Without following the SMART system, they may be vague goals or just mere resolutions  . Setting SMART goals will enable you to examine your goals more carefully. This way, you can give them more structures that can be easily tracked and implemented.
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S – Specific
When setting a goal, be specific about what you want to accomplish. Think about this as the mission statement for your goal. This isn’t a detailed list of how you’re going to meet a goal, but it should include an answer to the popular ‘w’ questions:
- Who – Consider who needs to be involved to achieve the goal (this is especially important when you’re working on a group project).
- What – Think about exactly what you are trying to accomplish and don’t be afraid to get very detailed.
- When – You’ll get more specific about this question under the “time-bound” section of defining SMART goals, but you should at least set a time frame.
- Where – This question may not always apply, especially if you’re setting personal goals, but if there’s a location or relevant event, identify it here.
- Which – Determine any related obstacles or requirements. This question can be beneficial in deciding if your goal is realistic. For example, if the goal is to open a baking business, but you’ve never baked anything before, that might be an issue. As a result, you may refine the specifics of the goal to be “Learn how to bake in order to open a baking business.”
- Why – What is the reason for the goal? When it comes to using this method for employees, the answer will likely be along the lines of company advancement or career development.
M – Measurable
What metrics are you going to use to determine if you meet the goal? This makes a goal more tangible because it provides a way to measure progress. If it’s a project that’s going to take a few months to complete, then set some milestones by considering specific tasks to accomplish.
A – Achievable
This focuses on how important a goal is to you and what you can do to make it attainable and may require developing new skills and changing attitudes. The goal is meant to inspire motivation, not discouragement. Think about how to accomplish the goal and if you have the tools/skills needed. If you don’t currently possess those tools/skills, consider what it would take to attain them.
R – Relevant
Relevance refers focusing on something that makes sense with the broader business goals. For example, if the goal is to launch a new product, it should be something that’s in alignment with the overall business objectives. Your team may be able to launch a new consumer product, but if your company is a B2B that is not expanding into the consumer market, then the goal wouldn’t be relevant.
T – Time-Bound
Anyone can set goals, but if it lacks realistic timing, chances are you’re not going to succeed. Providing a target date for deliverables is imperative. Ask specific questions about the goal deadline and what can be accomplished within that time period. If the goal will take three months to complete, it’s useful to define what should be achieved half-way through the process. Providing time constraints also creates a sense of urgency.
20 Personal SMART Goals Examples
The following tips are some SMART goals examples that you can apply to improve your life. These goals cut across various areas of life but they generally fall into the personal goals category. Some of them are daily or weekly habits, and there are also those that may take a longer time to achieve.
1. Walk 30 Minutes a Day, 5 Days a Week
2. Improve Your Listening Skills
Whether it is discussing with your colleague at work, your partner, family, team members, or a friend, most people are ready to talk but not to listen. You will know whether you are improving your listening skills by asking your peers for feedback after you have made contributions.
For example, you can ask questions such as “Did I address the issues you mentioned?” You need to listen more so people know that their opinions greatly matter to you. Therefore, this is one of the best SMART goals examples.
3. Speak up to Increase Visibility
Do you find yourself hiding in the crowd and barely talking during meetings? One of the best personal SMART goals examples you can set in your life is to increase your visibility. Planning ahead before attending meetings so you can consider the agenda as well as prepare in making thoughtful contributions is something you should consider.
4. Improve Presentation / Public Speaking Skills
With enough research, preparation, and rehearsal, it is possible to make effective PowerPoint presentations and deliver great speeches. Setting a goal to research topics thoroughly, and making time to rehearse before each presentation is so important. This is one of the best SMART goals examples because it will help you in your personal and professional life.
5. Improve Your Emotional Intelligence
One of the goals you can set is to become less reactive to problems and issues. This way, you can pay attention to finding out underlying emotions as well as the motivations behind other people’s actions. Learn to connect with people at their own level  .
6. Start Networking
7. Volunteer As Much As You Can
When it comes to the best SMART goals examples, contributing a couple of volunteering hours to community service is an amazing way to give back. This could involve teaching your favorite subject at a high school, or participating in a feeding program to serve homeless people.
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.
9. Wake up Early
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.
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.
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
This is one of the personal goals examples you should exercise in your life especially if you are a student. 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
Looking for personal goals examples? This one is for you. 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.
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. One of the most useful personal SMART goals examples you should exercise is to bring everyone together annually or once every two years.
