10 Smart Goal Examples For Your Whole Life (2023)

10 Smart Goal Examples For Your Whole Life (1)

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What are SMART goals?

Where do SMART goals come from?

10 examples of SMART goals

How to use SMART goals to improve in your career

8 extra tips for using SMART goals

For the future: Should all goals be measurable?

(Video) SMART Goals Quick Overview with 21 SMART Goals Examples

I’m guilty of setting poor goals. Either they’re overly ambitious or I haven’t prepared myself to succeed. I’ve always wondered why I never accomplished the goals I set out for myself, but then I saw some SMART goals examples, and it all made sense.

Goal setting isn’t something we should do randomly or without an action plan. Take it from someone who knows! Setting goals requires plenty of thought and purpose.

That’s where the SMART goal-setting method comes in handy. It helps us lay the groundwork to reach our personal and business goals or aid our professional development.

While the SMART goal method requires effort, this framework will help you achieve your goals. Find out how to write SMART goals, see examples, and discover where this method came from.

What are SMART goals?

SMART goals follow a specific framework to achieve goals. You can use this method for any type of goal — personal, professional, financial, and more. You can also use the SMART goal framework for short-term and long-term goals.

SMART is an acronym that stands for:

  • Specific: The goal you set should be specific, and you shouldn’t be able to misinterpret or confuse it
  • Measurable: The goal should allow you to track your progress
  • Attainable: The goal needs to be realistic
  • Relevant: A relevant goal relates to your values, dreams, and ambitions
  • Time-bound: There needs to be a target date for completion, such as four months or one year

Put this together, and you’re left with a detailed goal-setting plan that keeps you focused and headed in the right direction.

Using the SMART goal framework helps to direct your actions so that they all contribute to reaching your goals. As you implement this framework, it may highlight where you could run into challenges. That allows you to plan and chart a detailed course prepared for obstacles.

Developing an action plan that works for you can be difficult. At BetterUp, our coaches can guide you in your goal-setting process and set goals that will best benefit your future.

(Video) Smart Goals with Examples - Smart Goals Template

10 Smart Goal Examples For Your Whole Life (2)

Where do SMART goals come from?

Goal-setting theories and studies have been around for quite some time.

But we have George T. Doran to thank for the SMART goal framework. Building on existing goal-setting theory, he published his findings in 1981. Since then, they’ve been studied and implemented. Doran originally talked about SMART goals from a business perspective.

When he came up with the framework, many U.S. businesses weren’t effectively setting goals. Nor were they creating a successful planning process. Doran used his framework to discuss business goals like how to increase sales and set benchmarks.

Doran wrote his framework to ensure that managers had a solid template for creating meaningful, detailed objectives for their goals.

Fast-forward to the present, and it’s common to use the SMART goal-setting method for achieving all manner of life goals.

10 examples of SMART goals

You may be wondering what some SMART goal examples are, so let’s take a look at what these types of goals look like on paper. Keep in mind, you can use this method for professional and personal goals. Take note of these examples of work goals, SMART goals for leadership, and personal development:

1. SMART goal for running a marathon

  • Specific: I’d like to start training every day to run a marathon.
  • Measurable: I will use my Apple Watch to track my training progress as my mileage increases.
  • Attainable: I’ve already run a half-marathon this year, so I have a solid base-fitness level.
  • Relevant: I value my health and wellness, and this goal will help me sustain that.
  • Time-bound: The marathon is a year away, so I need to be ready by then.

2. SMART goal for writing a book

  • Specific: I’d like to write a novel.
  • Measurable: I want to write at least 2,000 words a day for three months.
  • Attainable: I’m retired now, so I have more time to dedicate to this project.
  • Relevant: Reading and writing have always been a passion of mine.
  • Time-bound: I’ll start writing in the first week of July and finish my first draft by December.

