Last Updated on April 19, 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 |
    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. But setting a SMART goal is not it, you need to know exactly what to do next to help you get to your goal step by step. The Make It Happen Handbook is great tool to help you plan your goal and get to it successfully. Get your handbook and reach your goal this year!

    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.


    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.


      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.


      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].


      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. How? Grab this Dreamer’s Guide To Reaching Your Goal and find out!

        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


        More by this author

        Leon Ho

        Founder & CEO of Lifehack

        Your Night Routine Guide to Sleeping Better & Waking Up Productive 74 Healthy Habits That Will Drastically Improve Every Aspect of Your Life 7 Tips for Overcoming Challenges in Life Like a Pro How to Get Motivated Every Day When You Wake Up How to Plan Your Life Goals and Actually Achieve Them

        Trending in Goal Getting

        1 How to Find Your Passion and Live a More Fulfilling Life 2 How to Set Realistic Short Term Goals for a Successful Life 3 How to Plan Your Life Goals and Actually Achieve Them 4 7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It 5 How to Find an Accountability Partner to Help You Reach Your Goal

        Read Next


        Last Updated on April 19, 2021

        How to Find Your Passion and Live a More Fulfilling Life

        How to Find Your Passion and Live a More Fulfilling Life

        If you could do one thing to transform your life, I would highly recommend it be to find something you’re passionate about, and do it for a living. Learning how to find your passion may not be as easy as it sounds, but it’s well worth the effort.

        If you dread going to your job, find yourself constantly lacking motivation, or find what you’re doing dull and repetitive, you need to start looking for a new job.

        Staying in your current job will not only continue to leave you feeling stuck and make you unhappy, but you are not realizing your full potential in life.

        Imagine this instead:

        You get up early, jumping out of bed, excited to go to work. You might put in more hours than the average person, but it doesn’t seem difficult to you, because your work hours just zoom right by.

        You are often in that state of mind, often referred to as “flow,” where you can lose track of the world and time, losing yourself in the task at hand. Work is not work as many people refer to it, but something that is fun and interesting and exciting. It’s not a “job” but a passion that leads to a fulfilling life.

        If you’ve got a job you dislike, or even hate, this will sound like a pipe dream to you. And if you never put in the effort to find what you’re passionate about, such a thing will never be possible.


        However, if you dare to ask “how do I find my passion,” imagine the possibilities, and actually search for what you love, it is not only a possibility, but a probability.

        How do you go about learning how to find your passion in life? Here are some suggestions:

        1. Is There Something You Already Love Doing?

        Do you have a hobby or something you loved doing as a child, but never considered it as a possibility for a job?

        Whether it’s reading comic books, collecting something, or creating or building, there is probably a way you could do it for a living. Open a comic book shop, or create a comic book site online.

        If there’s already something you love doing, you’re ahead of the game. Now you just need to research the possibilities of making money from it.

        2. Find out What You Spend Hours Reading About

        For myself, when I get passionate about something, I’ll read about it for hours on end. I’ll buy books and magazines. I’ll spend days on the Internet finding out more.

        There may be a few possibilities here for you, and all of them are possible career paths. Don’t close your mind to these topics. Look into them until you feel your heart is content, and this will help you get started as you learn how to find your passion.


        3. Brainstorm

        If nothing comes to mind right away as you’re asking how to find my passion, get out a sheet of paper and start writing down ideas[1]. This doesn’t need to be an organized list. It can simply be a paper full of random notes or even doodles. All of this will eventually come in handy later.

        Look around your house, on your computer, or on your bookshelf for inspiration, and write down whatever comes to mind. There are no bad ideas at this stage.

        4. Ask Around

        There are likely people you admire in life, and there are things about them that you would like to replicate in yourself. Go to them if possible, and pick their brain. See how they landed where they currently are and whether they feel they’ve discovered their passion.

        The more possibilities you find, the more likely your chances of learning how to find your passion in the long run. This may mean that you spend time talking to friends and family, coworkers, or even acquaintances in your free time.

        5. Don’t Quit Your Job Just Yet

        If you find your calling, your passion, don’t just turn in your resignation tomorrow. It’s best to stay in your job while you’re researching the possibilities.

        If you can do your passion as a side job and build up the income for a few months or a year, that’s even better. It gives you a chance to build up some savings (and if you’re going into business for yourself, you’ll need that cash reserve), while practicing the skills you need.

        6. Give It a Try First

        It’s best to actually test your new idea before jumping into it as a career as you’re wondering how to find your passion. Do it as a hobby or side job at first, so that you can see if it’s really your true calling.


        You may be passionate about it for a few days, but where the rubber meets the road is whether you’re passionate about it for at least a few months.

        If you pass this test, you have probably found it.

        7. Do as Much Research as Possible

        Know as much about your passion as possible. If this has been a passion for a while, you may have already been doing this. At any rate, do even more research. Read every website possible on the topic, and buy the best books available.

        Find other people, either in your area or on the Internet, who do what you want to do for a living, and quiz them about the profession.

        How much do they make, and what training and education did they need? What skills are necessary, and how did they get their start? What recommendations do they have?

        Often, you’ll find that people are more than willing to give advice.

        8. Practice, and Practice, and Practice Some More

        If you’re getting close to learning how to find your passion, don’t go into it with amateur skill level. If you want to make money—to be a professional—you need to have professional skills.


        Get very good at your future career, and you will make money at it. Practice for hours on end and learn how to focus; if it’s something you love, the practice should be something you want to do.

        9. Never Quit Trying

        It’s possible that you won’t be able to find your passion at first. However, if you give up after a few days, you’re sure to fail. Keep trying, for months on end if necessary, and you’ll find it eventually.

        Perhaps you thought you found your passion but discovered several months on that it wasn’t for you. Start over again and find a new passion. There may be more than one passion in your lifetime, so explore all the possibilities.

        Have you found your passion but haven’t been successful making a living at it? Keep trying, and try again until you succeed. Success doesn’t come easy, so giving up early is a sure way to fail.

        If you need a little help, the Make It Happen Handbook can provide you with a solid action plan to help you turn your passion in your career. Check out the handbook and start to live your passion!

        The Bottom Line

        Don’t forget that all of this will be a lot of work, but it will be the best investment you’ve ever made. Put in the time to learn how to find your passion, and you will find that your days are more fulfilling and produce more happiness and well-being in the long-term.

        More About Finding Passion

        Featured photo credit: Dewet Willemse via


        Read Next