The famous German physicist Albert Einstein once declared: “If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.”

If you ask the average person about the importance of personal growth, they will surely agree that it’s an important thing to strive toward. Whether this means maintaining a consistent exercise regimen, devoting more time to volunteer activities, or boosting productivity during working hours, anybody seeking to improve themselves can use goal setting to remain accountable and motivated.

However, we do not live in a cookie-cutter world where people work toward the exact same things. Every individual has a unique perspective that shapes their desires, and this influences the way they approach their goals. 

In this article, we will explore the power of perspective in understanding and setting subjective goals, along with the importance of aligning ambition with our personal values and aspirations.

What’s your perspective?

Have you ever noticed how certain people love to debate and share their views with whoever will listen? They seem to have an opinion on everything, from the best travel destinations to their favorite cuisine to their most despised football team! 

This is because people desire to be heard and understood. Everybody holds a perspective — be it strong or neutral — that is worth sharing. 

Goal setting is an effective way to lend a voice to your inner world. 

How perspective relates to goal setting

When it comes to goal setting, perspective plays a key role. It is the lens through which we view the world and ourselves, and consists of our personal history and experiences, as well as the values and beliefs that have shaped us. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that our points of view influence the goals we set and the actions we take to achieve them.

Let’s imagine two individuals, both intent on achieving their goal of becoming a successful entrepreneur. Because they grew up in different environments and have varied life experiences, they will not think the same. While one of them may define success as amassing wealth and material possessions, the other may feel satisfied by making a positive impact on society. As such, these differing perspectives will lead the two individuals on different paths to achieve their objectives, where they craft their own unique strategies. 

Woman thinking at work desk
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What are subjective and objective goals?

Now that we understand the significance of perspective in goal setting, let’s explore the distinction between subjective and objective goals.

Subjective goals are those that hold meaning and relevance to ourselves. They may run counter to the traditional concept of goals because they fulfill our personal desires and unique values. They bring us joy and contentment because we seek to achieve them for our own satisfaction, not for the approval of others or society.

Think of the people you know who studied what they wanted and chose a career that they desired. Those individuals elected to explore their passions and pursue what truly mattered to them: their subjective goals.

On the other hand, objective goals are measurable and universally acknowledged markers of success. Based on external standards and societal norms, these objectives may not align with our individual needs, even if they offer a sense of accomplishment. 

For instance, people often feel the pressure to pursue a high-paying job or achieve a certain level of education. While these may be important for some, they may not bring true happiness and fulfillment to everyone. After all, if you are doing something because everyone else says you should, you may discover that it’s not what you actually want to do.

Why subjective goals matter

Subjective goals absolutely matter, for a bunch of reasons.

When we set subjective goals, we are more likely to feel motivated and engaged in the pursuit of our objectives. These goals give us a sense of purpose and meaning, fueling our drive to overcome challenges and persevere. Just consider those who train for marathons. They sacrifice countless hours practicing and they don’t mind pushing through the pain. Marathons put a smile on their face, even if the mere idea of running causes others to feel queasy.

Subjective goals also help prioritize what truly matters to us. In a world filled with distractions and external pressures, it’s easy to lose sight of our own desires. Social media bombards us with seemingly impossible beauty standards set by airbrushed celebrities, while well-meaning parents and relatives offer career and life advice that doesn’t align with what we truly want. By dismissing these external factors and shifting the focus inward, you can discover what matters to you, what you excel at, and how to lead a more authentic and meaningful life.

How to understand your personal perspective

To set subjective goals, you must gain an understanding of your personal perspective. Here are some guidelines to help you do so:


Self-reflection is a powerful tool that allows us to delve into our innermost thoughts and emotions. It helps us understand the choices we have made, the values we hold dear, and the beliefs that shape our world view.

