What are life goals, how do you set them, and how do you achieve them? Discover the goal setting strategies that can help you reach your relationships, work, and financial goals.

Life goals are defined as the desired states that people seek to obtain, maintain or avoid (Nair, 2003). When we set goals, we envision, plan for, and commit to achieving these desired results. Because our lives include many different parts, life goals can be broad, including things like relationship goals, career goals, financial goals, and more. Setting life goals is an important part of what it means to be alive, and achieving them can feel rewarding or even generate a greater sense of purpose and meaning.

Some types of goal setting are thought to be good for well-being while other types are not so much. For example, gaining more material goods (money, houses, cars, etc...) rarely results in a significant increase in well-being. Indeed, you hear about folks who got the 'great job' and the 'perfect life' who are still miserable. That may be because they set—and even achieved—the wrong goals. Goals that focus exclusively on self-interest over the interests of others aren't actually good for our happiness (Headey, 2008).

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