10 Smart Goal Examples For Your Whole Life (3)

3. SMART goal for building a better relationship

  • Specific: I want to build a better relationship with my father.
  • Measurable: I’ll talk to him twice a week over the phone and meet up for breakfast on Sundays.
  • Attainable: We live close to each other, and I recently improved my work-life balance.
  • Relevant: I want to strengthen our bond and understand my family members more, starting with him.
  • Time-bound: I’ll implement this plan until the end of the month and then set new goals for the end of the year.

4. SMART goal example for work

  • Specific: I will start a side business selling flowers.
  • Measurable: I’ll spend at least two hours a day planning and marketing my business.
  • Attainable: I used to sell vegetables from my garden, so now I’ll use my expertise to switch to flowers.
  • Relevant: I love growing flowers and sharing them with other people, and it would earn me extra money.
  • Time-bound: I’ll start working on my marketing plans and growing my flowers to be ready for sale by July 1st.

5. SMART goal example for increasing sales

  • Specific: I will learn new sales techniques to increase sales at work.
  • Measurable: My goal is to double my sales in four months.
  • Attainable: I’ve been a sales associate for two years now. I know the basics, and I’m ready to learn more.
  • Relevant: I want to feel more confident at my job and learn new skills.
  • Time-bound: Tomorrow, I’ll start doing a LinkedIn training course on sales tactics and implement them on Monday at work. I have four months to see results.

6. SMART goal for becoming a better leader at work

  • Specific: I will ensure that my team members can count on me as a strong leader.
  • Measurable: My goal is to survey my team members now and in three months to see how supported they feel.
  • Attainable: I’ve been in this position for six months now, and I have previous management experience at my prior job.
  • Relevant: As our company grows, I want to make sure that I’m supporting my team so they can learn and grow too.
  • Time-bound: I will become a better leader by the end of this quarter before the company takes on new projects and hire more staff.

7. SMART goal for establishing better communication at work

  • Specific: I will help my team feel like they can communicate effectively and freely since we work virtually.
  • Measurable: I’ll use more Slack channels to communicate with team members to encourage communication and see how often they use them.
  • Attainable: All of us are tech-savvy and understand that communication skills are important for a team, so I’d like to strengthen those abilities.
  • Relevant: I was just told that our work will remain virtual for the future, so we need to get better at communicating entirely online with one another.
  • Time-bound: I will send Slack invites to everyone tomorrow morning, and in a month, I’ll ask everyone how they feel about their communication abilities in our meeting.

10 Smart Goal Examples For Your Whole Life (4)

8. SMART goal for improving emotional regulation

  • Specific: I will gain a better sense of control over my emotions and feel calmer.
  • Measurable: I’ll write in my journal every night, and every Friday, I’ll review my feelings and thoughts from the week.
  • Attainable: I’ve always had a good sense of self-awareness, but now I want to better control my emotions.
  • Relevant: I’ve started seeing a therapist, and I have other goals that relate to my well-being, so this is one of them.
  • Time-bound: By the time I start school again in September, which is three months away, I want to feel in control of my emotions.

9. SMART goal for waking up earlier

  • Specific: I want to wake up earlier each morning to have more time for my morning routine.
  • Measurable: I’ll start setting my alarm clock for 7:30 AM this week, and each week set it earlier by 30 minutes. Plus, I’ll write on my calendar the time when I actually woke up to measure progress.
  • Attainable: My schedule allows me to go to bed at a decent time each night, so waking up earlier won’t take many hours of rest.
  • Relevant: My morning routines are filled with social media, and I feel rushed trying to get to work each day, so waking up early would help me feel calmer.
  • Time-bound: In four weeks, I want to wake up two hours earlier than when I usually wake up now.

10. SMART goal of learning French

  • Specific: I want to learn how to have conversations in French to communicate with my in-laws better.
  • Measurable: I’ll use apps like Duolingo that will hold me accountable to work on my French daily and track my progress.
  • Attainable: I speak three languages now, so I’ve always felt confident picking up new ones.
  • Relevant: I feel like I can’t communicate with my in-laws very well now since they only speak French, and I’d like to strengthen our relationship.
  • Time-bound: I want to be able to hold a conversation in French in six months, which is when my relatives come to visit me next.

