29 Yearly Goals Everyone Should Have!

There’s no rule that we have to make all our New Year’s resolutions on January 1! Infact, it’s never too early or too late to think about our goals for the year. Additionally, figuring out your yearly goals can be an ongoing process. So keep reading to learn what key goals everyone should have in place!

Yearly goals

Setting goals for the year isn’t meant to lock you into a rigid mindset of success or failure. It’s simply meant to help you reflect on what you want out of life and create steps to achieve it over time.

That said, you can set yearly goals in any or every area of life. Here are 29 ideas for yearly goals for your finances, career, health, relationships, and personal development!

For your finances

Since this blog is all about finances, it makes sense to start with some yearly financial goal ideas! The best new goals for the year will depend on where you are in your financial journey, of course.

You might already have some of these money goals checked off the list!

However, it’s always good to see where you stand and update your goals if needed.

1. Build or replenish your emergency fund (One of the most important yearly goals)

An emergency fund is the perfect first financial goal to have because this is the savings that will allow you to live without a job or deal with other surprise expenses without going into debt.

The recommended amount for your emergency savings is to have 3 to 6 months of basic living expenses i.e. for food, housing, transportation, core utilities, etc. But if that seems overwhelming, I say you should work on saving your first $1,000 and build from there!

2. Create a monthly budget that ties into your yearly goals

Budgeting is also a foundational financial goal because this is what allows you to get a full picture of how much you’re making, how much you’re spending, and where there might be leaks in the ship.

There are a variety of different budgeting methods, so you should pick the one that appeals to you most. Try a percentage budget or a biweekly budget or monthly budget, depending on what dates you are paid.

3. Start a side gig for extra income

We could all use a little extra cash, whether to pay down debt, increase savings, achieve a financial goal, or retire earlier. No matter what it is, starting a side hustle can help you speed up your goal timeline.

Check out these ideas for how to make an extra $1,000 a month, like freelance writing and starting an online store. If you’re thinking more about starting your own business on the side, start learning how to start a side hustle.

4. Contribute more to your retirement accounts

There’s no rule that you have to wait until you’re 65 or older to retire. The sooner you start saving, the sooner you will have that coveted financial freedom within your grasp.

Haven’t started a retirement account yet? Here’s everything you need to know about how to start saving for retirement!

5. Try a no-spend challenge

Have you heard of a no spend challenge? It’s a period of time, usually a couple of weeks to a month, during which you eliminate all non-essential spending.

You’ll still pay for rent, gas, utilities, groceries, and other necessities, but this is a chance to identify bad money habits and find new (free) ways to entertain yourself.

In my opinion, it’s a fantastic and simple way to save money. You can start with a no-spend week and then work your way through an entire month without spending excess money.

6. Plan your financial goals

There are different kinds of financial goals. Some will be short-term, like saving for Christmas on a budget or vacations. And some will be mid term goals, like saving up a house down payment or paying off a car.

Others are your long-term goals—the big stuff like paying off a mortgage or reaching a certain net worth by a specific age. Resolve to outline your financial goals so you can start measuring your progress.

7. Cultivate good money habits

Like any other habit, good money choices take practice and repetition.

Prioritize saving, whether you’re just getting started or you’re flexing your saving muscles by increasing how much you put away each time. Stay diligent with debt management, paying it down, and avoiding future debts.

And, of course, drop those bad habits. Nothing will block the path toward your goals like persistent bad habits such as credit card debt or overspending.

To build your career

Since most people work 9 to 5, five days a week, it’s important that we enjoy what we do and set up career strategies and goals for the year. Here are some good goals to have and ideas!

8. Learn new professional skills (One of the most lucrative yearly goals to set)

Learning new things doesn’t end after graduating high school or college. It’s a lifelong process! Improving your current money making skills and adding a new skill or two to your arsenal keeps you engaged, passionate, and competitive in your field.

It prepares you for promotions and enables you to switch jobs more easily if your circumstances change.

As an example, here are some high-income skills to help bring in more of that money!

9. Apply for a promotion

Sometimes, promotions just fall into our laps. Other times, you have to be bold and ask for them! It might sound intimidating, but there’s a right way to go about it.

I recommend thinking about what value you’ll bring to the role, asking your manager or coworkers if they see areas for improvement, and letting the higher-ups know you’re interested and ambitious.

