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SMART Goals: How Do People Set Goals for Themselves?| American Family Insurance

Updated September 15, 2022 . AmFam Team

What are SMART goals? How do they work? How do people set achievable goals for themselves? Learn more about how SMART goal setting will help you achieve success.

When it comes to long-term goal setting, there’s no one right way to reach your goal. Every goal is a unique and personal journey, and your approach will certainly vary. But having a process to plan your goals, track progress and see them through to completion is an important step towards success.

What Are the Best Practices for Goal Setting?

Best practices for goal setting allow you to break your goals into smaller, actionable steps. So, where should you begin? The SMART goal technique is a great starting point!

By using a goal-setting system like SMART, you can better understand your goals and objectives and what it will take to achieve them. The SMART goal methodology is a tried-and-true standard for setting big (but achievable) goals that can help make your dreams a reality.

Watch this short video on SMART goals. Then, keep reading to learn how to make your own SMART goals and see a few examples to get you started!

What Are SMART Goals Examples?

We’ve covered what SMART goals are and how to write them, but if you still have questions, you’re not alone. These examples can help you better understand how to set SMART goals that can help you realize your dreams:

SMART Goal Example No. 1: Find a new job.

  • Specific: I'm going to pursue my dream of [insert job title].
  • Measurable: I will submit one resume every week.
  • Achievable: I will apply for positions with a higher salary that also align with my long-term career goals.
  • Relevant: I’m working toward saving for a house. A new job with a higher salary will help me save for a down payment faster while working toward my career goals.
  • Time-sensitive: I’ll start applying for jobs [insert specific start date], with the goal of landing my dream job by [insert specific end date].

SMART Goal Example No. 2: Become an entrepreneur.

  • Specific: I'm going to start a [insert type] business.
  • Measurable: I will work on launching my business for one hour every day, with a goal to make my first sale within four weeks.
  • Achievable: I will choose an online storefront platform that is easy to use and that will allow me to launch my business quickly.
  • Relevant: I want to have more flexibility in my work life, be my own boss and have more control over what I earn.
  • Time-sensitive: I will begin on [insert specific start date] and make my first sale within four weeks.

Things to Consider When Setting SMART Goals

When you use the SMART criteria to set your goals, it's important to remember a few additional things.

Acknowledge your awesomeness

Before you do anything, think about all the great things you’ve already done. Your list of achievements is probably longer than you think! And you deserve some self-kudos for that.

Try and try again

Next step: Keep trying. Remember, it’s okay if you don’t get it 100% right the first few times. Use what you’ve learned and keep going — you can’t fail if you keep trying.

Celebrate small victories

Small wins are huge motivators. Go ahead and treat yourself every time you reach another goal or milestone along the way. High fives, fist bumps, parties, chocolate — celebrate in a way that inspires you. Just make sure to take time to acknowledge your milestones.

Seek support

Remember, nobody expects you to do it all on your own. Build up a good support team to keep you focused and pushing through challenges. And don’t be afraid to reach out to a friend when you run into roadblocks. Even the most successful people need help sometimes!

Want more tips and motivation? Our collection of self-improvement tools and resources can help support and guide you and your family along any dream pursuit.

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