How to use SMART goals to improve in your career

10 Smart Goal Examples For Your Whole Life (5)

(Video) Setting SMART Goals - How To Properly Set a Goal (animated)

Setting relevant, SMART goals can further your career development. When you learn how to set goals and work to achieve them, you’re putting time and effort into our careers. SMART goals help you address your job responsibilities.

They can be about improving, increasing, developing, or reducing things you do at work. By setting these types of goals, you’re showing that you care about finding purpose in your work, and putting in time and energy to do so.

SMART goal setting is an effective tool to use when setting short-term and long-term goals. Align your goals with your targeted career direction. Let’s say you’re starting at a company as an entry-level employee.

If you have a goal of becoming part of management one day, you need to set detailed goals to get there. You’ll have to learn all about the leadership skills you need, what earns a promotion, and how many steps there are in the employee ladder.

Goals that help you visualize precisely where you want to be help you get there — especially when you’re unsure how to begin working to achieve them. Specific goals chart a worthwhile action plan. Your SMART goals will show what kind of hard work and effort you need to achieve your goals.

8 extra tips for using SMART goals

Some people struggle with sensible goal setting, and that’s OK. Take comfort in knowing this is a skill you can grow. The first goal you set might not be detailed or may not be easy to measure. Even a goal that doesn’t meet all the SMART goal criteria is still a learning opportunity.

Each time you set a goal, you’ll know what practices worked best for you and which ones to avoid.

Here are eight tips for using the SMART goal-setting framework:

  1. If your professional goals are too big, break them into smaller, short-term, achievable goals to keep you moving forward
  2. Incorporate rewards as you reach milestones for any goal
  3. Welcome a different approach for different goals, like work goals, personal goals, or health goals
  4. Always start with the “why” for your goals, as in, “Why are you setting this goal?”
  5. Be realistic with your goal setting and make sure they fit your abilities and values
  6. Keep a calendar, either virtual or physical, to track time and measure progress
  7. Don’t be afraid to adjust or reset your action plan if you find things aren’t working out
  8. Acknowledge setbacks, but don’t dwell on them

10 Smart Goal Examples For Your Whole Life (6)

For the future: Should all goals be measurable?

Now, you understand the origins of the SMART goal template, and why this framework is so useful.

(Video) Jordan Peterson: How to Set Goals the Smart Way

After all, measuring your goals gives you an easy, clear path to achieving them.

Without a measurable goal, it’s hard to gauge progress. And, if you can’t tell if you’re on the right track, you won’t know if and when you need to adjust your goals. Measurable goals also help you manage your energy.

They can show you when you’re tired and need a break or when your motivation is spiking. At the end of the day, your SMART goal examples support your future self.

But remember: all progress is progress. If you’re struggling to measure something abstract, like working to be kinder to those around you, that’s normal. Regularly check in with yourself to see if you feel like you’ve grown, and be proud of yourself for trying.

Find someone who can help you manage your energy and ensure that your goals are measurable. BetterUp can help you take the time to think through an action plan that works best for you as you set your SMART goals.

10 Smart Goal Examples For Your Whole Life (7)

Published August 5, 2022

(Video) Setting SMART Goals for Kids


What is your smart goal in life? ›

What are SMART goals? The SMART in SMART goals stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Defining these parameters as they pertain to your goal helps ensure that your objectives are attainable within a certain time frame.

What are the 10 long-term goals? ›

Here are 10 examples of long-term personal goals:
  • Become a better spouse or parent.
  • Complete your first marathon.
  • Create and commit to a fitness routine.
  • Learn a foreign language.
  • Cut junk food out of your diet.
  • Start volunteering regularly.
  • Increase your emotional intelligence.
  • Earn a college degree.

