15 SMART Goals Examples – Including 3 Easy to Follow Templates

SMART goals examples - goals on post-it notes

These post-it note goals are not good SMART goals examples

DID YOU KNOW we set and achieve immeasurable goals throughout the day?

  • How we conduct our relationships.
  • What we want to accomplish at work.
  • How to engage our spare time

Goal setting is a central aspect of our lives. For some of us, it is a conscious process, but for others, it is an unconscious act that lacks purpose and direction.

Goals are dreams with deadlines

Without setting goals, our lives become series of random happenings that we have no control over. We become the unfortunate playthings of coincidences.

Setting goals bring us some extraordinary benefits. Goals help us to eliminate procrastination and laziness, the two biggest culprits of sabotaging our progress. When we set goals, we provide ourselves with more certainty and clarity as we pursue our desired objectives. Having goals in place increases our passion and motivation.

If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a purpose, not to people or things. –  Albert Einstein

However, not all goals are created equal. While all goals will be beneficial to some extent, there are disadvantages to formulating regular goals. Firstly, they are likely to be arbitrary, meaning that even when we have achieved them, they may not significantly benefit our lives. Again, we may be upbeat about setting goals that are genuinely not achievable.

Goals that are not well thought out are also likely to be difficult to measure. We will never be sure whether or not we are making any progress. And what can I say about goals that are not time bound? Such goals end up in a state of limbo; we never really abandon them, yet we do not achieve them.

Enter SMART goals

SMART goals address all the pitfalls associated with regular goals. SMART goals focus our attention and resources on what is most important so that we can achieve the maximum possible benefit. When we set SMART goals, we save time and energy and make the process of attaining goals much more productive and efficient.

Compare the following goals:

(and while comparing decide which goal in each of the pairs is more likely to be achieved?)

Health

I will get fit.

I will eat two healthy meals per day and go to the gym five times per week for 1 hour.

Wealth

I want to save $1,000 by the end of this year.

I will have $40 per paycheck automatically transferred to my savings account for one year.

Relationships

I want to find the love of my life this year.

I will participate in activities and groups for single people near me for three nights every week this year.

 

A goal without a plan is just a wish. –  Larry Elder

How to formulate your SMART goals

Setting SMART goals makes us think about our goals before we embark on achieving them. If we dive right into a goal without a degree of forethought and planning, we are doomed to fail right from the start. For your goals to be efficient, they must have the following attributes.

S-specific

When setting a goal, it should be apparent in your mind what you want to accomplish. Answering the following WH – questions is a start to making your goal specific.

  • Who needs to be involved in achieving the goal?
  • What do you hope to accomplish?
  • What is the reason for the goal?

M – Measurable

You cannot say you have a good goal when you have no way of telling whether you have achieved it or not.

  • Is the goal quantifiable?
  • How will you know when it is achieved?

A – Achievable

Your goal should motivate you, not discourage you. When you set a goal that is unattainable, you are guilty of sabotaging yourself.

  • Do you have the resources to achieve your goals?
  • Do you have the motivation?
  • Do you have the skills needed?

R – Relevant

You will be motivated to achieve your goal if it truly matters to you. The best strategy is to ensure the goal aligns with other relevant goals.

  • Why am I doing this?
  • Is this goal a priority for me?
  • How will it compete with different goals in my life?

T – Time-bound

Goals that lack realistic timing will not succeed. It is always prudent to provide a target date for deliverables.

  • Do I have a deadline?
  • Have I put it on the calendar?

SMART goals examples

  • I will update the employee handbook to include a searchable intranet version that is easy to use by 30th September.
  • I will read five extra books about managing projects by August 31st.
  • I want to drop 20 pounds by December by implementing the 52 Week Clean Eating Habit challenge.
  • I want to establish myself as a social media expert. I will write a 150 page e-book on social media; one chapter per month. I intend to complete the book in ten months. I will then self-publish.
  • I want to acquire three new clients for my business by end of July. I will ask for referrals, launch a social media marketing campaign and network with local businesses.
  • I want to create a new website for my business by 30th of July. I will utilize a website development company to build the site and create a payment interface.
  • I will present a minimum of two breakfast seminars per quarter for the next one year to boost my confidence and improve my presentation skills.
  • I will read one book every month. I hope to read 12 books by the end of the year.
  • Every evening, I will play with my children for 20 minutes, then read them a story before bed.
  • I will write 500 words per day for my 50 pages e-book on Landscaping. I will complete the e-book by December.
  • I will exercise for 20 minutes, four times a week to increase my strength and stamina.
  • Every Wednesday evening, I will do something romantic for my partner.
  • I will donate blood every three months for the next one year.
  • Every weekday evening, I will meditate for 15minutes.
  • I will have 200 items listed on eBay by the end of July.

