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Most people, especially those with a doer personality, strive for achievement and a sense of accomplishment. Long-term goals are the blueprint for helping us achieve these outcomes.
Long-term goals are your vision for the future. They are your definition of success in life.
A long-term goal can be as practical as saving up money for your kid’s college fund. Or it can be as abstract as leaving a lasting legacy for the future generations. Regardless of what you want from life, creating a series of long-term goals can help you get there.
So if you're stuck with “what” you want to achieve, then check out the 25 long-term goals examples that we profile in this post. Here, you'll discover a wide range of objectives that include fitness & health, financial security, learning, career, and personal development goals. We hope that you can draw inspiration from these examples to help you shape a better future.
Let's get to it…
What is a Long-Term Goal?
A long-term goal often takes years to achieve. You won’t complete this type of goal this week, or even this year. Instead, a long-term goal (or a stretch goal) requires you to plan the specific habits and actions to systematically work your way to this important milestone.
For example, let's say a woman has a long-term goal is to create a million dollar's worth of assets.
This won't happen overnight. So, she’ll set a series of short-term goals that will help her “stair step” her way to a million dollars.
(Check out our roundup of the best personal development plan templates and life planning worksheets to help you get started.)
Maybe her first short-term goal is to pay off all her debts. Then she will learn the basics of saving money and investing for long-term growth. After that, she'll set a short-term goal of becoming more productive at work to get noticed and get a pay raise.
Throughout this journey, her long-term goal is to create a million dollar's worth of assets, but they way she gets there is to set a series of short-term goals. (You can learn more about the differences between a short-term goal and a long-term goal in this article.)
RELATED: 21 Examples of SMART Goals
Want to set goals you can actually achieve? Then watch this video that provides a quick overview of SMART goals with 21 examples.
Okay, now that you understand what a long-term goal is, here are 25 examples.
Long-Term Health and Fitness Goals
1. Complete an Ironman Triathlon
If you are bored with your usual workout routine and you want to challenge yourself athletically? Trying to complete an Ironman race can be a massive goal that takes years to complete.
(For the uniformed, an Ironman race is 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of cycling, and 26.2 miles of running — back-to-back-back. Needless to say, this is a very challenging endurance race to complete.)
If you’re planning to join for the first time, you have to consider the fitness requirements of the sport. It means you have to train and condition your body to meet the challenges of cycling, swimming, and running long distances.
Trainers advise newbies to start training for a triathlon 1 to 3 years before the event.
2. Lower your cholesterol levels
High cholesterol levels put you at risk for heart diseases, strokes, and cardiac arrest. To lower cholesterol, you might need to make some modifications in your lifestyle and diet.
By avoiding eating foods high in saturated fats, such as red meats, can help bring down cholesterol levels. A consultation with your health care provider is also essential to determine if treatment through medication is necessary. And you can also permanently lower your cholesterol levels by building a daily workout routine like a walking program.
If you're concerned about your health, you can use this app to integrate data from your blood and DNA, then use a fitness tracker to give you a real-time, holistic snapshot of your health & wellness.
3. Live a healthy life so you can play with your grandkids
Don’t we all want to live longer to enjoy life more and share it with the people we love the most? This long-term goal helps you make wise choices related to your health and well-being.
When you take care of your health, it’s more likely for you to reach advanced years, be free from debilitating illnesses, AND enjoy your days with your beloved grandkids.
4. Get a toned body (with abs, of course)
Being in an optimal state of health is the ideal way to live. The exercises that burn fat and toned muscles also strengthen your heart.
Moreover, a toned body is more capable of protecting you from muscle and joint injuries.
I had a friend in high school. He was very skinny and was often teased about it. He told me that he wanted to become a bodybuilder. After graduation, my friend and I lost touch. Just recently, we reconnected through social media.
It was slightly surprising to see his pictures. One striking thing about him is that he has changed physically. He’s now so ripped.
He currently works as a fitness instructor and bodybuilder. It took years (more than 15) of dedicated study and training. Yet, he has achieved his goal. Not only that, he won several competitions in bodybuilding both locally and internationally.
5. Lose 20 pounds the healthy way and keep it off for good
In a bid to lose weight quickly, some people have tried going on fad diets. These diets usually don’t work and they gain back the pounds (or more) after stopping.
More importantly, the people who try these diets inadvertently put their health in danger. If losing the excess weight is part of your long-term health goal, choose to do it the healthy way to ensure that the excess weight stays off for good.
One of the simplest strategies to permanently lose weight is to create meal plans that fit into your busy lifestyle. For more on this, check out these 11 apps that can help coordinate your meal-planning efforts, and this weight loss app that uses a psychology-based approach to change your eating habits for the better.