What are 10 year goals examples? ›

10 Goals You Should Accomplish in 10 Years
  • Marriage and Family Harmony. ...
  • Proper Mindset and Balance. ...
  • Commitment to Improved Physical Health. ...
  • Career Passion and Personal Satisfaction. ...
  • Develop Empathy and Gentleness. ...
  • Financial Stability. ...
  • Service and Social Responsibility. ...
  • Stress-Busting Leisure Time.

What are the 7 smarter goals? ›

The process of S.M.A.R.T.E.R goal-setting follows the acronym, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound, Evaluate, and Reward.

What are the 8 personal goals? ›

There are 8 IPC Personal Goals:

Resilient = I can try again / I never give up. Collaborator = I can work together / I can take turns / I can share / I help. Communicator =I can listen / I can say/show. Respectful = I am caring / I can agree and disagree / I can look after my things / I can tidy up.

What are the 5 life goals? ›

Those are only some of the thoughts that keep people from reaching their goals, pursuing their dreams, and changing their lives.
  • 5 Types of Goals to Set in Life and How to Achieve Them. ...
  • Career Goals. ...
  • Financial Goals. ...
  • Personal Development Goals. ...
  • Spiritual Goals. ...
  • Relationship Goals.
14 Aug 2020

What are 3 of your long term goals? ›

Examples of Long-Term Career Goals

Reconsider your dream job and set a plan for working toward it. Earn a new degree or certificate in your current or desired field. Create a plan for retirement. Become a mentor or leader in your field.

What are 5 long term goals for students? ›

  • Participate in class and stay engaged with your schoolwork.
  • Establish a good routine to manage your time. ...
  • Limit social media and gaming activities.
  • Take challenging classes.
  • Ask your teacher or counselor for extra help.

What are some lifelong goals? ›

100 Life Goals Ideas
  • Become an inspiration to others.
  • Master a difficult skill.
  • Become a thought leader in your industry.
  • Get promoted to an executive role at your company.
  • Learn about how to become a millionaire.
  • Go on a trip around the world.
  • Travel to your dream country.
  • Double your personal income.

What are 3 smart goals examples? ›

SMART Goal Example:
  • Specific: I'm going to write a 60,000-word sci-fi novel.
  • Measurable: I will finish writing 60,000 words in 6 months.
  • Achievable: I will write 2,500 words per week.
  • Relevant: I've always dreamed of becoming a professional writer.
22 Mar 2021

What are the 7 types of goals? ›

All right, now that you know how to set goals, it's time to think about the seven types of goals you need to set.
  • Spiritual Goals. ...
  • Financial Goals. ...
  • Career Goals. ...
  • Intellectual Goals. ...
  • Fitness Goals. ...
  • Family Goals. ...
  • Social Goals.
8 Nov 2022

What are your 5 to 10 year goals answer? ›

Below are some basic tips for creating a good 5/10-year goal message.
  1. Be honest.
  2. Keep things fairly general. ...
  3. Be succinct.
  4. Use good judgment on how you are communicating your ambitions.
  5. Express the skills/experience you'd like to develop and include how your understanding of this role appeals to you in this context.
10 May 2016

What are the 6 types of goals? ›

Six Types of Goals Everyone Should Consider Making
  • Financial. Financial issues are a major source of stress. ...
  • Career. Most of us spend 40+ hours each week at a job of some sort. ...
  • Adventure. ...
  • Self-Development. ...
  • Health. ...
  • Long-term.
11 Apr 2021

What are the 5 SMART goals examples for work? ›

SMART Goals - Examples
  • Overcome Your Fear of Presenting. I will build my confidence to deliver presentations so I can do so with less anxiety. ...
  • Be a Better Coach. I will improve my coaching skills. ...
  • Build Your Network. ...
  • Improving Productivity. ...
  • Become a Leader. ...
  • Be a Strategic Thinker.

What are the 5 SMART goals in education? ›

The acronym SMART identifies the areas of focus in goal-setting. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-oriented or relevant, and Time-bound. Other terms have been associated with these letters, but the Ohio Department of Education uses these.