During this process, you will want to reflect on your past experiences, values, and beliefs. Consider the moments when you felt most fulfilled and joyful. Ask yourself:

  • What were the underlying factors that contributed to those feelings of joy?
  • What were the moments in your life when you felt most alive? 
    • What were the circumstances surrounding those moments? Did they align with your values and beliefs? 
Man leaning on metal rail thinking
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Helpful tools and exercises

There are various tools and exercises that can assist in identifying your unique perspective. Let’s take a look at some:

  • Journaling can provide a helpful platform for self-expression and introspection. Writing down your thoughts, beliefs, and aspirations sheds light on your perspective as you share with yourself what is truly important. This is the beauty of putting pen to paper — being able to physically view your innermost desires, fears, and dreams.
  • Seeking feedback from trusted individuals in your life can offer different perspectives and insights that you may not have considered before. Think about it. Your friends, family, mentors, and coaches are among the most important people in your life. Surely they can provide you with valuable feedback from a third-person perspective!
  • Engaging in activities that push us out of our comfort zone allows for new viewpoints and broadens our understanding of the world around us. Try new experiences, explore different cultures, or immerse yourself in unfamiliar environments. Examples include a study-abroad program for college students or a career change for someone with several years (or even decades!) of experience.

Guide to setting subjective goals

Now that you have a better understanding of your personal perspective, let’s explore this comprehensive guide to setting subjective goals.

  1. Identify your core values and passions. What truly matters to you? What activities or areas of your life bring you joy and fulfillment?
  2. Brainstorm and list goals that reflect your values and passions. Think about the areas of your life where you would like to see personal growth and improvement.
  3. Prioritize your goals. Rank them based on their importance and relevance to your overall wellbeing, not by how easy or fun they might be.
  4. Break down your goals into smaller, actionable steps. This will make them more manageable and allow you to track your progress.
  5. Set a timeline for each goal. Remember to be flexible, as circumstances may change.
  6. Regularly reassess and adjust your goals as needed. As you gain new insights and experiences, your goals may evolve. It is essential to remain open to these changes and adapt accordingly.

Tips for success

  • Be specific: Clearly define what you want to achieve. The more specific your goals are, the easier it will be to track your progress.
  • Set realistic expectations: While it’s important to challenge yourself, double-check that your goals are attainable. Setting unrealistic expectations can be discouraging and frustrating.
  • Stay motivated: Keep your goals front of mind and remind yourself of the reasons why they matter to you. Surround yourself with positive influences and seek support from others who share similar aspirations.
  • Celebrate milestones: Acknowledge and celebrate the successes you achieve along the way, no matter how big or small. This will reinforce your motivation and inspire you to continue working toward your ultimate objectives.

How to overcome challenges in setting subjective goals

Nothing comes easy the first time around, and setting subjective goals is no exception to this rule. If you use the right strategies and reframe your mindset, you can overcome any obstacles thrown your way.

Common obstacles

  • External influences: Society and those around us may have their own expectations and definitions of success. You need to stay true to your own unique perspective when it feels like everybody else’s opinions weigh you down.
  • Fear of failure: The fear of not meeting societal standards or not achieving your subjective goals can be overwhelming. Recognize that failure is part of the growing process and view setbacks as learning opportunities.
  • Lack of self-belief: Setting subjective goals requires self-confidence and belief in your own abilities. You must think positively about yourself and be your own cheerleader, especially during times when you have little to no support.

Strategies to overcome these obstacles

  • Practice self-compassion: Be kind to yourself and acknowledge that the journey of setting subjective goals is a process. 
  • Build a support system: Surround yourself with individuals who believe in your abilities. Seek guidance and support from mentors, friends, or family members.
  • Embrace vulnerability: Setting subjective goals calls for vulnerability and the willingness to step outside of your comfort zone. Embrace the discomfort and view it as an opportunity for personal growth and self-discovery.

Use Wrike to set subjective goals

Understanding and setting subjective goals can be a challenging process. These goals often require a unique perspective and deeper understanding as they are more personal and harder to quantify. Fortunately, Wrike is designed to help you manage and track these nuanced objectives effectively. 

Wrike is fully customizable, so you can tailor your workspace and tools to your unique needs. Start by creating individual folders for each of your subjective goals, allowing you to keep a detailed record of your progress and the steps you need to take to reach them.

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Beyond subjective goal management, Wrike provides a variety of features to streamline your other business processes. Whether it’s real-time collaboration or workflow automation, Wrike has got you covered. 

If you want to start goal setting the right way, you’ve come to the right place. Start your free trial of Wrike today.

Note: This article was created with the assistance of an AI engine. It has been reviewed and revised by our team of experts to ensure accuracy and quality.