Advertising
Advertising

Published on February 5, 2020

20 Examples of Personal SMART Goals To Improve Your Life

20 Examples of Personal SMART Goals To Improve Your Life

All our lives are directed towards achieving some goals, whether we are thinking about them carefully or not. To be more proactive and productive, we have to learn how to set specific personal goals that we can use to measure our personal growth and progress. In order words, our goals have to be SMART.

To guide you on setting achievable goals for yourself, I have provided in this article, some examples of personal SMART goals that you can set to improve your life.

What are Personal Goals?

Personal goals are the expressions of the things you want to achieve for yourself in life. When you think about what you want to achieve in life and set goals towards achieving them, you will become more self-motivated and positive-minded.

Your personal goals can be in the form of short term goals or long term goals. They can provide you with long term direction and short term motivation.[1] Below are some examples of personal goals:

  • Learn something new every week
  • Work out every morning
  • Keep a daily journal
  • Volunteer at a non-profit every month

What are S.M.A.R.T Goals?

S.M.A.R.T. Goals are goals written to conform to the following criteria: Specific, Measurable, Achievable (or Attainable), Realistic (or Relevant), and Time-bound. The S.M.A.R.T. process was originally a management concept that was presented as a SMART way to write management goals and objectives. It was written in the following manner:

  • Specific – target a specific area for improvement.
  • Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress.
  • Assignable – specify who will do it.
  • Realistic – state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources.
  • Time-related – specify when the result(s) can be achieved.

Without making your goals SMART, they would be vague goals or just mere resolutions. The S.M.A.R.T. Goal setting process will help you think through your goals carefully so that you can give your goals structures that can be easily tracked and implemented. This also brings your goals closer to reality from the point of setting them.

20 Examples of Personal SMART Goals

The following are 20 examples of Personal SMART Goals that you can set to improve your life. They cut across different areas of life. Some of them are daily and weekly habits while some can take a longer time to achieve.

1. Walk 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week

Health is wealth, exercising for a recommended 150 minutes a week can reduce your risk of having heart disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, etc.[2]

Advertising

You can achieve this goal by brisk walking for 30 minutes a day on Mondays – Fridays. You may further break it down to 15 minutes each for morning and evening.

2. Improve your listening skills

Whether it is discussing with a spouse, a colleague at work or a casual friend, most people are swift to talk but poor at listening. You can know whether you are improving in your listening skills by asking for feedback after you have made your contributions.

For example, ask questions like “Has my answer addressed your concerns?”, “Is there anything else I can help with?”, “Do you have anything else in mind you want me to know?” You need to listen more to let people know that their opinions really matter to you.

3. Speak up to increase visibility

Are you one of those that hide in the crowd and barely talk in meetings? Setting a goal to increase your visibility is something worth considering. Plan ahead before each meeting to consider the agenda and prepare to make thoughtful and meaningful contributions.

4. Improve presentation/public speaking Skills

With thorough research, adequate preparations and rehearsals, you can make effective PowerPoint presentations, and deliver great speeches. Set a goal to always research your topics thoroughly, and get to rehearse before each presentation.

5. Improve your Emotional Intelligence

You can set a goal to become less reactive to issues and pay attention to finding out the underlying emotions and motivations behind the actions of others. Learn to connect with people at their own level.

Learn more in this article: What Is Emotional Intelligence (And How to Develop It)

6. Start networking

Networking is important for personal and career development. Set a goal to attend three networking events quarterly to connect with old colleagues and meet new people.

Advertising

Try these 5 Steps to Master Networking Skills and Perfect Your Personal Branding.

7. Volunteer regularly

Contribute two volunteering hours weekly for community service. It could be teaching your favorite subject at a nearby high school, coaching kids in basketball or serving food at a restaurant for the homeless.

8. Improve your time management skills

Be more focused on achieving daily tasks. Minimize distractions and increase productivity by, say 40% over the next 3 months.

Check out these 7 Effective Time Management Tips To Maximize Your Productivity.

9. Wake up early

Ever thought of not having enough time to do the things you really love doing? Try waking up early. Set a goal to wake up as early as 5:00 am every day; you’ll have at least an hour extra to do the things you love before the day’s work begin.

10. Learn one new thing every week

There is no end to learning. Set a goal to add to something new to your knowledge and skill base every week. Get some ideas here: How to Learn Something New Every Day and Stay Smart

11. Learn a foreign language

There are many benefits to learning a foreign language. You will be able to expand your career opportunities, find more clients, expand your business, make more friends and make more money.

