A future goals list is a list of goals that you want to achieve sometime in the future. Goal setting is one of the secrets of successful people that follow their dreams. Just like with core values, you have to know where you are going and set a destination before you can steer in the proper direction.
I have a future goals list for myself and for this blog, but first, let’s get you started on how to write your future goals list. I want to give you all the tools that I know of to help you achieve them!
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Do I Need a Future Goals List?
A future goals list helps you define and focus on your goals. You can get by without one, but when you plan out your goals, it makes it much more likely that you will achieve them. Writing out a future goals list is a way that you can make sure that your short term efforts are aligned with your long term goals.
(For setting my long term goals, I found the Slay Your Goals Planner very helpful.)
Types of Goals to Include In Your Future Goals List
Your future goals list is very personal because they are your goals. When I think future goals list, I am thinking very long term. I include personal goals, financial goals, goals for my family, and professional goals, which in my case, are goals for this blog.
You might also have fitness or health goals, education goals, travel and adventure goals, charitable goals, faith-based goals, personal development goals, and creative goals. It’s YOUR goals list. Think about the things that are important to you. Think less short term and more bucket list – which is a list of things you want to do before you die. Typically future goals are not quite as long term as a bucket list where you have your whole life to achieve them.
How Do I Start a Future Goals List?
Everyone’s life is different, so what is on my future goals list will not be exactly what is on yours. That’s ok because you need to live a life that’s uniquely you. Have you defined your core values yet? If you have not, then do that first. It will make writing out your future goals list much easier. You need to know what your core values are so that you can set your priorities, and then you can start your future goals list.
This is the proverbial “Don’t get the cart before the horse.” When I started planning my goals out, I try to make them SMART. goals.
We will talk more about SMART goals in a bit, but first, let’s look at some good goals that you might want to include in your future goals list.
What are some good personal goals?
Personal goals deal with your personal life. Some good personal goals address steps to getting your personal life in order. You might start with your personal relationships with others and include such things as finding your soulmate, getting married, and starting a family. From there, you might also include repairing damaged relationships with family or friends. Start where ever you currently are. For example, I have met my soulmate, married him and have 2 amazing kids, so for me, those personal goals are completed.
Examples of Personal Goals for your Future Goals List
Just in case you are needing more help defining some good personal goals, here are a few examples:
- Find your soulmate
- Marry your soulmate
- Have kids
- Have a good relationship with those kids
- Be the best parent you can be (which is a continual work in progress for myself)
- Maintain good relationships with my parents and sibling(s)
- Maintain good relationships with my in-laws and extended family
- Repair any broken relationships
- Maintain friendships
- Make new friends
- Meet online friends
- Find a new hobby
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What are Some Good Career Goals?
Depending on your job, your career goals will look different. Your career goals might be something such as:
- Starting your own business
- Building a passive income stream
- Getting more education
- Changing jobs or career fields
- Getting a promotion
- Getting a raise
- Becoming a well known professional in your field
- Boost your productivity (try time-blocking)
What are Some Good Financial Goals?
Love it or hate it, finances are a part of our lives. Like each of us, our finances can be in a variety of different places. Financial goals could be something such as:
- Stop living paycheck to paycheck
- Put $20 into savings each pay period
- Put $100 into savings each pay period
- Build up a $1000 emergency fund
- Start investing in your 401K or a Roth IRA
- Start investing (in something!)
- Build up a $10,000 emergency fund
- Start a college fund for a child’s college
- Become financially independent
- Earn 6+ figures a year
What are Some Good Personal Development Goals?
This one is a bit harder to define than the others that have a set value that you can check off. You can assign values to some of them, like read a certain number of personal development books, or you can keep them measured more subjectively. Here are a few examples of personal development goals that you might include in your future goals list. These include some that I have written posts on since I have personally dealt with them!
- Read 2 personal development books/month (Which equates to 24/year)
- Identify triggers and develop a “pause” button before you react.
- Become more patient
- Learn to control your temper
- Practice active and empathetic listening
- Learn and apply coping strategies for anxiety/depression
- Journal at least once a week (Find the perfect type of journaling for you!)
- Silence your inner critic (squash those ANTs!)
