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Last Updated on January 5, 2021

20 Personal SMART Goals Examples to Improve Your Life

20 Personal SMART Goals Examples to Improve Your Life

All our lives are directed towards achieving some life 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 other words, our goals have to be SMART, and SMART goals examples are not hard to come by.

To guide you as you begin to write SMART goals for your personal development, I have provided some examples of SMART personal 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, whether those are business goals, family goals, or lifestyle goals. 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.

Your specific 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 suggest an indicator of progress for measurable goals.
  • Achievable: Specify who will do it and how.
  • Realistic: State what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources.
  • Time-related: Specify the target date or general time frame when the result(s) can be achieved.

SMART Goals: Definition and Examples | Indeed.com
    Without making your goals SMART, they may be vague goals or just mere resolutions[2]. Setting SMART goals 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 Personal SMART Goals Examples

    The following are 20 personal SMART goals examples that you can set to improve your life. They cut across different areas of life but generally fall into the category of personal goals. 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, and exercising for a recommended 150 minutes a week can reduce your risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, etc.[3].

    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.

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    2. Improve Your Listening Skills

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

    .

    For example, ask questions like “Has my answer addressed your concerns?” or “Is there anything else I can help with?” You need to listen more to let people know that their opinions really matter to you, making this one of the best SMART goals examples.

    3. Speak up to Increase Visibility

    Are you one of those that hide in the crowd and barely talk in meetings? Setting a personal 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 preparation, and rehearsals, you can make effective PowerPoint presentations and deliver great speeches. Set a goal to always research your topics thoroughly, and make time to rehearse before each presentation. This is one of the best SMART goals examples as it will help you both personally and professionally.

    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[4].

    Make it a personal goal to increase emotional intelligence.

      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 personal goal to attend three networking events quarterly to connect with old colleagues and meet new people.

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

      7. Volunteer Regularly

      When it comes to SMART goals examples, contributing two volunteering hours weekly for community service can be a great way to give back and feel good. 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. 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[5]. It’s even better if you can find a native speaker to practice with.

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      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. Doing this can also give your self-esteem a boost by reducing social comparisons.

      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.

      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. 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. Bringing everyone together annually or once every 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[6].

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      SMART Goals Examples: 17 Easiest Programming Languages to Learn

        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?

        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 SMART 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.

        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 important to set your goals knowing that you are making progress with your life. Check out the SMART goals examples above and start setting some of your own today.

        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

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        Last Updated on January 21, 2021

        30 Goals To Set For Yourself Before Turning Into 40s

        30 Goals To Set For Yourself Before Turning Into 40s

        Some people believe that once they’ve passed the age of 30, they’re too old to do something new and exciting; that it’s time for them to settle down.

        If you have found your dream job, and are clear about your purpose of life, then go ahead and live your best life! However, it’s never too late to dream a new dream and set some new goals.

        The vast majority of the people focus on their careers and how much they need to earn, but there are certain things you should do to create unforgettable memories and make yourself proud of what you managed to accomplish.

        Whereas there are countless ideas which vary on your attitude and lifestyle, the following list is full of things anyone should try.

        1. Visit a new continent.

        New continent means a whole new experience, different culture and tons of interesting people to meet. Everyone should visit another continent at least once in a lifetime, it’s a priceless experience.

        2. Travel to at least 20 countries.

        Each new country you visit is an original life lesson and unique memories. The more countries you travel to, the better you can compare them and draw conclusions from people’s behavior, culture, and rituals. By spending time in different environments, we can learn a lot about ourselves.

        3. Make at least one friend in every country you visit.

        Traveling somewhere without making a new friend there is a huge loss. By interacting with local people, you may have a chance to learn about the secret facts of that very location and explore some mysterious places. What’s more, creating a bond with the locals creates an opportunity to revisit the country cheaper by being hosted by the people you’ve met.

        4. Take a spontaneous trip.

        Without planning every single detail, pack all the necessary stuff and set off into the unknown. You don’t even have to leave your country, the key is to make it impromptu, face what life throws at you and see how you can deal with that. Once the trip is over, you’ll learn some incredible lessons that you wouldn’t have by booking an all-inclusive vacation.

        Catching a last-minute flight to a random destination might be a starting point for a serious adventure.

        5. Learn a new language.

        Do you know what’s the Bill Gates’ most regretted thing is? It’s not learning a second language. During your travel, it’s a great opportunity to practice your language skills with locals. While you are at home, you can learn the basics using books, attending a course or through online programs. And then, once you have a chance to speak with native speakers, this will be the moment when you learn the most. During just a few months of attending a German high school, I learned far more than spending two years of practice with books (though it was a good preparation).

