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.
Table of Contents
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- 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