you don’t have a purpose for what you want out of your life.

Hence, stop living your life like a lost sheep. Stop living a directionless life. Find your purpose and identify your vision by setting long-term goals.

Read: The Importance of Being Specific with What You Want in Life

2. They provide a sense of purpose

Long-term goals provide you a sense of purpose in life. As I said above, when you don’t have a purpose in life, you become a lost sheep and going wherever the crowd is going.

Think about it, why do you work? Why are you in your job? If your answer is because you want to get paid to pay bills and survive, you don’t have a purpose.

Life is about making an impact, not making an income.

Kevin Kruse

You see, when you don’t have a purpose, you wake up each morning to go to work, you will feel like something is missing in your life.

You don’t want to spend 8 hours in the office working mindlessly just to get paid for your time. You want to have something exciting, something meaningful, and something great to look forward to.

There is a fire in every one of us.

And when you discovered that fire, you will live a passionate life. And you can do so through long-term goals.

Read: How to Find Your Purpose in Life

3. They allow you to plan more strategically

Let me ask you, can you plan out something without an objective? You can’t.

It all started with a goal. And your goal will greatly determine the strategy you’re going to implement.

Think about it, the strategy to earning $10,000 a month and the strategy to earning $100,000 a month is totally different.

Thus, when you set a goal, it will determine what you do and how you live.

If your long-term goal is to build a multi-million dollar company and a brand that everyone knows, you can’t be sitting around watching Netflix or constantly checking updates on Facebook.

But if you aim to earn $5,000 a month, then yes, your strategy will be different.

Can you see it now? Your goals determine your strategy. And with an empowering long-term goal, you’re able to plan more strategically.

Read: How to Turn Your Goals into Actionable Plans

4. They can be your source of motivation

When you set the right long-term goals that align with your values and purpose, you will feel motivated whenever you think about it.

Just like if your goal is to buy your parents a house and make them proud, every time when you think about the dream house, it will make you feel emotional.

People who lack motivation are usually people who either lack goals or they simply have the wrong goals.

If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or objects.

Albert Einstein

Your goals are your inspiration.

Read: 10 Tips How to Make Your Goals Motivating and Exciting

Like a lighthouse, your long-term goals guide you in the dark when you lost your direction. And they motivate you to achieve better results and greater success in life.

So, this is why long-term goals are necessary and important.

The Benefits and Disadvantages of Long-Term Goals

By now, you should understand the benefits of long-term goals and why you need them in life. But, do you know that there are disadvantages too?

One of the most obvious weaknesses of a long-term goal is that it is long-term. When you set a target that is too far into the distant future, it can quickly lose its effectiveness when it comes to your daily life.

Think about it, if you set a goal like to build a successful business within 20 years, it is too far away, and you can’t predict what will happen during all the years.

Anything can happen and quickly change the course of your original plan.

Plus, let’s face it, we are all busy people, and things can quickly be forgotten when they don’t appear in our lives that often. This is especially true for long-term goals.

According to a study conducted by Microsoft, the average human being has an attention span of 8 seconds, which is shorter than that of goldfish.

One more thing, long-term goals are usually vague. Because we’re talking about years away, hence, it is difficult to formulate a plan that is specific and detail.

Therefore, you cannot rely on long-term goals alone. You need both long-term and short-term goals.

10 Most Common Long-Term Goals Examples

We all crave for success and we want to live a better life. And it all started with your long-term goals as they are the guiding lights that show us where to go.

So, what are the common intentions that most people shared? Below are the 10 most common long-term goals examples that may spark with you:

1. Retire at age X

I bet many times in your life, you think about your retirement. Retirement is something that all of us will go through. There will come a day when you no longer able to work and just want to rest and enjoy life.

And since this day will surely arrive, you should plan for it right now. When you know what you want in your retirement, you can then make plans and get there right now.

2. Become financially free

Who doesn’t want to be financially free and never to worry about money again, right? We all have that dream. And it is perfectly alright to set it as your long-term goal and pursue it from now on.

When you know your financial goal, it gives you a better perspective of what kind of career or business you should pursue. Setting a long-term goal to be financially free is something common, but you need to have a solid plan to get there.

3. Travel the world

Do you want to travel the world? I sure do. And in today’s world where people are able to share their vacations and travel experiences through social media, more and more people are enticed to follow suit.

When we see someone having a fun experience in a country we’ve never been through, it makes us want to do the same.

If one of your long-term goals is to travel the world, make sure you include a list of travel locations in your plan.

4. Start and grow a successful business

Do you have the dream to start your own business? Well, it is a common goal, but what separates the ones who achieved it and the rest who failed is commitment.

Don’t just say or think about it. If you are serious about starting a business, you should read, learn, and then do whatever you can to build it.

For instance, make a plan, register your company’s name, find out who are your ideal customers, what kind of products/services do you want to provide, and more.

5. Start a family

For all those who are still single or yet to have a family, this is a common long-term goal. Starting a family is easy, but maintaining the family is a truly challenging part.

If you are blessed with children, you must take the responsibility to nurture and take care of your family.

As I said, the difficult part is in managing your family and taking full responsibility as the parent to your kids.

6. Buy a dream house

If you don’t have a house yet, then this may be a good long-term goal to have. We all need shelter to give us a sense of security.

And depending on what countries you’re from, buying a house can be difficult. However, with proper planning and starting right now, you can make the process as smooth.

This is why having long-term goals are important. They allow you to plan right now so that you can achieve it in the future.

Remember, what you want in the future depends on what you do right now, not 20 years later.

7. Pursue a new career path

Do you want to pursue a new career path? Or perhaps you’re tired of doing the same thing every day? Or maybe you want to change your office environment to a better one?

Most people wanted to change but they continue to stick to their work is because of the fear of failure and uncertainty. Venturing out of your comfort zone can seem like something scary, but it doesn’t need to be. Hence, if you have this goal, make a plan and have the courage to try out new things.

8. Pursue a higher education

If you have never graduated from college or university, you may have the thought of pursuing education. Getting back to school can be scary, but it can be a crucial decision that will positively impact your life forever.

Some people want to have a degree while others want something higher, like a Ph.D. It depends on what you want, you can set it as your long-term goal and start executing your plan now.

9. Get in shape and live a healthy lifestyle

Getting back in shape and maintaining your health level is a long-term goal. You don’t lose weight for just 3 months and then getting back all the extra weight.

This has a lot to do with your eating habits and daily lifestyle. Hence, you have to work at the root causes that affect your health. This also explains why most lose-weight-quick diets or medicine don’t work.

10. Live a happy and fulfilling life

Have you heard people said that their dream or goal is to “be happy” or “to live a fulfilling life”? They’re not going to achieve it unless they define the specifics of what it is that they truly want.

You see, saying that you want to live a happy life is great. We all want to be happy. But you can’t measure happiness, so, how do you know when you or how to achieve it, right?

To clarify, you can start by asking yourself questions such as, “What has to happen for me to feel happy?” When you know the metrics, you can then pursue them.

Conclusion

Long-term goals are important. And you need to combine both long-term and short-term goals to achieve greater results in life. From the above examples of long-term goals, you should have an idea of what you want to pursue in life.

Here are some useful guides to help you understand goal setting better:

And if you want to master the art of setting empowering goals and achieve real success in life, check out my course, Goal Setting Formula masterclass.

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I'm a blogger, writer, and also an internet entrepreneur. If you want to learn more about me, kindly go to the About page. By the way, have you downloaded your FREE copy of Reach Your Goals? Don't forget to do so. Cheers. :)

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