Everyone’s lives revolve towards achieving life goals, whether we are thinking about them or not. To become more productive and proactive, we need to learn how to set the best personal development goals that we can use to be able to measure our personal growth and progress. In other words, everyone’s goals need to be SMART. Thankfully, SMART goals examples are not hard to find.
No matter how old you are, where you’re from, or what you are doing, the importance of goal setting cannot be understated.
However, setting SMART goals is not easy to do if you don’t know where to start. If you don’t do it right, you may end up getting frustrated because you set a milestone that will set you up for failure.
To guide you in your journey to writing SMART goals in pursuit of your personal development, here are some personal SMART goals examples you can set to improve your life.
Table of Contents
- What Are Personal Goals?
- What Are S.M.A.R.T Goals?
- 20 Personal SMART Goals Examples
- 1. Walk 30 Minutes a Day, 5 Days a Week
- 2. Improve Your Listening Skills
- 3. Speak up to Increase Visibility
- 4. Improve Presentation / Public Speaking Skills
- 5. Improve Your Emotional Intelligence
- 6. Start Networking
- 7. Volunteer As Much As You Can
- 8. Improve Your Time Management Skills
- 9. Wake up Early
- 10. Learn One New Thing Every Week
- 11. Learn a Foreign Language
- 12. Overcome Social Media Addiction
- 13. Increase Typing Speed to 60 WPM in Three Months
- 14. Keep a Journal of Key Events
- 15. Attend a College Alumni Reunion This Year
- 16. Organize a Family Reunion Bi-Annually
- 17. Learn a Programming Language
- 18. Clear All Outstanding Debts in 6 Months
- 19. Increase Spirituality
- 20. Reconnect With "Foes"
- Final Thoughts
- More Tips on Goal Setting
What Are Personal Goals?
Personal goals, whether they are SMART goals examples for students, career-driven goals, or personal development goals, are the things that you want to achieve for yourself.
These goals can be related to your family, career, business, personal relationships, and many more. When you know what you want to achieve and set goals towards achieving those, you are one step closer to becoming self-motivated and positive.
The specific goals you have set 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. 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 week or month
What Are S.M.A.R.T Goals?
S.M.A.R.T. goals are goals that are 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 initially a management concept which was presented as a SMART way to create management goals as well as objectives. It was written in the following manner:
- Specific: Target a specific area for improvement.
- Measurable: Quantify or to have an indicator of progress for your measurable goals.
- Achievable: Specify who will do it and how.
- Realistic: State the results which can be achieved given your available resources.
- Time-related: Specify your target date or time frame when the results can be achieved.
Without following the SMART system, they may be vague goals or just mere resolutions. Setting SMART goals will enable you to examine your goals more carefully. This way, you can give them more structures that can be easily tracked and implemented.
However, setting a SMART goal is not enough. You need to know exactly what you should do next to help you get to your goal step by step. The Make It Happen Handbook is an amazing tool to help you plan and achieve your goal. You can get your handbook to help you reach your goal this year!
20 Personal SMART Goals Examples
The following tips are some SMART goals examples that you can apply to improve your life. These goals cut across various areas of life but they generally fall into the personal goals category. Some of them are daily or weekly habits, and there are also those that may take a longer time to achieve.
1. Walk 30 Minutes a Day, 5 Days a Week
Health is wealth, and exercising for a recommended 150 minutes a week can reduce your risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, etc..
You can achieve this goal by brisk walking for around 30 minutes per day on weekdays. You may further break this goal down to 15 minutes each for day and night.
2. Improve Your Listening Skills
Whether it is discussing with your colleague at work, your partner, family, team members, or a friend, most people are ready to talk but not to listen. You will know whether you are improving your listening skills by asking your peers for feedback after you have made contributions.
For example, you can ask questions such as “Did I address the issues you mentioned?” You need to listen more so people know that their opinions greatly matter to you. Therefore, this is one of the best SMART goals examples.
3. Speak up to Increase Visibility
Do you find yourself hiding in the crowd and barely talking during meetings? One of the best personal SMART goals examples you can set in your life is to increase your visibility. Planning ahead before attending meetings so you can consider the agenda as well as prepare in making thoughtful contributions is something you should consider.
4. Improve Presentation / Public Speaking Skills
With enough research, preparation, and rehearsal, it is possible to make effective PowerPoint presentations and deliver great speeches. Setting a goal to research topics thoroughly, and making time to rehearse before each presentation is so important. This is one of the best SMART goals examples because it will help you in your personal and professional life.
5. Improve Your Emotional Intelligence
One of the goals you can set is to become less reactive to problems and issues. This way, you can pay attention to finding out underlying emotions as well as the motivations behind other people’s actions. 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. For this, you can have a goal to attend at least three networking events per quarter to help you connect with colleagues and meet new people.
7. Volunteer As Much As You Can
When it comes to the best SMART goals examples, contributing a couple of volunteering hours to community service is an amazing way to give back. This could involve teaching your favorite subject at a high school, or participating in a feeding program to serve homeless people.
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. Try creating to-do lists or using scheduling apps on your phone to keep you on track.
Check out these 7 Effective Time Management Tips To Maximize Your Productivity.
9. Wake up Early
Are you constantly feeling short on time? 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 begins.
10. Learn One New Thing Every Week
There is no end to learning. Set a personal goal to add something new to your knowledge and skill base every week. Read a book, learn some new vocabulary words for that foreign language you’ve always wanted to pick up, or listen to a podcast.
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, make more friends, and earn more money. For all these reasons, this is one of the most valuable SMART goals examples.
You might attain conversational fluency in a foreign language if you commit an hour daily to learning it over a period of one year. It’s even better if you can find a native speaker to practice with.
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. Doing this can also give your self-esteem a boost by reducing social comparisons.
13. Increase Typing Speed to 60 WPM in Three Months
This is one of the personal goals examples you should exercise in your life especially if you are a student. 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.
14. Keep a Journal of Key Events
Looking for personal goals examples? This one is for you. 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. It may also help you work through tough situations and keep yourself grounded, making this one of the best personal goals to start.
15. Attend a College Alumni Reunion This Year
When looking at SMART goals examples, many people look to the future, but reconnecting with the past can be valuable as well. Connect with old friends and relive memories by setting a goal to attend your college alumni 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.
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. One of the most useful personal SMART goals examples you should exercise is to bring everyone together annually or once every two years.
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, and if you really get fascinated with one, why not create additional time to become a pro in it with extra courses? This is one of the most useful SMART goals examples for students.
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)
Start working on this now, and you’ll be surprised how quickly the debt decreases.
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. This may be one of those personal goals examples that generally improves your mental health, as well.
This may not mean going to church. Some people will find they connect most to their spirituality while gardening, walking in nature, or meditating. Find what helps you connect with that deeper sense of meaning and follow it.
20. Reconnect With “Foes”
It is normal in life that people annoy you to the point that you block them out of your life. This happens a lot on social media.
Set a personal goal to let go of the past and look at these people you have barred with a new perspective. They may have turned a new leaf, and you might be surprised to find them valuable once more.
Your personal SMART goals and personal development goals can be just about anything. You will only have to be sure that you can muster 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 important to set your goals knowing that you are making progress with your life. Check out the personal development goals and SMART goals examples above and start setting some of your own today.
More Tips on Goal Setting
- Achieving Goals: The Ultimate Guide to Goal Achieving & Goal Setting
- 7 Ground Rules of Setting Goals (And Reaching Them)
- How to Create an Action Plan and Achieve Your Personal Goals
Featured photo credit: Emma Matthews Digital Content Production via unsplash.com
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