Here are some templates that you can use to write your SMART Goals

TEMPLATE ONE

DATE………..

Initial goal (put down what is in your mind)

Specific (what do I hope to accomplish? Who else will be involved?)

Measurable (how will I measure progress? How will I know that I have achieved my goal?)

Achievable (Do I have the skills necessary to achieve this goal? How can I attain them?)

Relevant (How will achieving this goal improve my life?)

Time-bound (What is the deadline for achieving this goal?) 

SMART GOAL: Review the above information and craft a new statement based on the answers to the questions above

TEMPLATE TWO

DATE…………..

INTENTION SPECIFIC MEASURABLE ACHIEVABLE RELEVANT TIME BOUND
What do I want to achieve? Who?

What?

Why?

How?

How much?

How often?

How many times?

Which skills do I have or need to pursue this goal? Is it important?

How does it tie to my overall life’s purpose?

When?

TEMPLATE THREE

DATE…………

MY GOAL IS
SPECIFIC

How will I do it?

What? When? Where?

MEASURABLE

How will I measure it?

How much? How many?

ACHIEVABLE

Is this something I can do?

RELEVANT

Is this something I am excited to do?

TIME BOUND

When will I do this?

When is the deadline?

Staying on track

Here are an additional three things you can ask yourself to help you stay on track for when the going gets tough.

  • The names of the people I can ask for support 
  • What are the things that may make it difficult for me to achieve my goal?
  • Which are some of the ways I can manage these difficulties?

In Summary

If you desire to achieve a massive goal in your own life, apply the SMART concept and watch what happens. You may just be pleasantly surprised to find that the big scary goal is not that scary after all. Again, you might find that a goal you have attempted and failed at in the past is actually quite achievable.

Go on and try and tell us what happens. Good luck! You have got this!

If you have any questions or queries with these SMART goals examples then you can contact me here.

How to Write a Letter of Affirmation: The Only Love Letter You’ll Ever Need

Woman writing a letter of affirmation whilst riding on a train

Woman writing a letter of affirmation whilst riding on a train

THINK ABOUT IT: so much of what we see and hear about ourselves and our lives comes from other people – and this starts from an early age.

During your schooling years, you would have been sent home with a report card at the end of each term detailing exactly what you could and couldn’t do in each subject. And even if you graduated a long time ago and are currently working – you may feel like nothing’s really changed. The only thing is, it’s your employer assessing your performance – not your teacher!

Then there are TV ads and Instagram posts showing off models driving top-of-the-line cars, and wearing nothing but designer threads (or just nothing!).

What does this mean? It means that consciously and subconsciously it is very easy to absorb the message that you are not good enough. That what you have is not good enough. Don’t get me wrong it’s perfectly OK to dream of having more of something (or less!) – but these dreams need to be your own.

They need to be born in YOUR mind, not from someone else’s Instagram account. You should never feel less than because someone else has a bigger house than yours. In fact, you should never feel less than FULL STOP.

How do you gain some distance from ALL the opinions? And how do you realize your self-worth when the world seems so eager to bring you down at every turn?

Two words: affirmation letter.

Woman writing a letter of affirmation at sunset

What Exactly is a Letter of Affirmation?

An affirmation letter is essentially a detailed love letter to yourself.

The idea is to write down what you like about yourself, things that you are good at, and your personal goals and dreams – and then, of course, read it! It helps you to:

  • Focus on all the things that are good about you
  • Drown out other people’s negative voices (and your inner negative voice too!)
  • Improve your self-esteem
  • Build your self-confidence
  • Encourage positive thinking
  • Clearly define your goals and dreams
  • Focus on your positive traits
  • Look at the brighter side of life

Once you’ve written your letter, you should re-read it any time you are experiencing hardship, or feel overwhelmed. And to heighten the experience, you can record yourself reading your letter and play it back three or four times a week. In this way, you are hearing positive things about yourself AS WELL as reading them.

