Smart Goal Examples

Fact-checked by Layla Saman
Updated on: January 20, 2023

New beginnings are always exciting! But, when starting a New Year, living with your partner, establishing a new business, or moving to another city, you need to set achievable goals. We often know what we want but fail to make it happen. Has it happened to you? 

A clear roadmap to your goals is the first step to achieving them. A straightforward way to do this is to create smart goals. Then, learn to rethink your plans with the examples you will see in this article later. Let's start with the basics.

What is a smart goal?

SMART is an acronym that stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

Each of the above elements is essential for a goal to be clear and compelling. This scheme will help you take firmer steps, leaving behind leak goals that do not lead you anywhere.

Where do smart goals come from?

The term's origin is associated with George T. Doran, former Director of Corporate Planning for Washington Water Power Company. He published in 1981 a paper titled "There's a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management's Goals and Objectives."

Let's get down to business! 

S - Specific: When setting a goal, it must be specific. Start by defining the mission of it. To do so, answer these questions:

Who: Think about the indispensable people to achieve your goal.

What: Be very clear in describing what you are trying to achieve.

When: Define the time to meet your goal and put a deadline.

Where: Write the places involved in the development of your goal.

Which: Identify potential obstacles or requirements needed. 

Why: Answer what is the reason for your goal.

M - Measurable: You should have progress indicators. It's necessary to have milestones and measure how close you are to your goal.

A - Achievable: Your goal should be attainable, given your time and resources. Setting a goal that you can achieve will keep you focused and motivated.

R - Relevant: Ask yourself this: is my goal worth it? Set goals with a positive impact and aligned with your values and long-term objectives.

T - Time-bound: Having a start and an end date is vital. This deadline will give you a sense of urgency to be more focused.

Do the last goals you have set for yourself meet this framework? If not, you may have set unrealistic goals or are out of your reach. Giving up on a goal is not a failure; you may have just executed it wrong.

Setting a SMART goal is not a guarantee of success either. Many factors can influence the path to your goal. But having the tools to redirect your efforts to fulfill it is a great advantage.

Now that you understand the SMART framework discover 8 examples to help you define your new goals better.

Smart Goals Examples

Personal SMART Goals Examples

1. Romantic trip

Weak Goal Example: Anniversary trip next year.

SMART Goal Example:

  • Specific: As a couple, we will save 200 dollars each month for our anniversary trip next June. 
  • Measurable: We will use a wallet app to receive reminders and track monthly savings.
  • Achievable: We have already hired a travel agency to help us with logistics.
  • Relevant: We will celebrate our third anniversary abroad and make the most of it.
  • Time-bound: We have a signed contract with the agency and must pay the fees on time.

SMART Goal Example Summary: We will use a wallet app to save 200 dollars each month. We will pay the travel agency costs of our third anniversary trip in 7 months.

2. Family relationships 

Weak Goal Example: Improve my family relationships

SMART Goal Example:

  • Specific: I want to build a better relationship with my sister.
  • Measurable: I will call her at least three times weekly and visit her twice a month.
  • Achievable: I moved to the city, and now we live closer, plus I have a remote job.
  • Relevant: I want to be close to my sister like before and be able to see my nephews often.
  • Time-bound: I will follow this plan for the next three months and then see if I need to improve it.

SMART Goal Example Summary: I want to strengthen family bonds because I was abroad. I'll start with my sister, call her three times a week and visit twice a month. I will do this for the next three months.

Work SMART Goals Examples

3. New business

Weak Goal Example: I'm going to start my own business.

SMART Goal Example:

  • Specific: I will start a local business specializing in wedding photos.
  • Measurable: I will work on building my brand for 1 hour a day, and in 3 weeks, I will launch my website.
  • Achievable: I took a photography course last summer and have a good camera.
  • Relevant: I want to quit my job next year, manage my time and be my own boss.
  • Time-bound: I will put together my portfolio on Monday and get my first client in 1 month.

SMART Goal Example Summary: I'm starting my local wedding photography business. I will work on the mark of 1 hour a day to launch my website in 3 weeks. I will get my first client in 1 month.

4. Job promotion

Weak Goal Example: I deserve to be promoted at work.