What are the 9 lifetime goals? ›

  • Spiritual. This is that inner part of yourself. ...
  • Personal Development. This is your mind. ...
  • Health. What are you going to do to take care of this instrument, this tool that you have? ...
  • Romance. ...
  • Family. ...
  • Business/Career. ...
  • Finances. ...
  • Fun and Recreation.

What are some goals for myself? ›

Here are 20 personal goals you can use as inspiration for setting your own goals:
  • Improve your growth mindset.
  • Be more proactive.
  • Learn to understand yourself.
  • Be persistent despite obstacles.
  • Learn to accept your limits.
  • Learn how to make effective decisions.
  • Practice gratitude.
  • Stay open-minded to new opportunities.

What are the 12 categories of life? ›

The 12 Lifebook categories are:
  • Health and fitness.
  • Intellectual life.
  • Emotional life.
  • Character.
  • Spiritual life.
  • Love life.
  • Parenting.
  • Social life.

What are the 7 areas of your life? ›

There are 7 main areas in life that are important for all of us;
  • Social & family Relationships.
  • Career & Educational Aspirations.
  • Financial Security.
  • Physical health/ leisure.
  • Life's routine responsibilities.
  • Society & contribution.
  • Mental, emotional& inner well-being.
11 Jan 2019

What is the main goal of life? ›

While some goals may be more relevant at one stage of one's life, they may lose relevance at another time and place. It's universally acknowledged nowadays, given the sweep of positive psychology sensitizations, that one of the most, if not the most, important goal of life is happiness.

What is best long term goal? ›

The best example of a long-term goal is a goal that is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and has a time frame attached to it. For example, a good long-term goal may be to lose 50 kilograms in the next three years or to learn a new language within two years.

What are your lifetime goals answer? ›

Possible answers

"One of my life goals is to gain valuable industry knowledge and experience. As this is an entry-level position, I hope to work for the company to gain new skills and develop an idea of how I can contribute to the organization." "One of my life goals is to serve as a role model for those I'm managing.

What are your short and long term goals examples? ›

For instance, if your long term goal is to take on more responsibilities by being a team leader, your short term goals should involve learning new skills. You can answer by saying; “My short-range goals are to contribute my ideas as I gain more experience. Later on, I hope to guide recruits to the work environment.

What are 2 examples of short term goals? ›

A short term goal is a goal you can achieve in 12 months or less. Examples include: Take a class. Buy a new television.

What are 3 of your short term goals? ›

14 examples of short-term goals for work
  • Earn a new certificate or degree. ...
  • Improve your performance numbers. ...
  • Improve your networking and communication skills. ...
  • Change your job. ...
  • Improve your work-life balance. ...
  • Waste less time during work hours. ...
  • Make a website for yourself. ...
  • Communicate with your coworkers more.

What are some smart goals for students? ›

SMART Goals Examples for Students
  • Get a 4.0 GPA this semester. ...
  • Study for 2 hours per week for the entire semester. ...
  • Join an extracurricular activity before the end of fall. ...
  • Read one new book each month. ...
  • Apply to 5 colleges by the end of the month. ...
  • Get a part-time job by the end of the summer.
21 Sept 2022

How do you write your lifetime goals? ›

First consider what you want to achieve, and then commit to it. Set SMART (specific, measureable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) goals that motivate you and write them down to make them feel tangible. Then plan the steps you must take to realize your goal, and cross off each one as you work through them.

How do I write my smart goals? ›

Good goals are SMART:
  1. S for specific. A goal should be linked to one activity, thought, or idea.
  2. M for measurable. A goal should be something you can track and measure progress toward.
  3. A for actionable. There should be clear tasks or actions you can take to make progress toward a goal.
  4. R for realistic. ...
  5. T for timely.

What are the 6 suggestions for setting goals? ›

What goals have you set for your business?
  • Recognise the importance of having goals. ...
  • Write down your goals. ...
  • Use SMART goals. ...
  • Use a detailed Action Plan. ...
  • Develop self-discipline and focus on implementation. ...
  • Review your goals regularly.