How to write a letter of affirmation – a 5-step guide.

  1. Start by addressing the letter to yourself. If your name is Mary, you should literally write ‘Dear Mary’.
  2. In the first paragraph list the things you like and admire about yourself. Maybe you have a quirky dress sense that you pride yourself on. Or maybe you helped a co-worker out with their workload the other day. Perhaps you gave a homeless person some money? Or you have a great sense of humor? It doesn’t matter what it is, if it makes you feel good about who you are as a person, write it down.
  3. Outline any current challenges in your life right now. Are you unhappy in your relationship? Do you wish to lose or gain weight? Or is the stress of job hunting getting you down? The key here is to state any challenges in a confident tone that implies you WILL overcome them.
  4. State any specific plans you have to overcome your current challenges. The point of this paragraph is to determine your immediate next steps. But if you haven’t made any specific plans yet, you can still list the traits and attributes that will help you overcome your obstacles.
  5. Outline your long-term dreams and goals. But instead of saying “My aim is to retire by the time I’m 40 and live in Mexico,” say it like there is no doubt in your mind that you WILL achieve it: “By the age of 41 I will be retired and living in a little hut in Tulum, Mexico.”
  6. Conclude your letter with what you want your lasting legacy to be. What do you want to be remembered for? Say it in such a way that it WILL happen: “I will be remembered for my infectious laugh, sense of humor, and kindness.”

Example of a Letter of Affirmation

If you don’t really like writing, or have writer’s block, the example below can help you. Though this is a specific example, certain phrases in the letter can be directly copied and pasted into yours, or you can simply use this letter as a loose guide to help you structure yours.

 

Dear Mary,

You know what I love about you? I love the way you really listen. You always give people space to tell you their story – and you never interrupt. Around you, people feel heard and cared for. The other day you helped a mum get her baby and pram onto the train before it took off – you are so incredibly kind and compassionate.

Mary, right now you’re experiencing some issues at work. You feel undervalued and overworked. You’ve tried talking to your superiors, but they have not been as accommodating as you would have liked – and this has created a negative dynamic at work.

You’re going through a difficult time and don’t know what to do. Will you stay in this workplace until your retirement, which is only eight years away? And try to focus on the very few good aspects of your job? Or should you invest significant time and energy into finding a new job for yourself?

It’s a difficult decision. But you need to know something: you are the most organized person EVER, you’re an extremely hard worker, you are a damn good person – and any employer would be lucky to have you. You ARE worthy of a better job – there’s no doubt about it. But if you were to stay in your current one, that would be OK too. Staying is NOT a sign of failure. In fact, whether you stay or go: it’s a sign of strength. Because neither of your two options is easy. Either way: you will survive. You will find happiness again, and you will find a way to enjoy these last 8 years of employment. Because that’s just who you are: a person who gets it done.

You know what the best part is? No matter if you stay in this job or find a new one, you WILL reach your goal of saving enough for your retirement and you WILL remain known as a strong, brave, and caring woman. So go easy on yourself with this decision – it may seem like it’s the be all and end all – but no matter what you choose, you will be OK. Because I believe in you.

Love you always,

Mary.

The Take Home Message

It truly doesn’t matter how long or short the letter is, how well you’ve written it (you do not need to be a professional writer!), or how insignificant you think your problems are (spoiler alert: if something is making you unhappy, it’s not insignificant). It simply matters that you:

The rest is up to you. This is probably the first time you’ll be telling yourself how amazing you are. Maybe it’s even the fist time you’ll ‘speak’ nicely to yourself – so have fun with it. You deserve this! And more importantly, you need it. Good luck.

21 Personalize-able Affirmations for Success

21 affirmations for success - A woman sitting on top of the world after achieving her goal

21 affirmations for success - A woman sitting on top of the world after achieving her goal

ON THE SURFACE it may seem like we don’t have control over many things in life. After all, it can rain even when we want sunshine. Your train can be late even when you desperately want to get home after a long day at work. And your local café can very easily sell out of your favorite steak sandwich even on the days you crave it the most.

But you can control the most important thing of all: you have the power to choose who you want to be.

You have the power to get what you want out of this life. It may be that you want to lose weight, or make more money, or switch careers – and that’s great. In fact, that’s the important first step – being consciously aware of what it is that you want. Because you can only succeed at something, when you have first clarified what you want.

