How To Set And Achieve Long-Term Goals (With Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 26 July 2022 | Published 30 August 2021

Updated 26 July 2022

Published 30 August 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Regardless of your job role or the industry where you work, setting long-term goals can help you grow professionally and personally. These goals require hard work over several months or years, but it can be fulfilling when you are able to accomplish your goals. Learning how to set and achieve your long-term objectives can help you progress in your life. In this article, we define long-term objectives, why they are important, explore their types and learn strategies to set and achieve these goals with 20 examples.

Related: 13 Steps To Be Successful in Life: Tips and Advice

What Are Long-Term Goals?

Long-term goals are goals you want to accomplish in the future. To achieve these goals requires meticulous planning and extensive preparation. They often consist of multiple smaller or short-term goals throughout the timeline. Although the measure of long-term objectives is relative, often it takes several years to accomplish these goals. Long-term objectives can include goals of our health, career, education and relationship.

Getting promoted to a senior position in the cloud-computing area can be a long-term goal, and completing a cloud computing certification can be a short-term goal. Depending on the cloud-computing certification, it may take a month or two to complete the certification. But, earning a promotion to a senior-level position involves years of experience and hard work.

Related: Steps Involved in a Successful Career Planning Process

Types Of Long-Term Goals

Here are three types of long-term objectives:

Financial goals

Financial goals represent monetary targets you want to achieve in your life. Accomplishing these long-term financial goals can help you achieve another broader goal. For instance, to purchase a new home, you require saving enough money first. So, your financial goal can be saving ₹20,00,000 in an account by the age of 45.

Career goals

Career goals are professional accomplishments you want to achieve in your career. These goals represent your willingness to advance in your career. Having a career goal keeps you motivated and focused at your workplace. Starting a new business, earning a promotion, making a career switch and completing your master's degree are a few long-term career goals.

Related: How To Answer the Interview Question: “What Are Your Career Goals?” (With Examples)

Personal goals

Personal goals represent the achievement and accomplishments you want in your personal life. Many of the personal goals may overlap with the financial goals. For example, buying a new sports utility vehicle (SUV) can be your personal and financial goal. Other personal goals can include anything related to your hobby or interest. This can include writing a book, playing guitar, going on a Europe trip and starting a family at a certain age.

What Is The Best Example Of A Long-Term Goal?

The best example of a long-term goal is a goal that is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and has a time frame attached to it. For example, a good long-term goal may be to lose 50 kilograms in the next three years or to learn a new language within two years. Ultimately, long-term goals are personal and unique to each individual.

Related: SMART Goals: Definition and Examples

5 Ways To Set Long-Term Goals

Setting goals is important for a fulfilling and rewarding career. By taking these actions, you can set your long-term objectives:

1. Have specific goals

Be specific and clearly state the goal you want to achieve. The more clearly you specify your goal, the higher would be the chances of accomplishing them. For example, you may want to get hired as a business analyst at a particular company. Your long-term objective could be, I want to get a job at an IT company as a business analyst in the next two years. This goal is specific because you can identify specific steps to achieve it. This makes larger goals more manageable and achievable.

2. Make your goals measurable

When you set measurable goals, you can track your progress. Measuring the progress can help you define the results that you want to achieve. For example, you want to get a job as a business analyst in a particular company in the next two years, you can track progress by monitoring how many jobs you applied for and the interviews you completed to get a job. Once you meet these measurable goals, you can focus on achieving your long-term goal.

3. Make your goals achievable

Before working towards working for a goal, decide if it is achievable. Setting goals that are achievable within a set timeframe can help you stay motivated and focused. For example, losing 30 kilograms in three months may be an unachievable goal. Such goals can reduce your confidence and shift your focus to other important things.

4. Ensure your goals are realistic

Set your long-term objectives based upon your skill set and abilities. Stating that you want to work as the manager of your department within the next six months may not be realistic if you just began as an entry-level employee. Ensure all your goals are realistic so that you can contribute towards achieving them.

5. Have an action for your goal

For every long-term objective, ensure you have an action in place. For example, if your goal is to learn Spanish in one year, enrol in a Spanish learning class. Such actions ensure you remain focused and motivated to achieve your goals.

How To Achieve Long-Term Goals?

While setting long-term objectives is beneficial, achieving them is essential for career growth. Here is how to do so:

1. List your goals

Before working toward achieving your goals, list all your goals. Write as many goals as you want. Try to list personal and professional goals separate from each other. This helps you keep your thoughts organised so you can achieve your objectives.

2. Pick one goal at a time.

Focusing on more than one goal at a time can cause distraction and potentially keep you from achieving any of them. So, pick up one goal at a time and work towards achieving it. Choose a goal that improves your career or life at that particular point.

3. Create smaller sub-goals

The next step towards achieving a goal is breaking down the long-term objective into smaller sub-goals. These sub-goals usually take a shorter time than your long-term objectives. For example, if your goal is to complete a large project in the next month, try to complete each sub-goal in two to three days. Only start working towards another sub-goal unless you achieve the previous one.

4. Develop habits to achieve your goal

Achieving a long-term goal requires more than just a few months of commitment; it may require changes to your lifestyle and work habits. You may require to change certain aspects of your life to achieve them. So, it is always good to develop habits that can help you accomplish your goals.

5. Celebrate your success

Each time you complete a sub-goal, celebrate it because you are one step closer to achieving your long-term objectives. You can celebrate your success by doing something you enjoy or take a break. These small celebrations can help you stay motivated to achieve your long-term objectives.

6. Review your progress

For a long-term goal, review your progress regularly because, over months and years of work, you may lose track of the progress of your goal. Keep a track record of your activities and see your improvement. This can keep you motivated and focused. Additionally, your track record can point to areas that need improvement.

20 Examples Of Long-Term Goals

Here are some examples of long-term objectives:

  1. I want to become a leader in the business analyst field.

  2. I want to save enough money before my retirement at 60.

  3. I want to leave my software engineering job to become a fashion designer.

  4. I want to write a book on my sales and marketing experiences.

  5. I want to travel the world with my children.

  6. I want to lose 60 kilograms.

  7. I want to spend a year living abroad.

  8. I want to manage the sales department at a company.

  9. I want to become the editor-in-chief of a leading news channel.

  10. I want to improve my credit score to at least 700 in two years.

  11. I want to set aside enough money to fund my children's education.

  12. I want to get a job in my dream company.

  13. I want to increase my salary in the next two years.

  14. I want to turn my passion for running into a career.

  15. I want to learn a new skill.

  16. I want to settle down by the age of 28.

  17. I want to get admission to the top management college in the country.

  18. I want to get a promotion at work.

  19. I want to start a small business.

  20. I want to pay off the mortgages and purchase a new home.

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