Long-Term Financial Goals
6. Save up for your retirement
Do you want to maintain the standard of living you currently enjoy well into your retirement? Maybe you are concerned about meeting your medical and other needs in the future.
Financial experts strongly suggest that you must put aside money to give you peace of mind for the time you retire.
To learn more about this long-term goal, here are 18 books that can help you with retirement planing and the M1 investment platform that helps you make smart, financial decisions.
7. Buy your own property
Owning a property is one of the major indicators of financial success. It is also one of the soundest financial investment you can make.
Since mortgage is considered a good debt, it improves your credit profile. Tax incentives from the government also help homeowners lay down the foundation of their personal wealth. (For more on this, read our review of the 16 best real estate investing books.)
You can also check out these posts to help you achieve your real estate goals:
8. Secure and maintain a good credit record
Currently, most companies and businesses are looking into the state of your credit profile to determine if they will provide you with the product or service you need. And it’s most likely not going to change.
A good credit score positively impacts on your way of life. It opens up more opportunities that boost your quality of life compared, which are often inaccessible if you have a questionable credit record.
Now, there are many routines that can you can build into your daily routine that will improve your personal finances.
To get started, you can get a free credit score from Credit Karma.
9. Set aside money for your children’s education
Help your children secure a better future by investing in their education. Start saving money for an educational fund early (the moment they are born, if possible).
Another way to help your children avoid taking huge college loans in the future is by applying for an educational insurance plan. Not only will it free them from financial burdens, it ensures that you leave them with a positive legacy.
To learn more, here's a comprehensive overview of 529 plans, which is the main investment vehicle that parents use to pay for their children's education.
10. Start a business
Having your own business allows you to earn your livelihood while you pursue your real passion. By being a business owner, you have the opportunity to enjoy all that life has to offer and not being worried about having the means to support your needs.
It is really risky to start a business, but the joy of doing something you love, being your own boss, and being able to make a difference in other people’s lives often outweighs the challenges.
That was what spurred another friend of mine to quit a high-paying job in the corporate world to start her own cake shop. The transition for her was difficult and she was ready to give up the first year she started.
Yet, with encouragement and support from family, she persevered and now her shop is one of the top businesses in her city. Her greatest (and happiest) achievement is that she is able to provide employment for single moms.
To learn more, here are 33 books that every new entrepreneur should read.
11. Earn your first $1,000,000
Setting a specific amount to reach in your earnings or savings is a good long-term financial goal. This challenges you to tap into all your resources in order to achieve your goal.
By the time you achieve this goal, you’d have become more financially savvy and – most importantly – you’d have a million dollars to your name.
Long-Term Learning Goals
12. Obtain another degree
Have you ever heard of the growth mindset? It is a belief that your most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. Put simply: You can develop any skill by focusing on life-long learning.
Getting another degree is one way of refreshing your knowledge and improving your skills and specialization. As employers are more likely to notice those who take the effort for personal development, getting another degree is a worthwhile long-term goal for students that can impact your career in a positive way.
13. Learn to play a musical instrument like an expert
The ability to play a musical instrument benefits brain health. It strengthens long-term memory. It also protects the sense of hearing from decline related to age.
Moreover, playing music improves your mood so you feel happier. It also decreases stress and depression levels.
To get started, here are great resources to learn:
14. Learn to speak a foreign language like a native speaker
Being fluent in a foreign language gives you an edge in this fast-paced world. What are some of its benefits?
You get better employment opportunities. You’ll be able to establish friendships with people from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Moreover, it improves your brain and actually makes you smarter.
A simple tool to learn a foreign language is Rocket Languages, which offers 12 different language options.
15. Obtain an in-depth understanding of a different culture by living abroad
Leave your comfort zone. Go somewhere you’ve never been before and immerse in the culture.
There are so many things we can learn while travel – about the world, others, and ourselves. Most of these lessons have not been taught to us in school. And keeping a travel journal can help you retain lessons you learn in your travels.
Long-Term Goals for Your Career
16. Gain experience in a leadership role
If you are given the opportunity to be in a leadership position, take it. It will allow you to be involved in wider aspects of the company.
Most importantly, being a leader offers you the chance to make a positive impact in lives of the people you lead. People take their cue from you. Your attitude towards work will influence those around you. Make it count.
Check out our tips for overcoming the impostor syndrome and these 14 characteristics of becoming a leader in the workplace.
17. Improve your work performance
There are a number of benefits in improving your performance at work as a long-term career goal. Top-performing workers are an asset to any company.