        6. Go Bungee Jumping.

        This idea may seem crazy to you, but it’s just a warm up comparing to the next one. Bungee jumping is an insane way to face your fears and do something against common sense. As for me, it’s a valuable lesson which emphasizes the fact that even the scariest things turn out to be tolerable once you go through them.

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        7. Skydive.

        As I promised, this one is hardcore. Experience the unstoppable power of gravitation and see the world from a different perspective. Though I didn’t skydive yet, doing it at least once is definitely on my bucket list.

        8. Face your worst fear.

        Whatever you fear, most probably it’s a mental issue and not a real danger. There’re countless phobias people suffer from. I don’t know what’s yours, but I dare you to test your limits and see how far you can go.

        9. Stand on top of a mountain.

        And get there going on a foot. The view from the top is invaluable and unique. You literally feel the power of nature and see how small we actually are comparing to the natural forces.

        10. Boost your financial stability.

        Before you turning into 40, becoming financially independent is almost mandatory. To avoid getting lost in debt and make the money work for you and not vice versa, you should devote some time to learning finances. This 14-day plan is a great way to start.

        11. Create your personal emergency fund.

        Saving money regularly is a life-saving habit once you are in financial troubles. Most experts suggest your emergency fund should allow yourself to cover at least 3 months of living expenses. While you are busy making your dreams come true and doing crazy things, be aware that accidents do happen, so having a financial security is definitely helpful while you’ll be figuring out the alternative plan to solve your problems.

        12. Create an online business on the side.

        Nowadays, there are endless ways to make some extra money online. A legit method almost anyone can try out is monetizing your skills through creating an online course or ebook. It’s a great way to cover additional expenses and learn a bit of entrepreneurship from real life experience. Maybe you’ll even be able to leave your 9–5 and create your dream lifestyle making money from any place in the world like digital nomads do.

        To learn more, check out these 24 easy ways to make money on the internet.

        13. Develop a habit of daily exercising.

        The older you are, the more likely you are to lead a sedentary lifestyle which is a horrible tendency. To avoid it, focus on creating healthy habits. There’s no excuse for not finding at least 20 minutes a day to train. You can try out bodyweight workouts or go for a quick run.

        Your body will be incredibly grateful and serve you well for longer.

        Although he has one of the most exacting jobs you can imagine, Barrack Obama works out for 45-minute every day. It’s a habit everyone should borrow.

        14. Start eating healthy.

        Diet-related problems are a huge concern in today’s world. More than one-third U.S. adults are obese. Mostly, because of unhealthy diet and a sedentary lifestyle. Taking care of your eating patterns is mandatory if you keep your health. The more you put it off, there more likely you are to never get started.

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        In a nutshell, choose unprocessed, whole products and avoid junk food with huge amounts of sugar, salt, and fat.

        15. Get in the best shape of your life.

        There are some living miracles like C.T. Fletcher who achieved the best shape during his 50s. However, now is always the perfect moment to do that. Educate yourself about nutrition, maybe invest in a personal coach and commit to fully transform your body. There are countless 1-year transformations on Youtube which serve as a great source of inspiration.

        Once you are in your life’s best shape, go on a photo session so you can proudly show your grandchildren how shredded you once were.

        16. Become a disciplined person.

        Self-discipline is an enormously useful skill when it comes to making your dreams become a reality. Without discipline, you can’t stick to your commitments and work toward your goals. Becoming a person with rules will have a positive impact on your future self.

        The fact is, you can either control yourself or let yourself control you. If you dream of a meaningful life, you’ll definitely aim for the first option.

        This free self-discipline book is a good resource to begin with.

        17. Become a morning person.

        The majority of the most successful people swear by the power of being an early riser. Whether it’s CEOs, world’s best athletes or other outstanding individuals, most of them have a morning routine which highly contributes to their success.

        Morning ritual empowers your day and gives you an advantage over the rest of the world which still sleeps while you work to become a better self.

        18. Read at leat 100 books.

        Whatever your problem is, there is at least one decent book offering a solution. Books hide incredible value and knowledge. The sad fact is, however, more and more people prefer TV shows or video games.

        Once I became a regular reader, I realized how much you miss out if you refuse to read. The impact books have made (and still make) on my life is gigantic.