- Stop Overthinking (at least 75% of the time)
- Worry less
- Stop things personally
- Start a gratitude list
Other Types of Goals to Include In Your Future Goals List
Some other types of goals that you might want to include in your future goals list could be:
- Faith-based goals
- Adventure goals
These are easier to measure and different for every person. Here are some more concrete examples that you can personalize:
- Lose X number of pounds/kg or inches/cm by a certain time.
- Do creative things (define “things” in your goal) a certain number of times a month or start a craft club.
- Attend church and read your Bible on a regular basis.
- Earn a degree in X area by a certain time
- Make a list of places to travel in a 10-year time frame
- Complete a list of adventures in a 5-year time frame.
What Are SMART Goals and Why Do I Need Them?
In this case, I am not talking about how intelligent your goals are. (smart vs stupid). The “Slay Your Goals Planner” that I use did a great job of explaining what SMART goals are and how to set them. Basically, SMART is an acronym for a way to write your goals in order to make them more achievable.
Some of the example goals that I wrote out above were SMART goals and others were not. How do you tell the difference?
SMART stands for:
T – Timely
For example, let’s take one of the financial goals from above. “Put $20 into savings each pay period.” Is it specific? It tells specifically what account it goes into, a certain amount, and when. So yes, it meets the specific criteria.
It is measurable because $20 is an amount that I can measure. Some of the personal development goals, such as “I will become more patient. I wrote above were not specific or measurable.
The goal of putting $20 into savings each pay period is attainable because I will most likely not notice the impact of $20 gone. It is also relevant if my overall goal is to build up my savings. This goal is also timely… sorta. We can make it a bit better in the timely category. We can say I will put $20 in savings each pay period for a year.
I might not notice $20 gone from each paycheck, but I WILL notice that extra $520 in the savings account at the end of the year!
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Writing Your Own Future Goals List
Let’s get you started with your own future goals list! That’s the point, here – for you to figure out how to start setting the future goals that are relevant to you. Let’s go through the steps for writing your future goals list.
1) Pick a time frame
This can be one year, it can be two years, 10, years, 25 years, or whatever period of time your heart desires.
2) Envision Your Life as You Would Like it to Be that Many Years Down the Road.
Let’s say that I pick a 5-year time frame. My boys will be 16 (ouch!) and 12. My oldest son will be driving. We will still be in the same house that we are now, but it will be a bit bigger with an additional bedroom, living room, bathroom, and computer nook. We will also have a garage. I could continue on.
Think about how every aspect of your life will look. How will your house look, where will you live, where will you work, what will you be doing, what income will you be making? How will your health be? Get as specific as possible. The clearer you can come up with a mental picture the easier it will be to write down your goals.
3) Write Down the Areas Of Your Life That You Want to Set Goals.
You can pick from the ones that we discussed above or you can add to the categories as you see fit. To review, the ones that we have discussed were:
- Personal Development
4) Start Writing Out Goals that Correspond To What You Envision Your Life to be in your Timeframe.
This is the fun part! Or it should be anyway. It was also a hard part for me. I knew where I wanted to be, but setting it out on paper was a bit scary. It’s one thing to have in your head, and quite another to see it down on paper. Seeing it on paper makes it more real, which is one of the reasons that you are more likely to achieve your goals when they are written down.
After I made my future goals list, I decided that I wanted to focus primarily on my goals for the blog. I used a planner made specifically for goal-slaying to help me out that I will discuss in a minute.
How Can I Figure Out Which Goals To Work on First On My Future Goals List?
I was completely lost and needed help at the end of 2018 when it came to goals for the blog. There were SO many things that I needed to do that it was overwhelming. I could not seem to prioritize my goals to save my life.
I felt like the other areas of my life were going well, but I wanted to focus on this blog. During 2018, I did not have a solid plan in place and often “flew by the seat of my pants” in planning my blog content. I wanted to do better in 2019. I bought the slay your goals planner, which I did a full review on here.
The Nitty Gritty: Breaking Down Your Goals to Achieve
The Slay Your Goals Planner helped me to sort through what seemed an impossible mess and break a big goal down into smaller more manageable tasks that I stretched over the period of a year. That’s the #1 thing that I like about it – it took away the overwhelm.
It also included un-dated calendars and to-do lists that went by the month that I printed out multiple copies of to help keep me on track. I was pretty happy when I figured out that I had bought a planner that I could use for many years to come just by printing out the sheets that I needed.