However, the conversation can be as simple as asking your boss what you need to do to get to the next level or asking for a raise.

10. Create (or update) your website and resume

So, if you don’t have a personal website yet, building one would be a great yearly goal. A website is your own professional “home” on the internet.

You can use it to introduce yourself, highlight projects you’ve worked on, write blog posts to demonstrate expertise on certain topics, let recruiters know how to contact you, and so on. Update your resume simultaneously (even if you have a job gap)!

11. Strive for a healthy work-life balance

Is “work less” really a valid career goal? Definitely! If you’re starting to feel burned out, your body and brain are telling you that what you’re doing is unsustainable.

When you spend all your time working, you’re taking priority away from other important areas of your life—because you only have 24 hours in the day.

Over time, burnout will start to affect your career performance, so it’s important to stop it in its tracks. Check out our article on why time and money are both valuable (and how to play the balancing act between them).

I’m very intentional about taking breaks when I’m working and I have specific times where I fully disconnect from work like on the weekends and when I’m on vacation.

12. Network in your industry

These days, you can’t just walk into an office with a resume, shake the manager’s hand, and walk out with a job. Submitting online applications doesn’t feel much better. No matter how great your cover letter skills are, it’s still hard to distinguish yourself from dozens (or hundreds) of competitors.

This is where the phrase “it’s not always what you know, but who you know” holds true. The more you use networking tips and meet people in the industry, the more connections you’ll have for career opportunities, referrals to new companies, professional mentorship, etc.

13. Invest in yourself as one of your yearly goals

You are your greatest asset, so you’re also your best investment. Pour into yourself so that you can pour into your future and help others.

Seek out education, either to deepen your expertise or broaden your perspective. Choose conferences, mentors, and projects that will boost your career (and earning potential!).

And don’t overlook the “softer” side of investing in yourself. Find a self-care routine that fits your personal needs and your budget. Prioritize your health and well-being.

Not only will this equip you to tackle your goals, but it will also save you time and money in the long run by preventing illness and burnout.

14. Have a job (or build a business) that meets your needs

Most of us work to earn money. So, you absolutely want your job to meet your financial needs and fund your financial goals.

There are many reasons women face salary problems that make it challenging to reach their goals. Course correct by seeking a promotion, negotiating a salary increase, or finding somewhere you’re valued better. Answer the question of how much money you want to make: is 100k a year good? 200k?

For many people, actually liking their job is also one of their basic needs. If you want to retire super young and are willing to grind through tough conditions in the short term in exchange for big bucks, that might be the right solution for you. But if you want a long, fulfilling career that also pays the bills, make it happen.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for in your current job or work environment, seek one that feels right. Or, if entrepreneurship is calling your name, start your own business from scratch.

For your health

You only get one body, so it’s important to take care of it and your mental health. Here are some good goals for the year.

15. Focus on fresh, clean eating

When life gets busy, eating habits are often one of the first things to falter. It’s so easy to swing by the drive-through on your way home and certainly not so easy to do a monthly meal plan, chop and prep ingredients, cook, and wash dishes.

But the food we eat does have a huge impact on our health and wellbeing, so even though it requires a little added time and thought, clean eating is a worthwhile goal.

A whole food plant-based diet works well for me; I love sites like BudgetBytes for quick, simple meal ideas I can whip up at home. Learn more about living a healthy lifestyle on a budget.

16. Spend more time in nature

The Japanese have a beautiful term—shinrin-yoku—meaning “forest bathing.” The concept is all about the many benefits we get from nature, both mental and physical. Forest bathing is as simple as wandering along a nature trail, breathing in the fresh air, and admiring your surroundings.

Time in nature lowers stress and lifts our moods. Check out the AllTrails or TrailLink websites to find hidden gems in your area!

17. Find an exercise routine you love

Ideally, you can combine this goal with the one above by finding ways to exercise in nature! You can go for a bicycle ride, jog on a nature path, do yoga in your backyard at sunrise, or take a fitness class in the park—the options are plentiful.

There’s nothing wrong with an indoor workout or hitting the gym, either. Of course, any kind of movement is amazing for our health, including managing anxiety and improving mood.

18. Practice good “sleep hygiene”

Sleep is another daily habit that drastically impacts our lives. According to the Sleep Doctor, skimping on sleep affects our energy, mental functioning, memory, and more.

