Types of Goals: The Ultimate Guide (With Examples)

Types of Goals

By Brandon Fong | Self-Improvement


In this post, I’m going to break down the different types of goals that you can use to achieve your craziest dreams.

You will learn:

  • The two “buckets” you need to categorize the types of goals
  • The 7 types of goals everyone needs to have
  • The 5 critical components of a goal (achieving your goals will be much harder without these!)


Let’s dive in.


If you want to make it much more likely that you’ll actually achieve your goals, they must be SMART.

“SMART” stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time Bound.

Many people will set a goal by saying, “I want to lose weight”.

There are many reasons why this is bad:

  1. How much weight do you want to lose? Does that mean if you lose 1 pound you accomplished your goal?...
  2. By when? Does this mean that you can lose weight over the course of 35 years?
  3. How are you going to lose weight? There are many unhealthy ways to lose weight... are you planning on just starving yourself each day, or?...

No bueno.

Instead, here’s an example of a SMART goal:

I will lose 15 pounds by March 31st by using a combination of HIIT training and intermittent fasting so that I will look good for my friend’s wedding and will increase my energy so that I don’t get tired mid-day at work.

You can see that this goal has all of the components of SMART:

  • Specific: Is the goal crystal clear? Yes.
  • Measurable: Can you tell if you succeeded or failed? Yes... either you did or didn’t lose 15 pounds.
  • Attainable: This is kind of hard to tell without being the person setting the goal, but it should not be too easy of a goal and should require you to push hard
  • Relevant: This person wants to look better for their friend’s wedding and also have more energy throughout the day. Check.
  • Time Bound: Yep, their deadline is March 31st.

As you can tell, a SMART goal is much more powerful.


Okay, so now you know that your goals need to be SMART.

What now?

Now it’s time to categorize the types of goals you have into “buckets” that will help ensure that your goals lead to you having a balanced life.

There are really two kinds of “buckets”:

Bucket #1: Time frames

  • Short term (less than 1 year)
  • Mid Term (1-5 years)
  • Long Term (5+ years)

Bucket #2: Categories

  • Health
  • Finances
  • Friends & Family
  • Significant Other
  • Spiritual
  • Career
  • Personal Growth
  • Fun & Adventure

Easy enough, right?


With the “buckets” in mind, we next need to determine which of the categories we should prioritize in our goal setting.

We can easily do this using the “Wheel of Life Exercise”.

The wheel of life takes each of those categories that we just mentioned and plots them out on a wheel that looks like this:

You then go through and rank your satisfaction with each of those categories from a 1-10.

Then, look at the wheel:

If it were attached to your car, how smooth would the ride be?

For a happy life, we need to be balanced. When you see one area that is deficient, it’s an indication that you need some SMART goals in that area, and you should probably make those your focus.

This is an incredibly powerful exercise.

In fact, in one of the world’s highest end masterminds, Genius Network, where people pay $25,000 per year to attend the meetings, they do an exercise at every meeting that includes the wheel of life.

Once you’ve established your priority goals, we can then go about setting SMART goals for each of the categories. The ideas provided below aren’t SMART, and need to be made SMART based on your situation.


He who has his health has 1,000 dreams. He who has no health only has one.
- Unknown

When your health is out of whack, it impacts all other areas of your life.

But when you prioritize your health, you have more energy... more focus... and you’re able to show up better for your loved ones.

Depending where you are on your health journey, your health goals will be different... but here are some suggestions to get you started:

  1. Get a gym membership
  2. Get rid of all unhealthy food in your house, and only bring it in intentionally a specified number of times per week (everyone deserves a treat every once in awhile!)
  3. Establish a habit of going to the gym ______ times per week
  4. Hire a personal trainer
  5. Read a book on health
  6. Run a Spartan race
  7. Run a half marathon
  8. Run a marathon
  9. Get your body fat percentage to ________
  10. Lose ________ pounds
  11. Sign up for a class at your gym
  12. Find a fitness accountability partner


Be honest:

How often are you thinking about money?

