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One way to choose a goal is to base it on a significant event in your life. When there is a change in your life there is an opportunity to take advantage of it to achieve something you want.

Often a change can occur in different areas of your life at the same time. For example, if you are moving then there may be opportunity to set goals not only about where you want to live but you may have to modify your budget — or even create a one.

If you are taking advantage of a change in your life to introduce some new goals remember not to overdo it. Sometimes just a change is stressful enough without trying to achieve a goal at the same time.

The following sections will give you some ideas of when you may want to consider making some goals for yourself.


When starting or finishing college or university, there are several significant goals you can consider.

  • Job — if you are in school, maybe consider a part time job for some extra money. What kind of summer job can you find that will complement your studies? What kind of job do you want after you graduate?
  • Living location — do you want to live on campus? At home? Where do you want to live after you graduate and start your career?
  • Career plan — what kind of career do you want? Where do you see yourself in your profession in five years, ten years, twenty years?
  • Family plan — when do you want to start a family? How big a family do you want?
  • Financial plan — how will you pay for your education? What kind of financial future do you want after you graduate? How can your education help you to achieve your financial goals?


  • This is a good time to get rid of environmental triggers. For example, if you want to reduce how much TV you watch, don’t bring it with you. Trying to lose weight? Leave the deep fryer in your old place.
  • If you are trying to stop smoking make a rule of not smoking in your new house. Try and stick to this from day one.
  • When you move you will likely need to revise your budget and reconsider your financial goals.
  • If you are moving, where do you want to move to? A house or an apartment? What do you want to be close to? If you want to get in shape consider living close to exercise facilities. If you want to research a book, consider being close to a library.
  • Often a move can be accompanied by family or relationship goals
  • Moving is always a good time to get rid of old ‘stuff’. Take the time to think about what to keep and what to throw away.
  • What opportunities does your new location provide? If you are near a park you can take up walking or running. If you are near a community college you can consider taking a night class.

Job Change

  • A change in job is a good time to consider your career direction and your financial goals
  • Perhaps you need to upgrade your skills to achieve your career goals. This can include improving your interpersonal skills, industry skills, or education level
  • When considering a change in job it is a good time to also consider a change of location
  • What type of organization do you want to work for? What type of work environment, coworkers, etc? Which industry sector do you want to work in?
  • What kinds of benefits do you want from your employer? If you are young then benefits may not be so important. If you have a family benefits can be a good idea.
  • A change in jobs can come with a change in your relationships
  • A change in job may require an image change. Perhaps you need take on a more professional business type role, or maybe a more friendly personable role
  • Starting a new job is a good time to set milestones. For example, first presentation, pay level, number of sales, or company specific milestones


  • The beginning or end of a relationship is a good time to think about what kind of partner you want to have
  • When thinking about relationships you can consider the level of commitment you are willing to make
  • If you are looking for a long term commitment you can think of what kind of family you want — how many children, how many years between each, when you want to start having children, etc.
  • If you are looking for a relationship you can consider what kinds of activities and shared interests you want to find in a partner

Time of year

  • There are many holidays throughout the year and each holiday can be used as an opportunity to set some goals. The most popular holiday used to set goals is New Years (Read more about New Years Resolutions).
  • Personal and family events, such as birthdays and anniversaries, are good times to think about future goals
  • Changes of the season are good times to think of what you want to accomplish during that season
  • The beginning of each month or full moon can be used as an opportunity to focus on what you want to achieve for that month


  • Different times of life bring with it good times to think about future goals. For example, birthdays ending in ‘0’ are good times to think of mid to long term goals
  • Other significant times are when you get a drivers license, when you are old enough to vote, when you retire, when you reach the age of majority, etc.

More Information

New Years Resolutions

Related Pages

Goal Setting Based on Life Time Cycle
Goal Categories