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Inspiration

SMART Goal Examples To Rock Your Year!

smart goals

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Do you set goals? If you do set them, are they ‘SMART’?  Could you do with some SMART goal examples?

You may be very familiar with the concept of SMART as it’s been around for many years.

I thought I was familiar with it too.  I then delved a little deeper and realised that many of the goals I’d been setting myself weren’t so SMART after all!

Why not download my SMART Goal Template to help you smarten up your goals!

So why bother setting goals at all?  To put it bluntly, if you don’t have goals then how do you know that you are making progress?!

Making your goals SMART gives clarity.  It can help you focus your efforts and increase your chances of success.

(Once you have your goals it’s also equally important to make a plan to achieve them, here’s how to do it).

I’m sure you are familiar with the SMART acronym, but here’s a reminder.

 

Specific

Ask yourself specifically what you want to accomplish.

Who do you need to involve and what resources you need?

 

Measurable

tape measure
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

How will you measure and track results?  How will you know when you’ve reached your goal?

Preferably use numbers when answering these questions.  Ask yourself how much and how many?

For example, you could measure a weight loss goal using the obvious metric of stones and pounds.  You could also track your measurements or take before and after photos.

 

Achievable/attainable

A good way to look at this is to consider your desire for achieving the goal plus the possibility of achieving it.

So for example, if you want to learn meditation ask yourself how motivated you feel to do this.

Consider your ‘whys’ for wanting to achieve this goal.

For example, do you want to feel less stressed and to deal with worries and anxieties better?  This reason is more likely to motivate you than ‘because all my friends are doing it and I want to see what the fuss is about’.

Then consider the possibility of achieving the goal.

How will you learn meditation?  Do you need time to find a course?  Will you do this online or would you rather attend a class?

Once you’ve learned the basics, how often will you meditate, how many times a week and how long for?

Then ask yourself do you have the time to dedicate to this goal?  If not, consider what you could drop to make time.  For example, would you prefer to work on this goal rather than watch an hour of Netflix each evening?

Follow this process and you are well on the way to a really good SMART goal!

 

Relevant/Realistic

I prefer to use relevant here as I think realistic is already covered under achievable.  There is also a point of caution around using the term ‘realistic’.  This article at Forbes.com explains that it could lead to your goals being a little, well, ‘tame’!

This is the time where asking yourself about your ‘whys’ can really come in handy.  Ask yourself whether the goal is worthwhile and if it fits with your values and aspirations.  If it doesn’t then you may struggle to achieve it.

Also at this point ask yourself whether it’s the right time to work on this goal.  Does it fit with other things you have going on in your life at the current time?

 

Timebound

calendarPhoto by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

Finally, consider when you are going to achieve the goal by.  Ask yourself when your work on the goal will begin and end.  Set milestones along the way.  What does a quarter of the way and halfway look like?

It’s also important to build in some allowable slippage so that you don’t feel disheartened if you don’t quite meet that quarter way point!

I can work 1:1 with you to help you SMARTen up your goals and make a plan for achieving them!   Book your Power Hour call right now! 

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SMART goals

 

Here are a few SMART goal examples in some popular categories to give you an idea of where to start.

Mental Wellbeing

Often we concentrate on our physical selves when we are thinking about goals.  For example weight loss and fitness.

What if we also considered mental health?  Goals could include self-care or removing toxic relationships from our lives (or at least the power they have over us).

This is an area where it’s quite easy to fall into setting bad goals!

So, for example, you might resolve to be happier this year.  Or not to worry as much.  These aren’t good SMART goal examples as they are somewhat vague!

 

woman smiling

Photo by Matthew Hamilton on Unsplash

Take the goal of being happy.  To make this a SMART goal you will need to spend some time considering what makes you happy.

Brainstorm, write everything down.  Is it spending more time with family?  Spending less time at work and more time on a hobby?  Travelling?

Then pick the idea that resonates with you the most to turn into a goal.  So if spending more time with family is your goal you could say:

“My goal is to spend one evening a week talking with my family.   Also, we will aim to go for a walk in the countryside together every other weekend.

I will measure this by noting down in my journal each occasion this happens.

I will achieve this by planning the walks with my family for the next 3 months now and putting them on our calendar.

I’ll also talk to my family and agree which night in the week is best for us to catch up with each other’s news.