To actually achieve your goals though, and GET what you want, you need to tap into your subconscious mind.

It’s when the conscious and subconscious parts of the mind are on the same level, you become truly unstoppable.

 

How do you get the subconscious mind on board?

One way to unlock the power of your subconscious mind is through positive affirmations. The idea behind affirmations is to choose a number of short, positive statements and say them out loud at a specific time of the day. It’s not just about quantity though – quality is key.

It will do you no good to repeat an affirmation over and over again with no feeling, as though you’re a robot. Rather, you need to feel, deep in your soul, that the affirmation is true.

The more you use your affirmations in this fashion, the more you activate your subconscious mind. In turn, this strengthens and clarifies your inner vision and what you want for yourself and your life.

And this deep inner knowledge of what you desire then has the power to shape your future according to your vision. If you think about it, affirmations help you shape and create your future reality from the inside, out.

What are the best affirmations for success?

Like I said above, it’s not all about WHAT you say. So much of it comes down to how deeply you feel what you’re saying, and how congruent (in harmony) it is with you. But nevertheless, you still need the right words!

Here are 21 of the best affirmations for success*:

  1. I am a magnet for success
  2. I am so excited because all of my dreams are coming true
  3. I am a good person who deserves happiness and success
  4. I act fearlessly
  5. The seeds of greatness lie in my mind
  6. Every day I move closer to my hopes and dreams
  7. The vision within me is creating the world around me
  8. Success comes from my mind
  9. I believe deeply that I can achieve anything
  10. I know what I want and I achieve it
  11. I am strong, powerful, and confident
  12. I am destined for greatness
  13. My thoughts create my reality and I am the master of my thoughts
  14. I am in charge of my life
  15. The power is within me – I learn from the past, live in the now, and plan for the future
  16. I see all challenges in my life as opportunities for growth
  17. I am at peace with where I am and I have a strong vision for the future
  18. I realize that success is a result of right thinking and hard work – I excel in both.
  19. Success for me is an ongoing process – after one success I focus on another
  20. I am solution oriented – all problems are solvable
  21. I am the architect of my life; I build its foundation and choose its contents.

*After some researching, I found these affirmations to be the most related to success and achievement from  here, here, and here. Keep reading below to see how you can personalize them to your particular situation

 

Putting it all into action

Choose two or three statements that relate directly to your goal and write them down. If success for you is a promotion at work, or a career change, then perhaps statements 1, 4, and 12 from the list above would work for you.

Then think about when you will repeat your affirmations –

  • In the morning right after you wake up?
  • In the car on the way to work?
  • Midday when you need a burst of motivation to see you through the end of the day?
  • Or maybe right before bed so that you can dream sweetly about your coming success?

Repeat your affirmations at your chosen time out loud, and with high energy  5-10 times every day.

 

Personalize it

If you found yourself really connecting to one or more of the affirmation statements listed above – then that statement is the one for you.

But if you’re after something a little more personal or specific – you can write your own. In fact many people in the field believe that affirmations that stem from your own life and are written in your own voice tend to have the strongest impact.

Writing your own affirmations is not difficult, but there is a special formula involved. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Keep your affirmations in the present tense – live in the NOW!
  • Focus only on the positive – avoid using the word ‘not’.
    • For example, instead of this: “I am not nervous about starting my new job.”
    • Try this: “I am so excited about starting my new job – I’m going to smash it!”
  • Keep them short – the more concise your statement, the easier it is to recall
  • Include actions to help you visualize your success more clearly.
    • For example, someone wanting to lose weight might say: “I can see myself strolling along the golden sandy beaches of Hawaii in a tiny bikini.”
  • And finally, include an emotion – state how you will feel in that moment:
    • “I can see myself blissfully strolling along the golden sandy beaches of Hawaii in a tiny bikini.

 

Take home points

Affirmations help activate your subconscious mind, ensuring your conscious thoughts and subconscious thoughts are pointing towards the same goal. In this way, affirmations help to purify the brain– pushing out any negative thoughts that may have been taking place unconsciously and replacing them with positive ones.

Saying your affirmations out loud 5-10 times every day will help you transform your thoughts into words, and eventually, your words into actions.

So think about what you want to achieve, choose or create your affirmations for success, and tell the universe exactly what you want – consistently, and with feeling. Then go ahead and live your best life.