According to the Sleep Foundation, sleep “hygiene” is a collection of behaviors and surroundings that help improve sleep.

Create a good routine that includes whatever helps you relax, whether that’s meditation, listening to a podcast or reading, or anything that brings you comfort. Tips include following a consistent nightly routine, turning off electronics 30-60 minutes before bed, and sleeping in a cool, dark, comfortable room.

To improve your relationships

There are few things more important than the people we share our lives with, so make sure to include them in your goals for the year.

19. Learn the love languages

The “five love languages”, discovered by Gary Chapman, aren’t an exact science, but they are a great way to start conversations with your loved ones about what makes them feel most loved and appreciated.

The main five are:

  1. Words of affirmation
  2. Quality time
  3. Physical touch
  4. Acts of service
  5. Receiving gifts

Much relationship strife comes from simple relationship communication problems and not understanding what the other person needs. If your partner most values quality time, a cheap picnic in the park might mean more than a $1,000 necklace.

20. Practice positivity and gratitude (Essential yearly goals to establish)

Sometimes, we can get into the habit of taking the people in our lives for granted. They’re the ones you turn to when you need to vent about your problems and bad days…and while this is important, too much complaining can turn the relationship negative.

Whether it’s with your partner, your best friend, or a parent or child, make it a goal to regularly share why you’re grateful for them and always do your best to appreciate the little things.

21. Try new experiences together

Falling into a dull routine is another phase many relationships go through. Go to work, come home, make dinner, watch TV, sleep, repeat. Carve out time to mix things up a little by trying new activities!

It doesn’t have to be fancy, and you don’t have to leave your house. Check out these budget-friendly at home date ideas like a paint night or backyard campout. Involve the whole family in some of your ideas, too, with family night ideas.

22. Prioritize your friendships

As people age, their social circles can narrow, as everyone is busy with their families, jobs, and lives. Be intentional about not letting treasured friendships fade!

Your “circle of influence” impacts everything from your mood to your eating habits to your finances. Surround yourself with the right people and make an effort to see them, and you’ll reap the rewards.

I’ve found that one of the best ways to stay in touch with my friends is to make it a point to text or call them monthly. That way, we can catch up over the phone or make plans to meet for dinner or something later in the week.

23. Establish firm boundaries with yourself and others

Boundaries can be scary, but they’re necessary to accomplish your goals. Stay disciplined with yourself. 

Become your best advocate in every part of your life. Reflect on what you need and want. Once it’s clear to yourself, make it known to those around you.

For example, if your family, friends, or partner have different spending philosophies than you, but you know your goals, it’s easier to stand firm in your decisions. Learning to speak up for yourself on the job can improve how you feel about your work environment and might even move you closer to your career goals.

Keep your eye on your goals and know that healthy boundaries will get you there faster.

For your personal development

Lastly, here are some goals for the year to help make your life fulfilling and help you with figuring out who you really are.

24. Read a certain amount of books a year

Books hold an incredible wealth of knowledge, entertainment, and life advice. Depending on how quickly you read, make it a goal to read a certain amount of books per year.

For instance, try starting with one a month to see how it goes. You can choose fiction, nonfiction, or a combination! 

Check out our recommendations for financial literacy books, career, business, and personal development books.

25. Define your personal core values

When was the last time you sat down with yourself and thought about what’s actually important to you? This is your time to get a little existential.

What kind of person do you want to be? What traits do you admire in others? How will you cultivate those traits in yourself and practice them in the real world?

Grab a journal and start brainstorming. You can even use journal prompts for self discovery.

For example, you can jot down something like…

  • Independence is important to me, so I want to get out of debt and learn more self-reliance skills.
  • I value compassion, so I want to get involved with charities/animal shelters.
  • I value adventure, so I want to make more time to travel and try new things.

Discovering and defining your personal core values can help you lead the life you want to live.

26. Outline your strengths and weaknesses

Along the same lines, make it a yearly goal to assess your own strengths and weaknesses.

For example, this can be professional skills, personal traits, or whatever else you want to self-evaluate. Start with what you’re good at.

Do you keep a cool head in a crisis? Do you have a natural affinity for numbers or words? How can you leverage those strengths in your life? Then, move on to self improvement ideas.

Are your communication skills a little lacking? Do you struggle with time management or self-discipline? Self-awareness is the first step to fixing a problem!

