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.
Table of Contents
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.
- 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.
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..
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, 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.
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.
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. 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
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.
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.
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
- 7 Ground Rules of Setting Goals (And Reaching Them)
- How Setting Personal Goals Makes You a Greater Achiever
Featured photo credit: Emma Matthews Digital Content Production via unsplash.com
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