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now? ›

In 10 years, I'd like to be leading a team. I want to learn all that I can about this role first and advance my skills to earn that kind of position. I'm happy to start in this role and get to know the team and process well and then start to have more responsibilities.

What are your career goals as a student? ›

7 career goals for college students
  • Master a specific industry specialization or skill. ...
  • Achieve top grades to attract better job offers. ...
  • Develop a strong professional network. ...
  • Strive to achieve the salary you want. ...
  • Find an internship in your desired industry. ...
  • Gain additional certifications or educational credentials.

What do you see yourself in 5 years Examples? ›

“In five years, I see myself continuing to grow in my career and taking on more responsibility within the company by leveraging the expertise I've gained working in this industry for the past 5 years. I'm also looking to start a family in the next few years, so I'll be balancing work and home life.

What are the 5 smart goals examples for work? ›

SMART Goals - Examples
  • Overcome Your Fear of Presenting. I will build my confidence to deliver presentations so I can do so with less anxiety. ...
  • Be a Better Coach. I will improve my coaching skills. ...
  • Build Your Network. ...
  • Improving Productivity. ...
  • Become a Leader. ...
  • Be a Strategic Thinker.

What are 5 goals for success? ›

To help you identify next steps to building your future, here's a look at why it pays to set goals, a list of 5 savvy career goal ideas, and some practical actions you can take to make them happen.
  • Grow in Your Role. ...
  • Build Your Network. ...
  • Develop Good Work-Life Balance. ...
  • Find Your Joy on the Job. ...
  • Look for the Next Opportunity.

What are the 5 SMART goals for health? ›

SMART goals are:
  • Specific. Eating healthier sounds like a good idea. ...
  • Measurable. Make your goal one you can measure. ...
  • Attainable. Avoid aiming too high or too low. ...
  • Realistic. Losing 10 pounds a week sounds great. ...
  • Trackable. Choosing specific, measurable goals means you can track your progress over time.
31 Dec 2020

What are the 10 fitness goals? ›

Top 10 Fitness Goals You Need To Set For Yourself
  • Start Stretching More Often. ...
  • Go for some High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) ...
  • Build More Lean Muscle. ...
  • Decreased Body Fat. ...
  • Hydrate! ...
  • Eat More Greens. ...
  • Start Eliminating Sugar. ...
  • Shoot for 10,000 Steps A Day.
14 Jun 2021

What goals can I set for myself? ›

20 goals to set for yourself
  • Improve your growth mindset.
  • Be more proactive.
  • Learn to understand yourself.
  • Be persistent despite obstacles.
  • Learn to accept your limits.
  • Learn how to make effective decisions.
  • Practice gratitude.
  • Stay open-minded to new opportunities.

What are the 10 steps of goal setting? ›

  • Set your goal. ...
  • Write down your goal. ...
  • Establish a deadline for the achievement of your goal. ...
  • Determine all the ways you will benefit from achieving the goal. ...
  • Identify what stands between you and your goal. ...
  • Design an action plan for accomplishing your goal. ...
  • Visualize your goal as already having been accomplished.
21 Apr 2015

What is the best goals in life? ›

Intrinsic Life Goals

Finding and keeping a healthy work-life balance, with time for friends and family; Living with integrity, being honest and open with others; Inspiring others through your beliefs and actions; Being a great listener so that others can turn to you; or.

What are the 3 main goals? ›

The following are the three main types of goals:
  • Outcome goals. An outcome goal is a final product or effect that you hope to achieve. ...
  • Performance goals. A performance goal is a standard you've set that you can use to measure your progress toward an outcome goal. ...
  • Process goals.


1. Why the secret to success is setting the right goals | John Doerr | TED
2. Why SMART Goals are DUMB - How To Set 10X Goals
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3. LearnStorm Growth Mindset: How to write a SMART goal
(Khan Academy)
4. SMART Goals | Explanation with Example
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5. How to set SMART CBT goals in 2021
(The Worry People)
6. Goal setting for kids | Small Talk | CBC Kids
(CBC Kids)
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