163 Personal Goals Examples: Find a Goal to Aim At

Meet Gregory, a writer and the brains behind Face Dragons. He's the go-to guy for getting things done.

Gregory's been living the digital nomad life in Asia for as long as anyone can remember, helping clients smash their goals. He writes on topics like software, personal knowledge management (PKM), and personal development. When he's not writing, you'll catch him at the local MMA gym, nose buried in a book, or just chilling with the family.

Personal goals are the best way to make your life more fun and more meaningful, but coming up with the right goal can be challenging. If you want to achieve something great this year or start working towards a big goal but you’re not sure what, you’re in the right place. This list of 163 personal goal examples has something for you.

Let’s get straight into the goals!

Travel Goals

Travel Goals

To travel more is a common personal goal. A desire to travel exists within all of us, we are creatures that just want to explore. It makes sense then that some of the most common personal goals are travel goals. There are so many travel goals including simply visiting the best destinations. Start with a map if you feel stuck after looking at the goals below.

  1. Trek to Everest Base Camp
  2. Walk the wall of China
  3. Visit Buddha’s birthplace in Lumbini
  4. See the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem
  5. Explore Angkor Watt
  6. Explore Machu Picchu
  7. See the Great Pyramid
  8. See the Northern Lights
  9. Discover the culture of Bali
  10. Scale Killermanjaro in Tanzania
  11. See the Grand Canyon
  12. Visit Stone Henge
  13. Visit Anne Frank’s house in Amsterdam
  14. Visit Cambridge University
  15. Find Platform 9 3/4 in King’s Cross London
  16. Hold up The Leaning Tower of Pisa
  17. Play Golf in Las Vegas
  18. Visit the Colosseum in Rome
  19. Explore the Parthenon in Athens
  20. See the Old Man of Hoy in the Scottish Highlands
  21. Step foot on every continent
  22. Drink coffee with a view of the Eiffel Tower
  23. Smoke a Cuban cigar in Havana
  24. Taste Sushi in Tokyo
  25. Flee from bulls in Pamplona
  26. Experience Holi in Jaipur
  27. See the Dali Lama in Dharamshala
  28. Awe at Cliffside temples in Bhutan
  29. Spend three days in London
  30. Drink a beer (or two) at Oktoberfest in Munich
  31. Explore the markets of Marakesh
  32. Look down on the world in the Burge Kalifa in Dubai
  33. Explore the ancient Laotian royal capital of Luang Prabang
  34. Get a tattoo in Hong Kong
  35. Look down on Cape Town from Table Mountain
  36. Survive in the Amazon Rainforest
  37. Visit the Sherpa capital of Namche Bazaar in Nepal
  38. Learn kung fu at The Shaolin Temple
  39. Cross the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco
  40. Visit the 9/11 Memorial
  41. Visit Buckingham Palace
  42. Drink a Guinness in Dublin
  43. Tour the Wine growing region in France
  44. Eat Pizza in Napoli
  45. Visit the birthplace of Humanity – Ethiopia
  46. Visit Bob Marley’s house in Jamaica
  47. Visit Hemingway’s house in Cuba
  48. Learn Karate in Okinawa
  49. Visit every country on the planet
  50. See Kangaroos in Australia
  51. Go on a cruise
  52. Camp under the stars

Personal Finance Goals

Personal Finance Goals

Figuring out a way to make money that we can enjoy and earn enough to be comfortable is a lifelong journey for most of us. Becoming debt free and investing are common financial goals but there are so many more money goals.

  1. Be debt free
  2. Pay off your mortgage
  3. Buy a second home
  4. Buy a holiday home
  5. Flip a home for profit
  6. FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early)
  7. Have a $1,000 cash emergency fund
  8. Invest in the stock market
  9. Own a Berkshire Hathaway share
  10. Own a bar of gold
  11. Start a side hustle or side gig
  12. Invest in bitcoin
  13. Track your spending for a month
  14. Earn passive income
  15. Have enough savings to retire
  16. Read 10 personal finance books
  17. Max out your 401(K)
  18. Live on a dollar a day for a year
  19. Give 10% of your salary to charity
  20. Save half of what you earn
  21. Open a savings account for your child’s college tuition
  22. Achieve multiple income streams
  23. Get a raise

Academic Goals

Academic Goals

When we’re at school, most of us can’t wait to leave but when you’re older you wish you could go back. It’s not too late though! You can still learn all the things you wish you’d learned at school, and more.

  1. Read Homer’s Illiad and Odessey
  2. Read Virgil’s Aeneid
  3. Read The Complete Shakespeare
  4. Read Beowolf
  5. Read the Greek philosophers
  6. Read the whole Bible
  7. Graduate college
  8. Get a master’s degree
  9. Get a doctorate
  10. Read a book a week
  11. Learn to read Latin
  12. Learn to read ancient Greek
  13. Learn a foreign language
  14. Learn Jungian psychology
  15. Read Freud
  16. Relearn high school math
  17. Learn a scripting language (bash, python, p)
  18. Learn a web language (HTML, CSS, PHP, Javascript)
  19. Learn a programming language (C++, Java, .net)
  20. Write a novel
  21. Write a memoir
  22. Publish a poem
  23. Understand Einstein’s theories

Fitness Goals

Fitness Goals

Fitness goals are the best way to keep yourself progressing in the gym and stay healthy. You don’t need to make massive goals here, a simple goal of going to the gym once a week is a great goal! After a year, you will have built the confidence to try something more challenging.

