The essential guide to goal setting part 1: Types and brain dump

One important aspect of living a full and successful life is understanding, setting, enjoying, and working with goals. On the surface, goal setting is one of the most easiest concepts to understand, yet so few people set goals and even less act on the goals they’ve set.

Let’s be honest about goal setting. The reality is that goal setting is bloody hard. Goal setting is time consuming. Goal setting requires constant revisions. Goal setting is over-whelming. Goal setting requires commitment. Goal setting requires action. Goal setting requires focus.

However……the internet, the book stores, the statistics all share with you one important point.

If you want to have a full-life, a life that is abundant in success, a life that you can look back on and be proud of then….


Now we have a challenge with goals. The challenge is that:-

  • Goals need to be specific
  • Goals need to have priority
  • Goals need to be long term
  • Goals need to be medium term
  • Goals need to be short term
  • Goals have many different types – the core types being intellectual, emotional, spiritual, physical, relationship, financial goals

Because of the complexity of setting goals, this week we have created an evolving on-line workbook that we want you to follow as best you can. This is part one of our goal journey with you. In part one, we share with you the six core types of goals and why they are important in your life. At the end of this article, we then want you to create a bucket list of non-specific goals. We want you to spend at least an hour to create your first list. As time passes you can add or delete from this list.

rat race, winner, financial freedom
Intellectual goals are what you are passionate about

Intellectual Goal Setting

Intellectual goals are everything non-financial, non-relationship that you love doing. In general, when you follow your intellectual goals, it makes your heart jump with delight. Examples of intellectual goals include:

  • Go skydiving once a month
  • Become an advanced social dancer
  • Write a book
  • Travel the world
  • Visit ten new countries a year
  • Visit the Grand Canyon
  • Make your own set of mugs from a pottery course

To achieve your intellectual goals you often need to set educational goals for example

  • Start a college course,
  • read 6 books a year
  • listen to a Ted Talk once a month
  • Attend some online training courses to increase your knowledge

For more examples and inspiration on how to set your intellectual goals check out this lady’s bucket list journey. Note how specific her list is.

angry, fight, wealth, professional
Emotional goals will help conquer emotions such as anger and fear.

Emotional Goal Setting

Emotional goals are about how you deal with anger, rejection, fear, betrayal, love, laziness, inspiration, stress, decision. Un-forgiveness is the leading emotional cause of bad health. Inability to deal with anger, fear and stress indirectly causes bad relationships, betrayals, and impacts on your personal success in all areas of your life. Some examples of emotional goals:-

  • Learn to live and use fear to your advantage
  • Learn to love and forgive people quickly
  • Learn to make decisions quickly
  • Learn to be less affected by stress and so sleep better

For more examples, inspiration and understanding on how to set your emotional goals check out Huffington Post’s emotional wellness tips and Body and Soul’s article on core mental and health goals

lecrae, positive, people pleasing
Spiritual goals are about your mindset

Spiritual Goal Setting

Spiritual goals are perhaps the most complex. Your spirituality is your life essence. An essence that changes and evolves over time. Your spiritual goals define why you are on this planet and are manifested in every other aspect of your goals. A few phrases that describe what spirituality is about include:-

  • finding, developing and evolving yourself to be the best version of you from a character perspective.
  • development of your mind-set
  • working with and understanding universal laws.
  • finding your personal reason for living
  • giving back to others

It takes time to find your life purpose. For many, that life purpose will evolve and change in their life journey. I have shared more examples for your spiritual goals because your spiritual goals define and power you at a deep level. It is your core.

Ultimately your spirituality will make or break the person you were, you are, and who you will one day become. When your spiritual habits are wrong, you leave yourself open to attacks of depression, suicide, addiction, bad fortune, and ill-health.