Chances are if you’re like most people, the answer is a lot.

While finances can seem daunting, you’re actually only a few weeks away from establishing a sound financial plan.

And once it’s set up, you’ve done most of the hard work!

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Track how much you spend in a month to get an idea of where you’re currently at
  2. Set up an online savings account
  3. Put together a plan to pay off any consumer debt
  4. Set up a ROTH IRA
  5. See if your job provides you with a 401(k). If so, make sure you’re contributing the maximum on it... that’s free money!
  6. Set up sub-savings accounts for savings goals
  7. Automate paying all of your bills
  8. Make sure you have an asset allocation that’s best suited for your age and strategy
  9. Sign up for credit cards with the best benefits based on your situation


“If you aren’t growing, you’re dying.”

If you looked back 12 months ago, would you say you’re the same person? Or different?...

Personally, my goal is to look back every year, and be embarrassed by what I was doing.

Because I believe if you aren’t embarrassed by who you were 12 months ago, you weren’t learning enough.

When you are growing, life is much more exciting!

Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  1. Read a book a month
  2. Find 10 podcasts on topics you are interested in and start listening to them
  3. Start an Audible account
  4. Find an online course on a topic you’re interested in
  5. Find blogs to read
  6. Find a mentor
  7. Take on a new learning challenge (language, instrument, getting a new certification, etc.)
  8. Find a conference to go to
  9. Train yourself in accelerated learning


If you are in a relationship, do you have goals set with your significant other?

Just like personal growth, you should be striving to grow together.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Go on _______ number of dates together each month
  2. Learn something new together that you are both excited about
  3. Read a book together
  4. Travel somewhere together
  5. Read the book, The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
  6. Have a “relationship check in” time where you discuss the relationship and make sure everything is going well on both sides
  7. Challenge each other on your personal goals
  8. Create a “Relationship Vivid Vision”


Everyone loves something to look forward to!

Do you have events scheduled that you’re excited about?

They don’t have to be big... but having them scheduled can keep you motivated for when your fun and adventure time comes around.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Travel to a new country
  2. Travel to a place in your country where you’ve never been
  3. Try a new restaurant
  4. Book a massage
  5. Book a float session
  6. Go to a movie
  7. Try an activity you haven’t tried yet (escape room, paintballing, laser tagging, axe throwing, kayaking, scuba diving, etc.)
  8. Go on a weekend trip with friends


“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”

This may go without saying, but your relationships are incredibly important.

Do you feel happy and satisfied with the people that you have in your life?

Do you show them that you’re grateful for them?

Here are some suggestions for friends and family goals:

  1. Remove any toxic people from your life
  2. Actively seek out new friends that will challenge you
  3. Perform an act of kindness for someone you’re grateful for in your life 


Spiritual doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be related to religion.

When I searched for the definition of the word “Spiritual” this is what came up:

Relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.

I would classify “spiritual” goals as anything that relates to detaching yourself from your ego or serving others.

Some suggestions could include:

  1. Starting a mindfulness practice, like meditation
  2. Connecting your body with your mind, like starting a Yoga practice
  3. Reading books or content on spirituality (my favorites are The Power of Now and The Untethered Soul)
  4. Serving others / volunteering
  5. Focusing on being more present and in the “now” — avoiding the temptation to be constantly entertained and just “being”
  6. Attending a service of your choosing regularly
  7. Donating to a cause you care for


If you want your goals to become a reality, they need to be well thought out and prioritized.

Your goals must mean something to you.

In this article, you...

  1. Learned how to set “SMART” goals to help make your goals actionable
  2. Discovered the two “buckets” to categorize the types of goals — time frames and categories
  3. Found out about how you can use “The Wheel of Life” to prioritize your goals
  4. Learned examples of the different types of goals to help you on your journey

Now the ball is in your court:

What types of goals will you set?