Long term Goals: How to Set Them Up Effectively 

Long term goals are the activities you set and wish to see results in the next five years or more. They call for a lot of patience from the individual. The advantage of long term goals is that their benefits can trickle down to several generations. These are major projects that need a lot of time and resources to implement. The primary focus of this article is the meaning, examples, and benefits of long term goals. We also look at the process of setting long term goals. It’s vital to note that long term goals add meaning to your life.

Long Term Goals


What Are Long Term Goals?

What are long term goals? There is a tendency of long term goals varying from one individual to the other. However, there are some similar characteristics that cut across all long term goals. There is no way you will achieve your long term goals overnight. You cannot use a few months to obtain a college degree, instill discipline in your children, or build a steady family business. It can take you from one year to a few decades to actualize such goals. This is why we refer to them as long term goals.

Long term goals tend to pay more attention to dreams and not wishes. You need to include actions into your dreams for them to become a reality. You should also ensure that your long term goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound). You can set your long term goals for any area of life. You can have personal or organizational long term goals. Long term goals can assist you to change your career, get out of debt, stick to a healthier diet, or even start a family just to name a few. The next section attempts to describe some of the examples of long-term goals.


Long Term Goals Examples

We have several long term goals examples and we cannot discuss all of them in this section. This section focuses on some of the examples of long term goals. The primary purpose of this section is to open your mind as you think of long term goals

Long Term Goals Examples #1: Investing In Real Estate

You cannot wake up one day and find yourself investing in real estate. You need a lot of time to come up with an appropriate work plan. You need a lot of time to know where you will raise the capital from. It can take you more than ten years to plan and acquire a real estate. The advantage is that real estate benefits can serve several generations. You may require a lot of time to save the initial deposit and then top up with a loan before acquiring a real estate. This is one of the most important long term goals you can set.

Long Term Goals Examples #2: Starting A Family Business

Starting a family business is not something you will wake up one day and put up. You need enough time to undertake a market analysis. You should evaluate the expected cash flows before making an investment decision. It’s good to know the source of funds and have a clear succession plan before setting up an enterprise. Not planning for investment can make you fail from the initial stages.

Long Term Goals Examples #3: Marriage

Very few people think of marriage when planning their long term goals. The truth of the matter is that the effects of marriage affect you for the rest of your life whether you stay into it or divorce later. You need to have a clear plan of the kind of people you need to marry. Also, plan with your fiancée of the type of family you wish to bring up. You can also think of the kind of investments you want to pursue as a family. The marriage decision is very important and falls among the long term goals.

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Long Term Goals Examples #4: Career

Setting a career objective is something that begins in the early ages of a child’s life. You should learn to live with the consequences of the career you choose. Instead of changing career at the late stages of life, it’s advisable to have long term goals for your career. Any plans to enhance your career through higher education should be in your career plan. You can make a career growth plan for even 20 years.

Long Term Goals Examples #5: Car purchase

There is no way you can purchase a car before perceiving the idea in the back of your mind. You need to lay down a clear strategy on the model of the car you want to purchase. The model will also determine the cost of the car. You can decide to pay cash or go for a car loan. All these decisions are part of your long term goals.


How To Set Long Term Goals?

Below is the step-by-step guide to set your personal long term goals effectively.

Step One: Create A Compelling Vision

Before you start settings your long time goals, it’s advisable to take some time and think of where you would like to be in the next five years. Think of your dream home in the next five to ten years, the type of work you would like to be doing, how you wish to be spending your free time in future, and the person you will be sharing your joy. You need to visualize where you would like to be in the next five years before you set your long term goals. Make sure it is something that will add some joy to your life once you accomplish it.

For example, you could imagine you will be working for a leading bank in a managerial position. You also need to ask yourself whether you are willing to make some sacrifices to get where you want to be. You may be forced to deny yourself some pleasures and save part of your earnings for you to get that dream home. Unless you take the responsibility, the compelling part of attaining your goal will be meaningless.