27. Limit social media & TV

Did you know that the average internet user spends 143 minutes daily on social media, according to Statista? That’s almost two and a half hours every day scrolling through posts and pictures you’ll barely even remember tomorrow!

However, TV is even worse, with the average American logging 168 minutes per day, claims Oberlo.

So, if you have issues with poor sleep or creativity, all that screen time is likely one of the causes, according to Harvard Medical School. Make it a goal to spend less time in front of screens this year!

Also, a social media detox can even be beneficial for your finances.

28. Start a new hobby

So, what will you do with all that extra time once you’re not spending it scrolling on your phone or plunked in front of the TV? Start a new hobby! Try out a whole bunch to see what makes you feel passionate and energized.

It could be an outdoor hobby like hiking or kayaking, an indoor hobby like baking or playing an instrument, or even a hobby that makes money like woodworking or photography.

29. Manage your time

Time is money, after all! Spend your time doing something productive or something you love. (It’s even better when the task ticks both boxes.)

Maximize any time spent on a side business to earn more in less time.

Focus on quality time with loved ones rather than keeping one eye on your inbox and one thumb scrolling on your phone. And yes, sometimes rest really is the most productive way to spend your time.

I’ve found that the main thing with time management is to make a plan and follow it.

For instance, plan out how many hours of your week will be free time and how many will be spent on reaching your goals.

Expert tip: Make your goals smaller for success

For my big yearly goals that I want to meet, it helps for me make them smaller. I break them down by month, by week, and, if necessary, by day and I’ve found this approach to be very effective.

To help yourself stay organized with tracking your goals, use a yearly calendar on your phone or a planner. Then you can break down your goals into smaller chunks throughout the year and achieve them slowly without overwhelming yourself. Be sure to track your progress. I like to pick a day of the week, like Sunday, to go over my progress.

How to set your goals

As you consider all of these goal ideas, you may wonder what is the best way to begin. Try these ideas to help you set and stick to your plans.

Create your goals in a logical way

As you map out your goals, there’s no perfect formula. You could use SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound). Or you could set firm goals and work backward to determine how they will play out.

You could also focus on the big picture of how you imagine your life and then calculate what milestones will get you there.

Remind yourself why your goals matter

Without a very specific reason for completing your goals, you may lose motivation. To stay focused, I like to remind myself why my goals are so important.

For instance, if I want to save a six-month emergency fund, I need to define why that matters. Something like, “I’m saving a six-month emergency fund so I can have financial peace of mind and avoid living paycheck to paycheck.”

Come up with a sentence that explains your why and refer to it when you are losing focus.

What are some examples of 1 year goals?

Some 1 year goals are saving a specific amount of money, learning a language, or committing to a new fitness routine. There are lots of short-term goals like these to choose from.

When thinking about year-long goals, consider how much time you can devote to them, how much money they will cost, etc. Ensure you can complete them in that amount of time, or you may lose focus. And reward yourself along the way!

What are 3 main good goals to have?

When choosing 3 main goals, try choosing from 3 important categories, such as finances, family, and health.

Or, if you prefer, one for personal development, one related to your career, and one just for fun.

Once you’ve chosen your categories, choose a reasonable goal to complete in a fairly short time frame, such as 1 to 3 years.

For instance, save $10,000 in a year, pay off debt, hike 100 miles over the course of a year, get a new job, etc. Pick whatever makes sense for you and enjoy the process.

Are there any fun goals and what are they?

Yes, there are plenty of fun goals, and since you make your own goals, these are up to you! If you aren’t sure where to begin, I suggest considering your interests.

If you love reading fiction, make it a goal to read books from 5 authors that are new to you. Or, if you are interested in making a higher salary, complete a course that is fun and challenging for you to help further your career.

Some other ideas to consider are taking on a new hobby or saving up a vacation budget and traveling somewhere you’ve always wanted to go. The main point is to make a goal out of something you enjoy.

If you’re all ready to get started on your brand new goals now, read these posts next for more inspiration!

Yearly goals are a great way to improve your life!

In practice, these yearly goal ideas will look different for everyone because we all have different lives, resources, and circumstances. Now, it’s up to you to figure out which goals for the year are most important to you and how you’ll achieve them!

However, setting financial goals should definitely be at the top of the list because getting your money right leads to wealth and success. Learn how to create the right financial goals with our completely free goal setting course!

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