Examples of Milestones in Life

Milestones were stones placed beside a road to mark the distance in miles between destinations. The term is also a significant event in life or an important change in a stage of development of a person or project.

Wedding rings with a rose and calendar as examples of milestones Wedding rings with a rose and calendar as examples of milestones
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Milestones from Birth to Age 6

  • Grabs things placed in her hand
  • Follows moving object with her eyes
  • Smiles
  • Makes cooing and gurgling sounds
  • Explores by mouthing and banging objects
  • Opens mouth for spoon
  • Knows familiar faces
  • Says first word
  • Sits unsupported
  • Learns to crawl
  • Understands simple commands
  • Stacks two blocks
  • Scribbles with crayons
  • Learns to walk
  • Follows simple, one-step directions
  • Gets potty trained
  • Begins to sort by shapes and colors
  • Explores surroundings
  • Begins to make believe play
  • Uses 2-3 word sentences
  • Walks up steps, alternating feet
  • Asks short questions
  • Puts together simple 4-12 piece puzzle
  • Sorts by shape and color
  • Counts up to 5 objects
  • Can follow three instructions given all at once
  • Builds tower of 7-9 blocks
  • Balances on one foot for five seconds
  • Interested in cause and effect
  • Wants to know what words mean
  • Invents make believe games with simple rules

Milestones for Children and Adults

  • First day of school
  • Learning to read
  • Turning 16
  • Your first kiss
  • Getting your drivers license
  • Graduating from high school
  • Your 21st birthday
  • Graduating from college
  • Passing the Graduate Record Examination
  • Attending graduate school
  • Moving out of your parents' house
  • Scoring your dream job
  • Getting a big promotion
  • Learning to cook
  • Learning to budget
  • Falling in love
  • Moving in together
  • Getting married
  • Buying a house
  • Having a baby
  • Retiring

Scientific Milestones

  • 1543 - Copernicus - heliocentric model
  • 1628 - William Harvey - blood circulation
  • 1638 - Galileo Galilei - laws of falling body
  • 1751 - Benjamin Franklin - lightning is electrical
  • 1838 - Matthias Schleiden - all plants are made of cells
  • 1842 - Christian Doppler - Doppler effect
  • 1895 - Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen - discovers x-rays
  • 1905 - Albert Einstein - special relativity theory, explanation of Brownian motion
  • 1925 - Erwin Schrödinger - Schrödinger equation (Quantum mechanics)
  • 1929 - Edwin Hubble - Hubble's law of the expanding universe
  • 1952 - Jonas Salk - developed and tested first polio vaccine
  • 1997 - Roslin Institute - Dolly the sheep was cloned
  • 2001 - The first draft of the human genome is completed
  • 2012 - Higgs boson is discovered at CERN
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Milestones in American History

  • Revolutionary War - 1775 to 1783
  • Declaration of Independence - 1776
  • Ratification of the Constitution
  • Passage of the Bill of Rights
  • Louisiana Purchase - 1803
  • War of 1812
  • Civil War 1861 to 1865
  • Assassination of Abraham Lincoln - 1865
  • World War I - 1914 to 1918
  • World War II - 1939 to 1945
  • Manhattan Project - 1942 - led to development of atomic bomb
  • Korean War - 1950 to 1953
  • Vietnam War - 1956 to 1975
  • 1959 - Hawaii became the 50th state
  • Assassination of John F. Kennedy - 1963
  • Apollo 11 - moon landing - 1969
  • 2008 - Barack Obama becomes the first Black president
  • September 11, 2001
  • Death of Osama bin Laden - 2011

Reviewing these milestones from different contexts shows how our personal worlds change and how events have caused a change in how we think, feel or act. For more insight into the effects of milestones, check out these famous milestone quotes.