        Start to finish reading at least one book a month, and you will have completed 12 book a year!

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        If you don’t know which books to choose, check out this post.

        19. Write a book.

        81% of the population feels they could write a book, but only the minority takes action and starts writing. The truth is, once you begin to write, you are a writer. Finishing a book is challenging but the sense of satisfaction afterward is definitely worth it.

        Pick a topic and devote 30 minutes a day to writing. In a year or even sooner, you’ll not only drastically improve your language skills but also finish your first book.

        Nowadays, when self-publishing becomes more and more popular, you can release your work avoiding the middlemen and maybe even discover that your calling turns out to be a writer. You don’t know until you try…

        20. Write a letter to your future self.

        Make sure to include your dreams, expectations and plans. Decide how much time needs to go by until you open your letter. Once you do it, it will be the moment of truth and a chance to see whether you became who you wanted to be.

        If you prefer modern technology, you can write an email to your future self using free services like futureme.org.

        21. Go offline for a whole month.

        Imagine no Facebook, Internet, Reddit or Lifehack for the whole month. This 30-day challenge tests your ability to entertain yourself in the world ruled by technology, avoiding the Internet and computers completely. To make it even more spicy, cut off the television.

        It’s a great opportunity to spend more time with your friends and family, focus on your passions and read more books.

        22. Take a picture every day for a whole year.

        I doubt there are many mementos better than this. Once the year is over, you create a time-lapse which shows portrait by portrait how you changed during the 365 days.

        Watching it 20 years later will probably make you cry.

        23. Make a list of things that truly make you happy.

        And make sure to do these activities as often as possible. You can have all the money in the world and a career that society considers the most successful, yet you can feel miserable. It’s because the real happiness comes from experiences, self-realization, and contribution. While you discover the world checking off the things from this list, try to find out which environment makes you the happiest person in the world.

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        Whenever you face a hard moment, take out your happiness-list and start doing one of the things from it. As a result, the bad emotion fades away much quicker.

        24. Complete the integrity challenge.

        Integrity challenge is an idea from I borrowed from Joel Runyon. Oftentimes our actions don’t represent our thoughts and commitments. This weird phenomenon is most visible when a new year begins and most of the people fail to stick to their resolutions. The way it works is simple. Choose one thing, ideally an uncomfortable task like daily jogging for 30 minutes, determine the timeframe (e.g. 90 days) and then just do your thing every single day without failing even once until you arrive at the finish line.

        This test points out your weaknesses and questions your willpower. However, once you accomplish it successfully, it gives you a huge motivation boost to pursue more complex goals which every 20-something should aim at.

        25. Help a homeless person to get back to a normal life.

        Our life isn’t only about ourselves but also about the people around us. There are many folks who really need help but are ignored by the majority of the society. Imagine supporting a homeless person with the goal in mind to make them a self-sufficient member of the community again.

        If you feel miserable, be aware that giving back is one of the fastest methods to make yourself incredibly happy.

        26. Donate to a local foundation.

        The amount of your donation doesn’t matter, the fact of doing it does. Imagine if everyone (who’s financially independent) donated a dollar a month to a foundation of choice. It seems small but once you add up all the donations, the sum can make a huge difference in other people’s lives.

        27. Stop looking for other people’s approval.

        This is an especially useful yet rare skill. We definitely care way too much about how others perceive us which in result lowers your self-esteem and confidence as well as makes you overthink the simple choices. Abandoning the validation completely is tough, but it’s worth working toward it.

        Once you accept the inevitable disapproval, you can become your true and authentic self. To get started, have a look at this post.

        28. Learn to say no.

        Saying no at the right moment is a habit which guarantees you a better life. However, the tendency in most people is quite the opposite. They say yes way too much and end up with unnecessary commitments and responsibilities which don’t add any value to their lives.

        Now is when you should finally grasp that. There are plenty of things you don’t need to say yes to all the time.

        29. Make a DIY furniture.

        Do it yourself” movement grows in popularity and some of the ideas people come up with are seriously unbelievable. Creating your own piece of furniture boosts your creativity, tests your manual skills and saves you money. The satisfaction after putting your favorite books on a hand-made shelf beats every commercial furniture.

        30. Spend a night under the stars.

        As for me, watching the sky in the night is the best way to get the existential buzz. It’s a beautiful scenario to contemplate about your life, plans, and the future. Pitch a tent in the nature, make a bonfire, invite your loved ones and fire your imagination with the stars.

        Featured photo credit: Candice Picard via unsplash.com

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