You might attain conversational fluency in a foreign language if you commit an hour daily to learning it over a period of one year.[3]

Advertising

Here’s How to Learn a Language in Just 30 Minutes a Day.

12. Overcome social media addiction

If you want to increase your productivity, you have to learn to manage or beat your social media addiction. This can be achieved in a couple of days, weeks or months depending on how strong your resolution is.

13. Increase typing speed to 60 WPM in three months

A slow typing speed slows down productivity. It is said that you can save 21 days a year by typing fast. You can set a goal to boost your typing speed and accuracy in a matter of three months.

Some tips for you: How to Type Faster: 12 Typing Tips and Techniques

14. Keep a journal of key events

Practices like keeping a journal to record key events in your life can help you keep track of your progress. Such journals can help you regain motivation whenever you are facing a difficult situation.

This is Why You Should Keep A Journal And How To Get Started.

15. Attend college alumni reunion this year

Connect with old friends and relive memories by setting a goal to attend your high school reunion this year.

Maybe you will connect with people who can inspire your life or help with your career! It’s also a good opportunity to practice your networking skills.

Advertising

16. Organize a family reunion bi-annually

With everyone pursuing their own dreams, keeping the bond of family strong might require deliberately planning a family reunion. Bringing everyone together annually or at most once in two years won’t be a bad idea.

17. Learn a programming language

The world is getting more ‘techy’ by the day and everyone needs some sort of programming knowledge.

Make it a goal to learn the basics of a programming language annually and if you really get fascinated about one, why not create additional time to become a pro in it?

18. Clear all outstanding debts in 6 months

Living in debt can bring a lot of stress into your life. You can set a goal to clear all your debts in six months. This can be achieved by learning ways to become debt-free quickly: How to Pay off Debt Fast Using the Stack Method (A Step-By-Step Guide)

19. Increase spirituality

Spirituality means different things to different people. Whatever it means to you, you can set a goal to be more devoted and spend more time enriching that part of you.

20. Reconnect with “foes”

It is normal in life that people get to annoy you to the point that you block them out of your life. This happens a lot on social media.

Set a goal to let go of the past and look at these people you have barred with new perspectives. These people might have turned a new leaf and you might be surprised to find them valuable once more.

Final Thoughts

Your Personal SMART Goals can be just about anything. You will only have to be sure that you can muscle the discipline, resources, and requirements you will need to achieve them.

You may not achieve 100% of your goals all the time but it’s worth it; knowing that you are making progress with your life.

More Tips on Goal Setting

Featured photo credit: Emma Matthews Digital Content Production via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

The Lifehack Show: The Importance of Leadership (No Matter Who You Are) with Michael Bianco-Splann What Is Speed Reading and How to Successfully Learn It 50 Habits of Highly Successful People You Should Learn Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Conquer It) 8 Brain Exercises for Mental Strength and a Smarter Brain

Trending in Smartcut

1 What Is a Bullet Journal and What Are the Benefits? 2 How to Run an Effective One on One Meeting with Team Members 3 8 Brain Exercises for Mental Strength and a Smarter Brain 4 How to Use the 5 Whys to Get to the Root Cause of Any Problem 5 What Is Procrastination and How to Stop It (The Complete Guide)

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Published on February 17, 2020

What Is a Bullet Journal and What Are the Benefits?

What Is a Bullet Journal and What Are the Benefits?

You may have heard of a productivity method called Bullet Journaling. What is a bullet journal? It is a very personal approach to getting in control of your life and becoming more productive.

It does that by allowing you to build your journal, your system, and your method of journaling with very few limitations.

Traditional journaling, or productivity systems, usually give you a template: a set way to record your information and tasks. You input the information and the system then shows you the information in a predetermined way. Not so with a bullet journal.

What Is a Bullet Journal?

With a bullet journal, you start with a number of symbols and a blank notebook (or a digital equivalent). Your choice of notebook, the pen you use, the ink color, and how you use the symbols is entirely up to you. You have complete freedom.

In a sense, with a bullet journal, instead of having a “system,” you have some best practices that guide you.

Is a Bullet Journal Right for You?

So, with that in mind, would a bullet journal work for you? That depends. A bullet journal is ideal for those who have a strong creative side: a person who does not want to be bound by constraints and limits. Bullet journals give you complete creative freedom, and for many people, that is the attraction.

