What Are Some Personal Goals

What are some examples of personal goals?

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shake99 | Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Personal goal setting is something that most of us engage in at one time or another, usually around the beginning of the year, in the form of the infamous New Year’s resolution. While those goals are usually left behind before the first day of spring, it’s true that setting personal goals in a meaningful way can help us focus on what we really want and need to accomplish.

As for examples, that really depends on what area of your life you’re concerned about. The key is to be realistic and take your own personality into account. Don’t expect yourself to make a 180 lifestyle turn; in most cases that’s not likely to happen. But you can make changes gradually and accomplish goals over the long term.

Here are a few thoughts for different areas of your life:

School: Improve grades by a full GPA point (say, from 2.5 to 3.5). That’s more do-able than saying you’re going to make straight A’s for the rest of your life. After you accomplish the 3.5, you might shoot for the vaunted 4.0.

Work: Try for an improved performance evaluation—you don’t have to become a CEO right away. If you want a new job, make it your goal to put in 10 applications and get 5 interviews (depending on the job you’re looking for you can adjust these numbers up or down). You can’t force someone to hire you, so that shouldn’t be how you rate your success, but you can control how hard you work to get that new job.  

Health: If you’re inactive, start walking a mile a day. It only takes about 20-25 minutes. You don’t have to go to a gym or a track—you can just walk around in your yard. If you eat a lot of junk food, start cutting down. It’s hard to quit the sugar and salty snacks cold turkey, just set a goal to cut down a certain amount per week. It’s easier than you think.

Personal Relationships: You can’t control other people, so don’t set your goals based on the behavior of others. Your goal should be about how you interact with others. Want to improve your relationships? Make it a goal to ask a couple of people a day about something in their own lives. We love to talk about ourselves and we really like the people who are willing to listen to us while we do it.

The most important thing to remember is this word: Sticktoitiveness. You might have to look at it closely to figure it out, but it means to keep on trying. If we set a goal and don’t accomplish it, our first reaction is to give up, say we failed, and leave it behind. But I can tell you from personal experience that it is possible to fail at a personal goal repeatedly, and then one day suddenly find the determination to succeed at it. I did this with smoking. I struggled with this for years, and then one day, on my humpteenth try, I just quit. It wasn’t easy, but I kept setting it as goal and the last time I tried, it worked.

I’ll close with one of my favorite quotes. This is from Michelangelo, about 500 years ago:

“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” 

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clyoon | Student, Grade 12 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

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Setting a personal goal is simply establishing something you want to accomplish for yourself. It can be anything in the world as long as it's something you want to do or accomplish.

For example, a personal goal could be to raise $500 by August to buy a plane ticket to New York. Another personal goal could be to increase your max weight from 50 lbs to 80 lbs when you do bench press. Or you could say you want to find a job and work by next month. Or you could say you want to drink at least 7 glasses of water a day instead of 4.

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arrellbelle | Student, College Sophomore | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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A personal goal can be of any varying degree or extent. It can be rather extreme such losing 50 lbs. in 3 - 4 months or something small, such as finishing a school paper by the end of the day. It just all depends on you and on what you think should be a personal goal.

For example, I have been dealing with obesity since middle school and I made it a personal goal of mine to lose weight and weigh at least 100 lbs. because I was 5 feet tall. However, as I started to lose weight, my vision of my personal goal started to change and I simply wanted to be healthier and stronger.

So really, a personal goal can be anything you want and it can change along the way!

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zumba96 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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Personal Goals do not have to be extreme, they can be simple and just relate to the little things you want to accomplish. For example if someone wants to get a slimmer body within 4 weeks, they can set up a workout schedule and take interval measurements to see how it is going. If someone wants to improve grades they could motivate themselves and try harder and get a better grade while setting a specific goal. 

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thewanderlust878 | Student, College Freshman | (Level 3) Salutatorian

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Personal goal setting is something that anyone, anywhere, in any situation can do. It is also something that usually helps an individual become a better functioning person in today's society. The goals themselves can range from small, such as planting a garden or organizing your room, to large, such as losing weight or becoming financially independent. These personal goals are for you and you only, which is why they are called "personal" goals. YOU determine what you want to achieve, and YOU are essentially the one who will do the work to achieve the goal you have set for yourself. A good tool to help you get started is the SMART goals acronym. I have personally used this for myself and am quite happy with the results. For more information I suggest checking out the links below. Good Luck!

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chrisyhsun | Student, College Freshman | (Level 1) Salutatorian

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Many people set personal goals for themselves as a way to measure some area of self-improvement in which they are engaged. For example, a person may set a personal goal of losing 5 pounds in 4 months. This is then a standard by which to measure progress for that individual’s trips to the gym and decreased food intake. Other personal goals include:
  • To quit smoking/drinking
  • To commit more hours to learning something (such as a language or an instrument
  • To “do better in school” (perhaps spending more time on homework instead of watching television or attaining a certain grade in a specific class)
  • To “break out of my shell” (trying out a new activity, taking a class on public speaking, strengthening friendships)

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