How to Categorize your Goals [10 Categories w/ Examples]


Goals are one of the biggest parts of self-reflection. As an advocate of self-reflection practice, I often get questions about goals and how do you categorize them in order for things to work. Thus, this article will be about categorizing your goals and how would you use it in order to see results.

Here is how you categorize your goals:

  • Financial Goals
  • Health Goals
  • Relationship Goals
  • Psychological Goals
  • Educational Goals
  • Personal Development Goals
  • Experience Goals
  • Spiritual Goals
  • Career Goals
  • External Goals

Since there are lots of categories of goals, it might be confusing to follow all of them. It is worth noting that while it is good to have goals in these aspects, I am a firm believer of following one thing until we see success. Thus, I will also be sharing my goals in this article so you can see what I mean.

But here is the basic on what you can do.

On your self-reflection session, find the ones that you lack in life. If everything is almost lacking like my life a few years back, then find the one that immediately needs improvement. After finding one category that needs improvement, think of one thing to do to improve it.

This is very powerful as I will show you later. But if you are interested in doing a reflection practice, then here is an article where I shared how to do self-reflection: How to Develop your Self-Reflection Practice

1. Financial Goals

Financial goals are a category of goals that involves money. This can be getting out of debt, paying your bills on time, having a savings account , having a well paying job, and many more. These financial goals is typically a meta-goal in which it improves all other categories.

There is a reason why this is first in the list. It is the one goal that I focused on when every thing was a mess.

Let me give you the reason why.

My life a few years back was a mess. I don’t have money because my investments failed and I am so focused on a lot of things.

What I mean by that is I listened to self-help gurus who tell that to improve, you need to read a lot of books, exercise, wake up early, and many more.

Furthermore, people say I need to diversify my portfolio so I did a lot of investments without any focus.

As you can see, since I am too focused on reading books, exercising a lot, waking up early and so on, I don’t have the energy to do other things.

Thus, my life begun to fail and it was very miserable.

Looking in my life that time, I am still young so my health goals are still in check, I don’t mind not having a relationship because my life is still a mess. What only mattered to me is to earn enough money to live comfortably.

Here’s the part where it gets better.

I realized that focusing on just one thing can make others better. For example in my case, if only I earn enough money, I can eat right instead of junk foods, I can enjoy myself with experience goals, I will have less stress thus better psychological aspects, and I can enroll to courses for my education.

Can you see it?

On the lowest point of my life, I learned to properly do self-reflection and it became really clear that if only I can improve one goal category, life would be extremely better.

Thus, I focused on my financial because it is the one that needs the most help at that time. I started building this website that now earns enough money for me to live comfortably.

So, setting goals in the financial category is really simple and I will give multiple examples so you can know if you need improvement in this category.

Examples of Financial Goals:

  • Paying of Credit Card Debt
  • Having an Emergency Savings Account
  • Finding a Side Job
  • Having a Good Investment Portfolio
  • Having a Job that pays well
  • Getting Out of Debt

There are more financial goals aside from the one listed here. Basically, if it really involves money, then it is a financial goal.

2. Health Goals

Health goals is a category of goals that focuses on getting our body to function to its fullest potential. This can include exercising to have more energy throughout the day, getting enough sleep, eating right, and getting regular check-ups. Health goals are important because neglecting it affects other goal categories.

How many times have I seen a person who is really busy with his or her life, has a lot of money but forgot about taking care of their health.

On your health goals, it is not just important to have even light walks of exercises, it is also important to eat right.

For example, while I am not completely focused on my exercises, I still do some light walking after finishing my work for today.

It is important to have some health goals since you only have one body to take care of.

Even people who are still young like me who is still in the 20s really needs to take care their body. For example, because of not stretching, I injured my knee and the injury will stay with me forever.

Regrets are always in the end.

Examples of Health Goals:

  • Eating More Protein
  • Eating More Fiber
  • Preparing a Balanced Meal
  • Having some Exercise
  • Getting Regular Check-ups

I recommend you read my other article on how to create a goal list and execute them. It is one thing to categorize your goals, but it is way better for you to see the bigger picture from making your goal list to executing it with efficiency. Here is the article. It is a must-read: How to Create a List of your Goals

3. Relationship Goals

Relationship goals is a category of goals that focuses on our relationship to other people. It doesn’t only include relationship to a significant other. It can also include your friends, family, workmates, and other people who we interact with.