Step Two: Identify A Single Long-term Goal

Once you have a vision of where you want to be, it’s time to single out one area of your life you wish to improve. Having a good career, getting the best spouse, having good health, and residing in a bungalow are not enough to make you live a happy life. You need to strike a balance between your spiritual, personal, and professional life. Take time and think of the goal that is vital to your future success. Pick the objective that will have the greatest positive impact on your life in the next five years.

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Having several long-term goals may make it hard for you to achieve even a single one. Most experts will tell you to single out one long term goal and direct all your effort towards attaining the same. You can now begin to think of how you can put this objective on paper in a way that eliminates any form of ambiguity or confusion. The goal should be measurable, time-bound and allow you to measure progress.

Step Three: Break The Long Term Goal Into Smaller And Doable Chunks

After identifying the long term goal you wish to pursue, it’s good to break it into smaller doable sections. Remember you need a lot of time to achieve long term goals. It is very hard to retain a positive attitude and stay on focus while pursuing your long term goal. The broad picture of the long-term goal can discourage you even before you begin.

The best way to remain on track is to divide this long term goal into small objectives that you can achieve between three months to one year. This will assist you to come up with an action plan of achieving your long term goal. You should look at your long term goals in terms of several short term and medium term goals.

Step Four: Take The First Step

Once you have an action plan, you can now start working on your long term goals. Pick one step at a time according to your work plan. Some of these measures may force you to sacrifice a lot of time and resources. It’s good to develop an evaluation tool to assist you to measure your actual outcome against the expected results. Taking the first step is critical because it will lead you to the second stage of implementation. You will find within no time that you are close to achieving your long term goals.

Step Five: Review Progress And Make Any Necessary Adjustments

There is no way you can undertake a project without taking the time to examine your progress. You should review your short-term goals, and if you realize that you were too overambitious, or underestimated your potential, you can take time and re-design these objectives. You can also find yourself doing away with an entire short term or medium term goal or replacing it with a new set. Therefore, you need to design an objective tool to use in measuring the outcome. The review process is paramount because it will assist you in remaining focused.


Advantages Of Long Term Goals

The first advantage of setting long term goals is that they provide you with a sense of direction. If you are not aware of where you are going, you will end up somewhere you didn’t expect. This is the same case when you don’t have a reason for living. The best way you can head to the right direction is by having specific and clear long term goals. You will end up where you wish to be and not where circumstances force you to reach. This is why I confidently state that long term goals give direction to your life.

Long term goals also give an individual a sense of greater purpose. These goals give meaning to your day to day operations. There is no need to wake up and go to work daily if there is nothing great you are pursuing. Long term goals give you the energy to wake up every day and go to work. You are sure that your labor is not in vain as there is something you are looking forward to achieving. These goals will not only fire you but also nourish your spiritual, professional, and personal life.

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Long term goals also assist you to understand possible road blocks better. Having a clear picture of where you are heading to will help you to prepare for the trip. You will be able to anticipate possible setbacks and avoid them by all available means. You will focus on success and gather the support of the individuals who will make your journey enjoyable easier.

These goals have long term positive impacts. You can achieve something that you will enjoy the benefits for the rest of your life and pass on to the coming generations. Short term goals only create momentum, and you feel the effects of achieving a short time goal for a very short period. They act as stepping stones to greater success. On the contrary, it’s harder to achieve long term goals, but you can live with their impacts for a very long time.

Finally, having long term goals assist you to look at the bigger picture. They allow you to see beyond today. You will rarely achieve anything in life if you only focus in the short run. Having a bigger picture of where you wish to be will give you a reason to face tomorrow. You will have high motivation to continue working even when conditions are tight because you have a focus. I’ll always advice you to hang around people who will encourage you to pursue your long term goals.



Long term goals are important to the life of any individual. Anybody who does not have long term goals finds no meaning to life. You should not wait to get income for you to set your goals. In fact, long term goals will assist you to look for the best sources of revenue to finance them. The best way to achieve your long term goals is by dividing them into smaller short term and middle term goals. In addition, it’s advisable to stick to a single long term goal for you to record success. This article is an eye opener when it comes to setting and implementing your long term goals.


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