I know this is realistic because my family have also said they wish we had more time together.  I intend to achieve this goal every month over the next six months.

 

Career/Business

group of people working on laptopsPhoto by rawpixel on Unsplash

This is another area where it’s easy to fall into the trap of setting vague goals.  I’ve seen it in the workplace before where goals that aren’t particularly SMART end up getting carried forward year after year!

An example of a bad goal in this category would be ‘I want to work for myself full-time’.  Lots of people have this dream but with a lack of specifics and a plan it probably isn’t going to happen.

A better SMART goal example might be:

“I’ve started this blog last year so my goal is for it to be making $100 per month in 6 months time.

I will measure this by keeping track of monthly earnings on a spreadsheet.  I aim to be making $50 per month by the 3-month point.

I’ll achieve it by promoting the 3 affiliate programs I’ve identified via twice-weekly blog posts.  I’ll also write 1 sponsored post a month.

I know this is realistic as I have enough time to spend on writing the posts and promoting my content”.

This kind of goal is also scalable and repeatable.  So once you’ve achieved the $100 a month, you can increase your goal, for example to $200.

Want some more help with career and business goals?  Check out my sister site Get Set_Believe.

Health and Fitness

superfood breakfastPhoto by Jannis Brandt on Unsplash

I hear lots of vague goals on this topic.  ‘I want to eat healthier’ or ‘I want to lose weight’.

Unsurprisingly many people struggle to achieve these goals.

A couple of SMART goal examples in this area could be:

  • to eat the recommended number of fruit and veg portions per week for 3 months
  • to cut out sugar Monday to Friday for 6 months

Or if you want to improve fitness an aim could be to run 5 miles in under 40 minutes in 2 months time.

Once you have your goal defined find out how to make a plan to make sure you rock those goals!

 

Financial

Alley over at Article Alley has set herself a goal of paying off her credit card debt.

She told me that she is aiming to pay off £3500 of debt by the end of 2019.  Now this goal is specific (i.e. pay off the debt), measurable (pay off £3500) and time-limited (by the end of 2019).

Now I don’t know Alley’s financial circumstances, but to make this goal truly SMART I would suggest Alley also makes a plan for how much she can pay off each month, ensuring this is realistic and achievable.

She could also write down why she wants to achieve this goal.  She would then have this to refer to if the temptation to splurge arises!

Do you set goals?  Have you used the SMART method?  Do you need some help making your goals SMART?

Let me know in the comments or drop me an email at alison@littleblogofpositvity.com.  I’d love to hear from you.

I hope you’ve found the SMART goal examples in this post useful to help set your own goals.  If you want to learn more about putting your goals into action, check out 9 Sure-Fire Ways To Achieve Your Goals.

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11 comments
  1. hanmwill

    Great post, Alison. I’ve definitely been trying to make my goals more smart, though i definitely overlooked mental well being/happiness ones! Might have to come up with some of these, thanks for sharing

  2. Abby Heird

    Alison, another excellent, well-written post!! I am so bad about setting SMART goals. I know what they are. I know I should do it. But I just don’t. This post made me realize I really need to do that right now, with this new year. It also made it seem less daunting. I am going to take your advice from this post and try to set a couple of SMART goals. Thank you for this!!

    1. Alison

      Thanks Abby. I’ve not been great at them in the past either! It actually doesn’t take as long as I thought it would, I definitely recommend giving it a go!

  3. Ellen

    This is great advice. I definitely need to start making my goals SMARTer!

  4. Chloe Chats

    Fab post, loads of amazing advice as always <3 This is something I need to be better at, it's so much easier setting goals that are sometimes big but made up of loads of mini goals and writing next to them how I'm going to achieve them. I find writing things down makes everything so much easier for me, so I need to get writing some smart goals! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    Chloe xx

  5. Geraldine

    Loved reading this, I can’t believe I forgot about what SMART meant 😂 I appreciated your example!! I don’t quite know what’s realistic for mine yet so this calls for some serious brainstorming!

    1. Alison

      I think SMART has been around for so long that it’s quite easy to forget what it actually stands for!

  6. Savannah

    So much wonderful and specific information! I love what you said about goals needing to be relevant. I think sometimes we just set a goal because we think we should be achieving it (even if it is not relevant to us or our actual aspirations).

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