Humans are social creatures.

In honesty, even an introvert like me still needs friends and family by my side.

Some total introverts are satisfying their relationship needs by using the internet to chat with other people.

It is hard to find a week where we won’t have any interaction with any human being.

If you think that there are some things that needs fixing with out loved ones, then it is a relationship goal. Fixing misunderstandings especially with people who care for us is necessary.

Furthermore, if you want to be in a relationship, then go out there and meet people. Make yourself look attractive by getting in shape, or just dressing well.

Even if you are a 3/10, if you only take care of yourself like dressing up well, getting a better physique, and applying perfume, then you can become an 8/10.

For people who want to befriend an introvert, then I have an article which will be good for you. I’ve made a guide on how to introverts socialize. This way, you can understand introverts better. For introverts, it is a good read since most say that their social life in placed in one article. Here is the Article: How do Introverts Socialize?

Examples of Relationship Goals

  • Fixing a Misunderstanding
  • Going out to Meet People
  • Chatting with Friends
  • Going out with your Family
  • Talking to Old Friends

4. Psychological Goals

Psychological goals are often a neglected category of goals. These goals include taking care of your mental health such as having a regular check-up, doing things that makes you happy, giving yourself some rest, enjoying the present moment, and many more.

Our society is so focused on curing diseases but it seems like they are neglecting the psychological needs of the people.

For example, the rate of depression is now skyrocketing and people have no idea how to deal with it.

Remember that your mental health matters. Without taking care of your mental health, you will just not have any fun doing other things.

It can be as simple as taking a break, or doing a side job that you love. You can also satisfy this by following your passion.

We deserve to be happy in life. Find what matters to you and find your purpose. This is a good way to satisfy your psychological needs.

If you are wondering why finding your purpose is important, then I recommend you read this article: What does it mean to find your purpose?

Here are examples of psychological goals:

  • Doing the things that matters to you
  • Finding your Purpose in Life
  • Having a Job that you love
  • Finding your Passion
  • Deep talks to people we love

5. Educational Goals

Educational goals are a category in goals which is involved in learning new things. This is because people should not stop learning. Learning is fun and it is essential to maintain our brain health. Education also keeps us interested and happy with life.

There are some people who completely neglected their educational goals.

And the most common reason is that they say they are too old for learning.

The problem with that is education is not just going to college or school.

It is experiencing new things, learning by reading a book, or listening to podcasts.

Learning is fun and it is so much fun. It keeps us interested in this world and the things happening around us.

Furthermore, it helps us get a better career which usually sums to a better quality of life.

We can now get information with a few press of a button thanks to technology, use it to your advantage.

Examples of Educational Goals:

  • Going to School
  • Learning new skills that interest you
  • Reading Books
  • Listening to Educational Podcasts
  • Watching Courses

6. Personal Development Goals

Personal Development goals is a category in goals where we focused on self-improvement. Personal development goals are tied to make ourselves better socially, makes us more productive, efficient, and ultimately makes us happier.

This website is focused on personal development and I am an advocate of productivity.

This helps me manage my time really well despite having a lot to do with my work and other projects.

It keeps me happy and I am just happy when I see myself getting better from what I was a year ago.

For me, personal development is important if we want to have a meaningful life.

This is because none of us is born perfect, we need to improve.

The good thing is that personal development is now easy due to the ease of getting information in the internet.

Finally, the ultimate goal of personal development which is that nothing is one size fits all. You can find more of this in this article: What can we learn from Personal Development?

Personal Development Goals include:

  • Improving your Public Speaking Skills
  • Learning to be more productive
  • Learning how to win friends
  • Building Good Habits

7. Experience Goals

Experience goals is a category of goal that satisfies our need for adventure. This can include going for mountain climbing, enjoying nature such as beach and forests, and immersing yourself in different cultures that satisfies our need for experiencing life.

There are people that are so focused on their career that they start neglecting their experience goals.

While not all are a fan of traveling and getting to other cultures, some definitely love it.

For example, I like immersing myself in different cultures since I find it interesting knowing how people can be different just because of culture.

Another is that I sometimes enjoy the happiness I get from enjoying nature such as hearing the waves of the ocean, or the birds chirping in the morning.