However, if you are easily distracted and are a bit of a perfectionist, this lack of constraints can be a rabbit hole of lost focus and frustration. There is also the issue of the amount of time it takes to maintain a bullet journal. Depending on how you want your journal to look, these journals can take up a lot of time just to maintain. That is not for everybody.

Advertising

How a Bullet Journal Works: An Overview

A bullet journal works by giving you a blank page for each day. You have an appointments section and a to-do section, and after that, you can add anything you want.

In your to-do section, there are a few symbols you will use to indicate what has happened to a to-do:

  • A bullet – a task
  • A bullet with a cross – task complete
  • A dash – indicates a note
  • Forward arrow – task moved to another day
  • A circle – an event

That said, you can of course modify these symbols to suit your tastes.

On top of your daily pages, you will have an index page and a calendar page. How you create these is up to you..

Benefits of a Bullet Journal

1. Improves Your Mental Health

We know journaling has incredible mental health benefits. The act of journaling gives you time for reflection, time to get your thoughts out of your head, and time to review and plan.[1]  It’s a tremendous way to add some much needed perspective in your life.

When you give yourself that valuable time to yourself, you have the opportunity to slow down and contemplate, and that allows your mind to settle, calm down, and reset. In a world that is relentlessly distracting, noisy and frenetic, those quiet moments with your journal can help sooth you.

Learn more about improving your mental health: 8 Simple Ways to Be Mentally Healthy

Advertising

2. Helps You Stay on Top of Your Goals

Bullet journaling helps you stay on top of your projects and goals. Your to-do list guides you towards getting important things done each day and gives you a space to collect new tasks, opportunities and events.

Without having a place to store your ideas, tasks and events, it is very easy for these things to slip your mind. When you have a journal with you everywhere you go, it’s very difficult to miss these things because you have them written down.

Being able to see what you have planned, what you would like to achieve, and how you are progressing is a great way to keep you motivated to keep going, even when things get tough.

Read more about how to reach your goals: 6 Golden Rules to Make Progress Towards Achieving Your Goals.

3. Develops Creativity

Bullet journaling can help develop your creativity. Having a blank page every day on which to create your vision for that day engages your creative side, and the more you use your creativity, the more creative you become.

The freedom a bullet journal gives you to write, draw, color in, and develop gets your creative juices flowing. And if you need inspiration, you only need search “bullet journals” and you will be inundated with ideas and examples.

4. Lets You Write Your Life’s Story

Every day you write a few more words of your life’s story. Over time, you build an incredibly unique story — the story of your life. That one reason alone should be enough for you to go out and buy yourself a beautiful notebook in which to start writing your story.

Advertising

Most people drift through life without documenting anything. Holidays with loved ones and friends go undocumented, becoming little more than a blur of memory and a long-lost batch of photos hidden among thousands of others stored on your phone.

With a bullet journal, you can write down how you felt and who you were with, and you can print out your favorite photos and stick them into your journal to help you remember. (Yes! You can do that!)

In ten or twenty years, when you look back through your journals, you will be able to re-live those special moments and experience the feelings you had at those times.

5. Helps You Achieve Your Goals Through Writing

The act of writing down your goals is one very powerful step to take towards achieving those goals. Studies have shown that when you write down your goals, you stand a much better chance of actually achieving them.

Having a place to evaluate and review your goals helps keep you on track and keeps those goals up front and center in your life. It is very easy to sit down in the excitement of a new year and tell your friends about all the things you plan to do, only to completely forget about those goals by the end of January.

When you write your goals down in your bullet journal (you can create a goals section), you have a place to remind you of what you want to achieve. This will keep you motivated and focused.

Need more tips for staying motivated? Check out 8 Steps to Continuous Self Motivation Even During the Difficult Times.

Advertising

The Bottom Line

There are multiple benefits to keeping a journal, and the beauty of a bullet journal is that you get to create your own way of doing things. There are many resources online to guide and inspire you.

The stories and memories you record in your bullet journal will give you joy and inspiration for years to come. So the next question is, when will you start to create your own.

I have written a step-by-step guide you can use to start building your bullet journal today. This gives you guidance and ideas for the kind of notebook and pen to use, what you can store in your journal, and how to set up the basic structure.

Good luck and happy journaling!

Featured photo credit: Estée Janssens via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next