Examples of spiritual goals include:-

  • Reading one self-development book a month
  • Create a course based around the self-help book you are currently reading. In each section of the course, create actionable items that have worked for you
  • Coach or mentor someone who has not reached your level in life
  • Learn how to live and explain one universal law a month to a friend
  • Interview a spiritual teacher and ask him or her spiritual questions that you’ve always wondered about.
  • Understand what being loving is about
  • Become more loving.
  • Bring more spirituality to your everyday life.
  • Learn to identify with your higher self, instead of identifying with your ego.
  • Regularly and actively support a charity either with time or money
  • Listen to one Ted talk a week.
  • Bless one person every week without them knowing
  • Give to a local charity or a charity you care deeply about.
  • Meditate daily
  • Start or continue a gratitude journal.
  • Pick and memorize a life verse.
  • Create a notebook with your favourite quotes
  • Join an entrepreneurs or meditational group

For more examples, inspiration, and understanding of spiritual goals check out Daring To Live Fully’s Spiritual Bucket List and Stone Soup for Five’s article on Spiritual goal ideas.

Bananas, light bulb
Physical goals including your eating goals

Physical Goal Setting

Physical goals are about rest, health and fitness. Essentially it’s about ensuring you have the best body for you. Having the best body for you will improve the amount of energy you have, the sharpness of your mind, and your public self-confidence. Examples include:-

  • Sleep on 6 hours a day
  • Stop drinking all fizzy drinks
  • Stop eating fastfood
  • Play football once a week
  • Go to the gym once a month

For more examples, inspiration and understanding of physical goals check out Body Building’s 5 Health and Fitness Goals Everyone Should set.

Ben Chai, Alex WIlliams, family, friends
Relationship goals are essential for good family and friends

Family and Relationship Goal Setting

Family and relationship goals are about improving your social relationships. This begins with your immediate family and works outwards to friends and networking. Your family and relationship goals will help you to attract and have more sustainable, stable, fun and long lasting people in your life. Having people in your life to love and be loved by is essential for support, getting through the dark times, and sharing the beautiful moments with. One of the classic  books on this subject is Dale Carnegie’s book How to win friends and influence people

Examples include:-

  • Become more sociable
  • Become a better mother/father
  • Become a better son/daughter
  • Make four new friends a month
  • Brighten the life of a waiter/security guard/cleaner one a week

For more examples, inspiration and understanding of relationship goals check out 5 Essential Family Goals and Buzzfeed’s relationship goals.

Gift, betrayal, finance money, pounds
Financial goals are important for security and freedom

Financial Goals

Financial goals are about living without worrying. Arguments about finance, and where money is being spent is one of the leading causes of divorce, business breakups and betrayals. So it is important that your financial goals ensure that you have good debt and income habits. Having good financial goals will ensure that you never have to:-

  • worry about where your next meal is coming from
  • worry about how you are going to help you or your family with health services and education
  • worry about how you can afford a lovely surprise holiday
  • worry about unexpected financial disasters

Examples of financial goals include:-

  • Get out of debt
  • Live within your means
  • Create a savings account
  • Create an investment account
  • Create multiple income streams
  • Create a disaster recovery account (in case of betrayal or bad business period)

For more examples, inspiration and understanding of financial goals have a read of this article on good financial goals

Action Time

Now it’s action time. On a piece of paper or a spreadsheet if you are IT literate. Write down six columns. Intellectual, emotional, spiritual, physical, relationship, financial.

Under each column write down as many goals as possible. It is okay if:-

  • The goals are specific or general
  • The goals are in the wrong column
  • The goals are accidentally duplicated
  • The goals seem too big that you don’t think you will ever achieve them
  • The goals seem too small and insignificant.
  • The goals are so many that you don’t have an hour to write them all down.

At this point, all we want, is for you to have at least 20, preferably 100+ goals written down in some form. You must write down this list. Over time you will write and rewrite this list many times. Do feel free to add/delete from the list but WRITE IT DOWN.

In our essential guide to goal setting part two, we share with you how to prioritise your comprehensive goal list. Happy bucket list goal-setting. If you enjoyed this article, please do leave a comment and join our fiveyearstofinancialfreedom community.

Other articles other readers have enjoyed



Previous articleChris Ludwig: Reaching your dreams via parental power
Next articleThe essential guide to goal setting part 2: Long term goals