Experience tells us a lot about life, and it just makes us feel in the moment.

Examples of Experience Goals Include:

  • Traveling to different places
  • Immersing in different cultures
  • Enjoying the Scenery
  • Going to Adventures
  • Living in a different city

8. Spiritual Goals

Spiritual goals are a category of goals that is focused on our spirituality. This doesn’t only mean about going to church It is also our means to serve other people such as donating to a charity, or volunteering to any advocacy or organization you care about.

Spiritual goals also means being at peace with yourself. Knowing what matters to you and serving others.

There is some joy in helping others that we can’t really speak in words but it is there.

This can be done by donating money to charity works, but money is not always the solution.

For example, if you want to volunteer in cooking to give food for the poor, then you are still satisfying your spiritual goals.

While spirituality can be tied to church, it is not always the case. What matters is what you do to serve humanity.

Examples of Spiritual Goals Include:

  • Praying More
  • Going to Church
  • Volunteering to Serve Others
  • Donating to Charity
  • Serving Food to People in Need

9. Career Goals

Career goals is a category in goals that is more focused on what we want to do in life. This is because some of us have something we want to do it life. While there are some who doesn’t know what they want to do, it usually develops through life.

For example, if your career goal is to be a doctor, then you will focus your energy in finishing medical school and become a doctor.

There are people who succeeded in life because they love what they are doing. They love waking up every day to do the things we love.

That’s why we see doctors who don’t even get enough sleep but are happy because they love serving other people. It keeps them satisfied.

That’s why you’ll see some actors, artists, and musicians who are not earning money from their career but are happy to takes risks.

If your goal is to live your life inline with your passion, then it is good to take note of your career goals.

There are some people who don’t actually have any career goals. If that is the case, it is completely fine.

For example, I didn’t know that I want to write articles till about a year ago. That’s when I started to write a lot.

The results is happiness. I am happy with my current life even if I am still far away from my goals.

Examples of Career Goals:

  • Doing your passion
  • Studying a New Course
  • Continuous Education
  • Reading Books about career development

10. External Goals

External goals are a category of goals that is about goals that are not about us. Common examples of external goals are serving humanity by inventing something new, donating to help other people, or volunteering to organizations that share your current goal.

Lastly, external goals are the biggest form of goals.

These are the goals that become known throughout history.

The inventions to serve humanity such as the inventions of Benjamin Franklin, or Thomas Edison.

These external goals goes beyond them and to others.

While spiritual goals are still focused on yourselves, external goals goes beyond than serving others.

It is serving humanity in general and people who are satisfied with all other categories are the ones that can follow this course.

This is why this is the last among the categories. This is the hardest one to satisfy but it usually makes a person known through history.

Examples are Scientists, National Heroes, Teachers and many more.

What to do with these Goal Categories

Now that you have all of these categories, it is time to have a self-reflection. Which among these categories do you think you lack? List all of them down.

After listing all of category, find one goal category that needs the most improvement. It doesn’t matter if you have a lot of category that needs improvement. We need to find one category and one thing to do to improve it.

The reason for this is because humans are not good at multitasking. I promise you that we aren’t, and as you can see in my story, I only fixed one thing and it made my life significantly better.

It is worth noting that nobody will have a perfect score for each of these categories. That’s why I always stress about finding what you really need or lack. Nobody has an absolutely perfect life.

Every one has problems including the richest, we just have to live with it and find things that we can tolerate.

A billionaire will usually lack privacy which some really looks for. A person with bad financial status will have their money as their problem. A very successful person seeking for ways to improve their spirituality goals.

See? It’s all different.

But here’s what you need to do with the goal categories.

  • Do a Self-reflection session
  • Find one category to improve
  • Find out one thing you can do to improve upon it
  • Do the one thing and follow it
  • Schedule another self-reflection to improve another

“We are not good in doing many things at a time. It is unwise to have a lot of goals since there is a high chance that we’ll fail in all of them. Do one, Master it, then make Another”

Jason Ong

Jason

Jason Ong is a YouTuber and the one who owns this site. He shares what he learned with people and makes videos if necessary. He was a former lecturer. The things he taught are topics related to Clinical Laboratory Science or what others call Medical Technology. Right now, he is also working part-time in an app company as a production supervisor. You can visit his YouTube Channel on https://ongjason.com/youtube

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