SMART Goal Example:

  • Specific: I want to be promoted to senior sales representative in three months and lead 5 junior salespeople.
  • Measurable: I will make a fortnightly report of my performance. I will notify the Talent Management area.
  • Achievable: I am finishing the required sales training course and have the best numbers on my team.
  • Relevant: I want to improve my income and have my own office, and I have been with the company for 2 years.
  • Time-based: I will finish the training course in 1 week and apply for the vacancy the following Monday.

SMART Goal Example Summary: Next quarter, I will be promoted to a senior sales representative by completing the required training course, sending fortnightly reports, and notifying the Talent Management area.

Learning SMART Goals Examples

5. Learn a new language

Weak Goal Example: I want to speak Italian to study in Italy. 

SMART Goal Example:

  • Specific: I want to understand and speak Italian to apply for a scholarship in Italy next semester.
  • Measurable: I will buy an online course this week to practice daily and study 1 hour a day from anywhere.
  • Attainable: I took Italian classes at school, so I have an idea. I have a cousin in France who can accommodate me.
  • Relevant: My university has agreements with Italian universities. I need to take advantage of this before I graduate.
  • Time-bound: I want to be able to hold a conversation in Italian in 5 months, which is when I need to present for the exam.

SMART Goal Example Summary: I will learn Italian by buying this week an online course. I will practice for 1 hour daily to take the language exam in 5 months. So I can apply for a scholarship in Italy next semester.

6. Learn animation

Weak Goal Example: I want to make video game characters. 

SMART Goal Example:

  • Specific: I want to learn how to use animation programs to create video game characters.
  • Measurable: I will do an online course to practice for 15 hours a week.
  • Attainable: I have a new computer and the script for my first video game.
  • Relevant: The video game industry is very profitable. I will have better opportunities if I write scripts and animate characters.
  • Time-bound: I want to animate 4 characters in 6 months to apply to a video game fund call.

SMART Goal Example Summary: I will learn how to animate video game characters through an online course. I will create 4 characters in 6 months and apply to a call for funds for creative industries.

Healthy life SMART Goals Examples

7. Be fit

Weak Goal Example: I want to lose weight.   

SMART Goal Example:

  • Specific: I will hire a trainer to guide my routine to lose weight and tone my muscles.
  • Measurable: I will meet with the trainer 4 times a week and plan my meals weekly.
  • Attainable: My best friend recommended me an effective trainer. He will come to my house for my comfort.
  • Relevant: I want to feel comfortable buying an elegant dress and raise my self-esteem.
  • Time-bound: I want to lose 3 kilos per month. My brother is getting married in four months, and I want to look good.

SMART Goal Example Summary: I will train 4 times weekly to lose 3 kilos monthly with the help of a personalized coach. I want to look good for my brother's wedding in 4 months.

8. Eat better

Weak Goal Example: I want to have a healthy diet.

SMART Goal Example:

  • Specific: I will visit a nutritionist tomorrow to change my diet. The other week I will enroll in a healthy home cooking course.
  • Measurable: I will have virtual check-ups with the nutritionist every week. I will practice new recipes for 1 hour a day for 1 month.
  • Attainable: The nutritionist's online follow-up will help me with discipline. Also, my cousin pays me for the cooking course, and I can't look bad on her.
  • Relevant: The last medical examinations were not favorable. I need to change my diet so I don't get sick because I live alone.
  • Time-bound: I have to go back to the doctor in two months, and I want my exams to improve by that date.

SMART Goal Example Summary:  I will have 1 online follow-up with the nutritionist weekly. I will do a healthy cooking course and practice for 1 hour daily. Thus, I will improve the results of my medical tests in 2 months.

Planning your SMART goals is the first step! To make them come true, follow these 7 tips:

  1. Break your big goals into smaller ones.
  2. Think about why you set that goal, your real motivation.
  3. Set goals aligned with your values and ideals.
  4. Create a tracking tool and keep a calendar.
  5. Evaluate your achievements, and have room for feedback.
  6. Find the emotional and practical support you need.
  7. Don't be afraid of a change of plans.

If your goals align with the examples in this article, now it's time to learn new skills that will bring you new opportunities. First, check Skillademia online courses to learn new languages, Excel and design programs, animation, and more.

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