You may not need a planner to do that for you. However, breaking a big goal down into smaller much more bite-sized pieces is a great strategy for not just making a future goals list, but for achieving everything on that list.
Do All the Goals on My Future Goals List Have to Be SMART Goals?
Your future goals list is YOUR list. You make it your way. When I am working on a goal that I want to achieve, I try to make it a smart goal when I am seriously pursuing it. Many of the more passive goals on my list (like being more patient) I do not have in a smart goal format.
When I put a time frame on something, I am seriously pursuing it. As I have to continually remind myself, “You can do anything, but not everything.” I have a tendency to try to do everything at the same time. When I put a time frame and a measure on a goal, I am in hot pursuit, so I have to choose which ones to focus on.
The format that you put your goals in for your list is completely up to you. There is no ONE way to do this. Your future goals list should be totally and uniquely you.
Parts of My Personal Future Goals List
As I said, your future goals list is personal to you, as mine is to me. Not all of them are in SMART goal format, and that’s ok. This is not my complete list, but I will share parts. My future goals list is within a 5-year time frame.
– Continue to attend church every Sunday unless sick or one of the kids is sick.
– Read my Bible at least 3 times a week to my elderly relative (I aim for 5, but that does not always happen.)
– Conduct myself in a God-honoring fashion and try to do what I feel that He would have me to do.
Future/Ongoing Personal Goals
- Be the best mother that I can to my boys.
- Try to understand first, then correct
- Be loving, patient and kind both to my boys and to my elderly relative I tend to and the rest of the family.
- Date my husband once a month
- Care for my Elderly Relative for as long as I can to the best of my ability to make her remaining time on Earth as good quality as she chooses to make it.
Future/Ongoing Career Goals
- Continuing posting blog posts weekly, taking breaks now and then as needed.
- Have 200 email subscribers by the end of 2019 (As of April 2019- 66/200)
- 3k+ page views a month by December 2019 (As of April 2019 2k)
- Reach target blog income by December 2019
- Help as many people as I can find their personal happiness through Contentment Questing
Future/Ongoing Financial Goals
- Continue contributions to retirement accounts to achieve financial independence
- Secure college fund accounts for both boys in the next 5 years
- Start planning final house addition in the next 5 years
- Build up the savings account
Future/Ongoing Personal Development Goals
- Seek first to understand someone before giving correction
- Keep my opinion to myself unless asked. (yes, that’s hard for me)
- Use active listening strategies more
- Improve my patience
- Be a more positive influence on those around me
- Make time for my friends
- Remember to set personal boundaries
Future Travel Goals
- Go on a vacation of some sort every year (even if it’s just camping)
- Plan and take the kids to Disney within the next 5 years
- Take the kids to Crater of Diamonds State Park, AR within the next 2 years.
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The Last Thing You Need to Know About Making Your Future Goals List
A future goals list can help you get a clearer vision of what you want your life to be like farther down the road. When you have that list in mind, it helps you focus your efforts. No one plans to be caught in the rat race and the busyness trap. It just kind of happens.
If you have found yourself in this trap, it’s up to you to pull yourself out. You are responsible for your actions and if you want your life to change for the better, you have to make it happen. No one else can do it for you. My future goals list gives me hope and reminds me of the good things that I want to happen in the future.
What are some things on your future goals list? What good things does the future hold for you? God bless and happy questing!
Resource List for Goal Planning and Slaying:
Free Goal Slaying Quiz – Find out what area of your life you should focus on improving first. You do have to enter your email address to get the results.
Free SMART Goals Worksheet – Make sure the goals you are currently focusing on are SMART goals for increased accountability.
Free Slay Your Goals Guide – Don’t want to buy a planner, but would like some free help on setting and achieving your goals? This is a10 page help guide.
Slay Your Goals Planner – Digital planner that I have purchased and use for my goals for the blog. Helps to clarify the goal-setting process and helps me make sure that the goals I focus on are the right goals. See the complete review here.
2 thoughts on “What Is a Future Goals List and Why Do I Need One?”
Very effective information! I have read and start to set my own goals now. Thank you for your writing.
Reese, I’m glad you found the information helpful! Feel free to email me if you hit a roadblock and need help getting unstuck. email@example.com