How To Make a SMART Goal
1. Use specific wording.
When writing SMART goals, keep in mind that they are “specific” in that there’s a hard and fast destination the employee is trying to reach. “Get better at my job,” isn’t a SMART goal because it isn’t specific. Instead, ask yourself: What are you getting better at? How much better do you want to get?
If you’re a marketing professional, your job probably revolves around key performance indicators or KPIs. Therefore, you might choose a particular KPI or metric that you want to improve on — like visitors, leads, or customers. You should also identify the team members working toward this goal, the resources they have, and their plan of action.
Common SMART Goal Mistake: Vagueness
While you may need to keep some goals more open-ended, you should avoid vagueness that could confuse your team later on. For example, instead of saying, “Clifford will boost email marketing experiences,” say “Clifford will boost email marketing click rates by 10%.”
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2. Include measurable goals.
SMART goals should be “measurable” in that you can track and quantify the goal’s progress. “Increase the blog’s traffic from email,” by itself, isn’t a SMART goal because you can’t measure the increase. Instead, ask yourself: How much email marketing traffic should you strive for?
Let’s build on the SMART goal we started three paragraphs above. Now, our measurable SMART goal might say, “Clifford and Braden will increase the blog’s traffic from email by 25% more sessions per month . ” You know what you’re increasing, and by how much.
Common SMART Goal Mistake: No KPIs
This is in the same light of avoiding vagueness. While you might need qualitative or open-ended evidence to prove your success, you should still come up with a quantifiable KPI. For example, instead of saying, “Customer service will improve customer happiness,” say, “We want the average call satisfaction score from customers to be a seven out of ten or higher.”
3. Aim for realistically attainable goals.
An “attainable” SMART goal considers the employee’s ability to achieve it. Make sure that X-percentage increase is rooted in reality. If your blog traffic increased by 5% last month, try to increase it by 8-10% this month, rather than a lofty 25%.
It’s crucial to base your goals on your own analytics, not industry benchmarks, or else you might bite off more than you can chew. So, let’s add some “attainability” to the SMART goal we created earlier in this blog post: “Clifford and Braden will increase the blog’s traffic from email by 8-10% more sessions per month . ” This way, you’re not setting yourself up to fail.
Common SMART Goal Mistake: Unattainable Goals
Yes. You should always aim to improve. But reaching for completely unattainable goals may knock you off course and make it harder to track progress. Rather than saying, “We want to make 10,000% of what we made in 2021,” consider something more attainable, like, “We want to increase sales by 150% this year,” or “We have a quarterly goal to reach a 20% year-over-year sales increase.”
4. Pick relevant goals that relate to your business.
SMART goals that are “relevant” relate to your company’s overall business goals and account for current trends in your industry. For instance, will growing your traffic from email lead to more revenue? And, is it actually possible for you to significantly boost your blog’s email traffic given your current email marketing campaigns?
So, what does that do to our SMART goal? It might encourage you to adjust the metric you’re using to track the goal’s progress. For example, maybe your business has historically relied on organic traffic for generating leads and revenue, and research suggests you can generate more qualified leads this way.
Common SMART Goal Mistake: Losing Sight of the Company
When your company is doing well, it can be easy to say you want to pivot or grow in another direction. While companies can successfully do this, you don’t want your team to lose sight of how the core of your business works.
Rather than saying, “We want to start a new B2B business on top of our B2C business,” say something like, “We want to continue increasing B2C sales while researching the impact our products could have on the B2B space in the next year.”
5. Make goals time-bound by including a timeframe and deadline information.
A “time-bound” SMART goal keeps you on schedule. Improving on a goal is great, but not if it takes too long. Attaching deadlines to your goals puts a healthy dose of pressure on your team to accomplish them. This helps you make consistent and significant progress in the long term.
For example, which would you prefer: increasing organic traffic by 5% every month, leading to a 30-35% increase in half a year? Or trying to increase traffic by 15% with no deadline and achieving that goal in the same timeframe? If you picked the former, you’re right.
So, what does our SMART goal look like once we bound it to a timeframe? “Over the next three months, Clifford and Braden will work to increase the blog’s organic traffic by 8-10%, reaching a total of 50,000 organic sessions by the end of August.”
Common SMART Goal Mistake: No Time Frame
Having no timeframe or a really broad span of time noted in your goal will cause the effort to get reprioritized or make it hard for you to see if your team is on track. Rather than saying. “This year, we want to launch a major campaign,” say, “In quarter one, we will focus on campaign production in order to launch the campaign in quarter two.”