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Long-Term Goals: 7 Solid Tips on How to Set and Achieve Them

To achieve long-term goals you might need 5 or 10 years. If you want to take control over your life direction, read this article on how to set and achieve long term goals in life.
a man climbing the mountain as an allusion of achieving long-term goals
Have you ever wondered what your life will be like in the next 5 to 10 years? Will you be doing the same thing you are doing right now, or will you be something you always wanted to be? Have you envisioned your future through long-term goals? Long-term goals enable you to understand what you want to do in the future and how you are going to do that. It is important to realize the importance of aims in life as they empower you and motivate you to be a better version of yourself. Keep reading to know what are long-term goals, and how can you achieve them?

What are the long-term goals?

The long-term goal definition is an objective that you want to achieve in the future. Long-term goals are the essence of living a good and successful life, which requires discipline and planning. An example of a long-term goal is to become a doctor, and this can take years, but you still want it to be in your life anyway. A long-term goal is something hard to get, but the idea of achieving that goal someday is satisfactory.
a man sitting in the mountains and thing about his long-term goals

Why do we need Long-term goals?

Your long-term goals are related to your aims and ambitions. Long-term goals hold a significant place in your life and your career. Trying to achieve the long-term goals may put us through minute short-term discomfort, but the deliberate choice to achieve the long-term goals and anticipated reward compensates for this temporary unease. Long-term goals give you direction and motivation to keep moving forward in life. These long-term goals help you think about your choices in life, the education you will need, and the things you want to achieve in your career and personal life. It makes you ready for things you worked hard for. Your long-term goals help get closer to the better version of yourself. But it will take efficient time management skills, proper planning, a lot of patience and motivation. Motivation complements long-term goals. Learn about simple habits to get motivated and keep your long-term goals running.

How to choose good long-term goals?

Think about the things that you want in life. Focus on things that you want to be in the next 5 or 10 years. Where do you see yourself in the future?. To choose a good long-term goal, you will need to explore your interests, curiosities, things you are good at, and things you want to be good at. Give yourself some time to self-reflect in order to understand your choices and options in a better way.

Long-term goals vs short-term goals: what are the differences?

Goals that are attained quickly and easily are called short-term goals. In comparison, goals that take longer to achieve are called long-term goals. The difference between the long-term and short-term goals is that the short-term goals are things you want to do in the near future, which means things you plan to do today, this week, or this month. Short term goals can be taking a class, buying a new phone, or writing your resume for the job you want to do. However, the long-term goals are things that you want to achieve further in the future. They require time and planning. These are the things that take even years to be completed, such as graduating from college, saving money for a trip, or starting your own business.
a woman holding a pen and thinking about her long-term goals

Tips on how to set long-term goals

Here are a few tips on how to set your long-term goals.

1. Make goals specific and clear

Make goals that are clear and specific. It has to be something that you will work on for some time, not something you get by luck. For example, a clear and specific goal is to start a business in the next three years. However, a goal that is vague and unspecific can be winning a lottery. The latter lacks specificity and direction. But if the goal is specific, you can further break it down into smaller, more achievable steps.

2. Write them down

Write your goal down and keep it with you. Sometimes, we tend to make a goal just because we were daydreaming, or maybe we were just wishful. Write your goal and step that you will take to get closer to your goals. It is more like giving a physical form to your thought, writing what you have in your mind helps you see the bigger picture.

3. Break big goals into smaller ones

Long-term goals are generally time-consuming, and at times we get distracted and feel like quitting. Therefore, it is easier to achieve the goal when broken down into manageable and attainable smaller goals. Take a step toward your goal every day. If you want to start a business in the next three years, start thinking about it from today and plan what steps you will take today to move closer to your long term goals.
a woman doing archery to achieve long-term goals

4. Adjust when and if needed

There might come days when you have to take a step back and rethink things. Be adaptive and adjust yourself accordingly and improve. Taking a step back might give you a better look at the things around. You may miss many valuable opportunities because of being rigid and fixated on your goals.

5. Accept obstacles and even failures

There is no shame in accepting that you tried something and it didn't work out in the way you planned. It means that you have tried, and trying different ways helps you know the right path. So, accept the obstacles as a challenge and work your way through failures.

6. Don't think about your life goal every minute

Don't wear yourself off by thinking about it every minute of your life. Things take time, and being worried about them won't get them done earlier but will only make you scared of failure. Enjoy the process because it is as important as the end product.

7. Match your life goal with personal values

Our values play a huge role in what we want to become in our life. So match your goals with your life values. Realize your values and learn to process them into your goals.


It is important to realize that the road toward your goals and success is never straight, and one has to take turns and move accordingly. Setting and working on your long-term goals helps you be more coherent in your life choices and helps you get closer to your dreams. Envisioning long-term goals is an indicator that you are leading a purposeful life.
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