  1. Lift a two-plate bench press (225lbs, 100kg)
  2. Squat three plates (315lbs, 140kg)
  3. Set up a home gym
  4. Join a gym
  5. Buy a sauna
  6. Run a marathon
  7. Become a black belt in BJJ
  8. Compete in a boxing/MMA match
  9. Do the front splits
  10. Do the side splits
  11. Run a five-minute mile
  12. Do yoga every day for a year
  13. 1m Box jump
  14. Complete an Iron Man
  15. Start the ketogenic diet
  16. Cycle 100 miles
  17. Get a six-pack
  18. Compete in a bodybuilding competition
  19. Gain 10lbs of muscle in a year
  20. Lose 20lbs of fat in a year
  21. Start a running habit
  22. start a yoga practice

Social Life Goals

Social Life Goals

Family, friends, and the communities will live in are all important, so it’s natural that we have goals to make this area of our lives better. While you can’t necessarily ‘improve’ your family or friends, you can improve your relationships with them.

  1. Get Married
  2. Have Children
  3. Meet new people
  4. Teach your child to read
  5. Become a better listener
  6. Wear matching outfits with your partner
  7. Build a treehouse for your children
  8. Take your parents away on vacation
  9. Go into business with a friend
  10. Spend more time with your family
  11. Create a Sunday dinner tradition at your house for your extended family/friends
  12. Choose your children over work
  13. Make a new friend
  14. Homeschool your children
  15. Remove the toxic people from your life
  16. Start a weekly tradition with your friends
  17. Reconnect with an old friend
  18. Arrange a reunion for your school friends

Personal Development Goals

Personal Development Goals

Personal development or personal growth goals are goals that will help you grow as a person. They might not be obvious from the outside but after accomplishing a few of your personal development goals, the people closest to you will start to notice a change.

  1. Start a meditation practice
  2. Get therapy
  3. Pray everyday
  4. Read scripture
  5. Take a personality test
  6. Learn to use GTD
  7. Understand what makes you angry
  8. Come to grips with past trauma
  9. Apologize to someone you wronged
  10. Volunteer or do charity work
  11. Find work-life balance
  12. Make someone feel loved
  13. Quit social media for a month
  14. Help someone in need
  15. Discover your life’s purpose
  16. Overcome your fear
  17. Practice patience
  18. Wake up earlier
  19. Let go of beliefs that don’t serve you
  20. Let go of a long held grudge
  21. Declutter your room or home
  22. Become a minimalist
  23. Make your bed every morning
  24. Create a morning routine
  25. Write a gratitude journal

The Best Tips to Set Your Personal Goals

Set SMART Goals

A SMART goal is one that is:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Actionable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

A SMART Goal Example

To turn an idea into a SMART goal, go through these steps. Let’s use the idea of:

“I want to lose weight.”

  1. Make it Specific – I want to lose belly fat
  2. Make it Measurable – I want to lose 40lbs of belly fat
  3. Make it Actionable – I want to go on the ketogenic diet until I’ve lost 40lbs of belly fat
  4. Make it Realistic – I want to go on the ketogenic diet until I’ve lost 20lbs of belly fat
  5. Make it Timely – I want to go on the ketogenic diet until I’ve lost 20lbs of belly fat, starting today

Of course, you don’t need to use the SMART system for every goal you set, instead use it as a framework to improve your goals. When you set a new goal go through the five steps and ask yourself would this goal be better if it was more specific, measurable, etc?

Of the five steps, the most effective by far is Actionable, it’s so easy to set a goal like travel more or read the classics or start a business, but a goal like this isn’t very easy to put into action. It’s hard to see what doing those goals actually looks like and so, when you try to work on them you may well fall at the first hurdle.

Changing those goals to actionable goals like visiting Rome, reading Paradise Lost, or starting a blog about cats makes it much more likely that you’ll achieve them.

Long and Short Term Personal Goals

You need a good mix of long and short-term goals to keep you motivated and making progress. Don’t make too many goals that require ten or more years to achieve. While it’s great to have an endpoint in mind, goals that seem too far off lack the motivating energy to work hard at them today.

Instead, use goal milestones that you want to hit on the way to your long-term goal. If your goal is to retire in ten years, that’s great but will that keep you working hard every day for the next ten years? Perhaps an intermediate goal such as setting up a passive income stream this year or saving $25k this year would add some urgency and energy and still keep you on track for your long-term vision.

How Many Goals Should I Have?

I think you should have at least one goal for each area of your life, if you don’t then either you are completely satisfied in that area or you’ve lost all hope that that area of your life will ever improve.

Warren Buffet supposedly recommends having only 5 goals to work on at any one time, which I think is good advice if you want to make massive progress on your goals. Too many goals will spread you too thin, and too few will make you one-dimensional.

Remember you don’t need to be actively working on all your goals. You may have a goal to learn to juggle or speak Spanish, but that doesn’t mean you should be working on it now. Keeping a someday maybe list with goals for the future can be freeing and let you record all the things you want to do without the burden of feeling that you need to be doing them all. Make a bucket list, with personal goals you want to check off before you die if that’s more your style.

So go through the different areas of your life, or the topics above, and pick some goals that you want to achieve. Then when you’re done, decide on which goals to work on this year.