When you perform well, job security and other perks usually follow. Who knows, a promotion is just around the corner?
You might want to read our tips on becoming more productive at work, writing a career goal statement, and creating your professional goal statement.
If you're looking for help on creating career SMART goals, check out these specific examples:
- 8 SMART Goals Examples for Your Nursing Career
- 9 SMART Goal Examples for Teachers
- 7 SMART Goals Examples for Administrative Assistants
- 15 Leadership SMART Goals Examples for Your Workplace
18. Get hired for your dream job
There is nothing more satisfying than doing something you love. It comes with a lot of positive benefits.
Moreover, when you are happy with what you’re doing, it’s likely that your self-esteem is higher. You are in a healthier state of mind. Your potential to earn more rises. Lastly, are appreciated for your efforts.
Identifying your dream job can be tricky if you feel trapped in your current employment situation. One solution is to look for a job that's based on what you personally value. If you'd like to learn more, I recommend reviewing these items:
- 5 Example Answers to the “What Are Your Career Aspirations” Question
- A service to create the perfect resume and cover letter
- Our recommended resource for answering tough interview questions
- How to Identify Your “Why”
- 70 Examples of Personal Core Values
- 5 Core Values Quizzes to Identify What’s Important to You
- How to Use the “80/20 Rule” to Focus on What's Important
19. Increase your earnings
Today’s cost of living is constantly increasing. It’s only natural to aspire to earn more to make ends meet.
You can do this by getting promoted or getting a raise. However, some people look for additional sources of income such as doing side hustles in their spare time.
Some people have catering services. Others offer tutorial services. There are those who make and sell crafts. Consider your skills and talents – you might be able to earn when you offer it to the world.
20. Become a mentor
Sometimes people only highlight the benefits mentoring can give to the mentee. However, being a mentor can add value to your leadership experience.
It can help you realize your goal of achieving a leadership position. By being a mentor, you can help shape the leaders and workers of the future.
Lastly, mentoring someone boosts your feelings of self-worth for having helped another person find their place in the world.
If becoming a mentor (or finding one) sounds appealing, then here is an overview of this concept.
Long-Term Personal Goals
21. Be the best parent to your kids
Families serve as a foundation through which children learn important values to become good members of society. The way you raise your kids contributes to the future of the entire world.
It will take years to see the effect of how you raised your kids. You might want to be a good example to them now.
If you're a mom, here are seven habits you should consider to be the best possible parent and here is a free 60-minute online class, where you'll learn how to get kids to listen without nagging, yelling or losing control.
22. Become a founder of a non-profit organization
Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” If you want to make a positive impact in the lives of others, then one way of doing it is to establish a non-profit organization that supports your advocacy.
23. Travel to 5 different places for leisure
Perhaps your long-term learning goal includes traveling to places to know more about culture. You can include traveling purely for leisure as part of your personal goal.
Make this a part of your self-care ritual.
Take the time to unwind and leave the pressures of work and of life in general behind (only for a few days!). You’ll come back refreshed and able tackle the challenges that may have seemed insurmountable before your trip.
24. Become known for your craft
Being a master of your craft can catch other people’s attention. However, there are deeper positive benefits to mastery.
It allows you to discover yourself and gives you a sense of fulfillment that nothing else may be able to duplicate. It also allows you to grow as you search for ways to exceed your previous efforts in your chosen craft.
And if you'd like a few resources that can teach you lifelong skills, then I recommend checking out these platforms:
- Skillshare (You can read the review of it here.)
- Udemy (You can read the review of it here.)
- Coursera (You can read the review of it here.)
25. Leave a lasting positive legacy
Legacies spur the succeeding generations to new heights. It is a noble long-term personal goal to provide a legacy that inspires people to reach their highest potentials.
Final Thoughts on Long-Term Goals
There you have it. Long-term goals examples to guide your perfect tomorrow. Having a plan means you have a vision on what you want your life to look like in the next ten years or so. And if you want to go even bigger, learn about big hairy audacious goals (BHAGs) and how you can use them to change your life.
Goal setting is important. It gives us a reason to wake up each day. And what is a better way to start the day than with good habits that keep you energized to go after your goals? Check out the tips for daily morning routine habits for an amazing day ahead. And if you're looking for some inspiration, here are our favorite ambition quotes and destiny quotes.
Are some of the goals you’re currently working on to achieve listed above?
Maybe you're focusing on intermediate goals or medium-term goals instead of long-term ones. We’d love to hear about your experience with goal setting. Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Finally, if you want to take your goal-setting efforts to the next level, check out this FREE printable worksheet and a step-by-step process that will help you set effective SMART goals.