• Abby Myette

Four Types of Goals to Set and Tips for Accomplishing Them

Goal setting is always a popular topic at the beginning of a new year. Wrapped up in the excitement of a natural fresh start, a new page, we’re eager to set resolutions and commit to changing something in our lives. Now, I don’t like resolutions, but that’s a story for another day. What I do love are goals. And I believe all goals fall into one of four types. The difference is, what is your main objective? Why are you setting this goal?

Your answer will fall into one of these categories; learn, change, experience or challenge.

Learn Goals

A goal focused on learning is all about adding to your toolkit. Curious people set learning goals. You want to know more about a topic. For many of us who consider ourselves lifelong learners, this type of goal is one we are always setting. Learning is getting answers to your questions. It’s digging deeper into a topic that interests you. It’s an opportunity to expand your skill set. Maybe you want to master grandma’s meatball recipe. Or after watching The Queen’s Gambit you want to learn to play chess.

The great thing about learn goals is that there are so many different ways to accomplish them! The places you can learn from are plentiful. In the age of the internet and social media, when we go to the right sources, we can learn a lot online. Here are a list of some of my favorite resources for learning:

  • Watch a YouTube video

  • Complete an online course

  • Read a book

  • Watch a documentary or TV series

  • Follow an expert on social media

  • Take a virtual lesson or a class

Change Goals

Is there something in your life that doesn’t make you happy or isn’t brining you joy anymore? What you want to set is a change goal! These goals are about improving something in your life. It is when you commit to making different choices. You may want to add a new habit into your routine, like drinking more water every day. I am often setting a change goal to eat fewer sweets. {One day I’m going to acknowledge this is a losing battle, but for now I’ll keep working on it.}

One of the best ways to tackle your change goal is by establishing new habits. This breaks down what might be a big, overwhelming goal, into one daily behavior. If you commit to one small behavior each day, eventually you will create a habit. And consistent habits become everyday behaviors. I recommend listening to Elizabeth McCravy’s podcast on this topic, A Bulletproof Strategy for Achieving Your Goals with the Power of Habits.

Experience Goals

Without fail, I set an experience goal every year. I love to travel and will find any excuse to go somewhere new. That’s what experience goals are all about, getting out there and seeing the world. It doesn’t always mean you have to get on a plane and go half way across the world (although I wouldn’t say no to that). An experience goal can be about visiting local places. It could tie into another interest of yours.

I had friends that loved baseball and they had the goal of visiting every major league baseball park in the US. An experience goal could also be about trying something new. I think of those crazy people who say they want to go sky diving. {No thanks! Who would jump out of a perfectly good airplane?!} They may be crazy, but sky diving is definitely an experience goal.

I have an ongoing “places to visit” list that feeds my experience goal. It is divided into three categories; local, domestic, and international. I am always adding to it when I hear about another interesting place. The list is a mix of countries, specific cities, and actual places like restaurants and museums. When I finally visit, I mark the date on my list. Start your own list today and see where you can go this year!

Challenge Goals

The fourth goal type are challenge goals. This is all about pushing yourself to new limits and abilities. Look at the pastimes you already have. How can you take them to the next level?

As a runner, my first challenge goal was to run a 5K. A couple years later it was to complete a 10K. And eventually I set the goal of running a marathon. That was one I never thought I would do! But, as I had been gradually increasing the distance of my running goals, it finally didn’t feel so crazy.

Challenge goals can often be the hardest. It means committing to doing something you have never done before. While all goals take hard work and commitment, challenge goals take the most.

My best advice for achieving your challenge goal is to find a partner who will join you. They don’t need to have the same goal, but if they are willing to come along for some of the journey, you’re far more likely to be successful. When I was training for my marathon, I had several friends join me for runs. Often, I’d go out for a few miles, meet up with friends for a few more, then finish the final stretch on my own. This made those long, arduous runs, much more enjoyable!

Many times, our goal is actually a melding of more than one type. Or we set a big dream goal, and when we break it down, it means setting multiple smaller goals, or what I call steps. Each of those end up being a different type of goal.

Let me give you an example. I have a big dream goal of living in France for 3 months. That is an experience goal. One of the steps to making this goal happen is to learn to speak and read French, which is a learn goal.

So, which are you setting this month? This year? Leave a comment below and let me know what type of goal setter you are!

Skim to the bottom? Here are the cliff notes:

  • Learn Goal: adding information and knowledge to your toolkit.

  • Accomplishment tip: look to the internet for numerous ways to learn.

  • Change Goal: establishing different practices than what you do today.

  • Accomplishment tip: add in a daily habit that will grow into a regular behavior.

  • Experience Goal: getting out and visiting places locally or far way.

  • Accomplishment tip: have a running list of local, domestic, and international places.

  • Challenge Goal: pushing yourself to achieve or try something at a new level.

  • Accomplishment tip: find a partner to join you on the journey.


7 views0 comments

Not sure what your next big dream goal is?

Download my free Journal Prompts booklet to find clarity & identify your next big dream goal!

  • Facebook - Grey Circle
  • LinkedIn - Grey Circle
  • Instagram - Grey Circle

© 2021 by Tradewinds Learning. Proudly created with Wix.com

Working ocean-side in Salem, MA and supporting dreams and doers nationwide.