SMART Goal Examples

3 SMART Goal ExamplesPrior to using SMART goals, I found that goals were helpful, but they didn’t significantly change things in my life. So when I first heard about SMART goals, I figured it was just more of the same: how to set a slightly different goal that didn’t do much.

It took seeing SMART goal examples before I understood exactly how they worked. And why they were so powerful.

The examples were game changers.

Time to pay it forward by first explaining what makes a SMART goal, then showing my old-style goals, and teaching you how to transform that goal into a SMART goal, so you can build your own SMART goals successfully.

Learn how to easily create useful, helpful goals, using these three different SMART goal examples.


What, Exactly, is a SMART Goal?

SMART is an acronym for:






Allow me to explain further:


Specific goals are essential. Generalities such as “earn more money” give you no direction, no focus. For the S part of SMART goals, the more specific you can get, the better. “Earn the company bonus this quarter,” is specific.

After I’ve written a specific goal, I always ask myself if I can get still more specific. Sometimes I can, and sometimes I really can’t. But I always ask the question.

The more specific you are, the more powerful your goals become.



Having measurable goals requires crafting your goal to hold yourself accountable. “Love my family more” can’t be measured, and it’s nearly impossible to tell if you’ve achieved a goal like that or not. “Have a Thursday Game Night with the family,” is easy to measure.



Having goals achievable was part of what made the huge difference for me with SMART goals. Is your goal actually within your reach?

Using the example from above, if you couldn’t even sell a loaf of bread to your mother, and you have the specific goal of earning the company quarterly bonus, it’s a case of wearing rose-colored glasses.

If, however, you have a solid track record in sales, and you’re new to your current company, then achieving the quarterly bonus is within reach. You have the skill set.



Relatable goals was another biggie for me. Being relatable simply means, do you believe you can succeed at your stated goal?

Once I realize that an effective goal mean not only being able to do it (achievable), but also me believing I can do it (relatable) are two different, critical factors, both of which need to be satisfied.



Time-Framed simply means putting an end date on your goal. In the, “Have a Thursday Game Night with the family,” example it’s time-specific: Thursday.

The other example of, “Earn the company bonus this quarter,” is timely because the qualifications for any company bonus always have a set date for qualifying.

So now that you know exactly what a SMART goal is, let’s get to how you make a goal SMART.


Three  SMART Goal Examples

Time for show and tell. SMART goal examples like these are what really made the light bulb go off for me.


1. Business

The first of our SMART goal examples shows a business application. It also shows the process of how to drill down to really make your goals powerful and effective.

Before I understood how to write a SMART goal, I would have written a business goal like this:

Earn an additional $500 this month over last month.

And I thought it was a pretty good goal. It’s not that bad, actually, but let’s turn this into a SMART goal.

Get one new account for managing a business’s social media platforms.

I’m using this example, because it can be even more specific. Here’s the re-write:

Get one new account for managing a business’s social media platforms by speaking to the members of the networking groups I’m a part of.

Better, but this goal can still get more detailed! Let’s make one last revision:

Get one new account for managing a business’s social media platforms by being the week’s speaker at the Tuesday networking group, and also by following up with previous conversations.

Now we have a SMART goal. I’d be hard pressed to get this more specific.

Notice I got this goal specific by asking how over and over again. Let’s see if this goal passes the SMART test:

Specific – I know exactly what needs to be done.

Measurable  – One new account.

Achievable  – It’s within my capabilities.

Relatable  – Yes, I believe this is doable. I’ve done this before.

Time-Framed – Results need to be in by the end of the month.

Next, let’s use a completely different example, to show you just how flexible SMART goals are.

2. Gardening

The second of our SMART goal examples  is with gardening. Previously, my gardening goal was this:

Have a garden this year.

No kidding. That really was my goal. And some years went ok, but some years (like last year) were a complete flop.

This year is my best year. Know what changed? I used a SMART goal:

Hoe the garden twice a week.

Let’s use the SMART goals test:

Specific – I know exactly what I’ll do, and what equipment I’ll use.

Measurable  –  I specify what the activity is and where it’s done.

Achievable – Yes, I know how to hoe.

Relatable – It doesn’t take long to hoe if it’s done that frequently. Even on hot, sticky days I can see myself hoeing twice a week.

Time-Framed – Twice a week. Easy.

The results of this SMART goal are delicious!

3. Personal Growth

The last of the SMART goal examples is with personal growth. Old-style goal setting yielded this goal:

Learn something new this month.

(It’s no wonder my old-style goals got me nowhere!)

My SMART goal produced this:

Spend 30 minutes, 6 days a week reading and applying Chapter 11 of Book Yourself Solid this month.

And how does this refined goal stack up?

Specific – See how specific I got? I chose a book, and specified one chapter to work on. (They’re big chapters. You can actually spend a month on one chapter because it’s all about implementing marketing concepts in your business.)

Measurable  –  Very easy to measure 30 minutes a day.

Achievable – Yes.

Relatable – I highly recommend the book, and enjoy working in it.

Time-Framed – 30 minutes daily for a month.

I keep the book on my desk, and 30 minutes a day isn’t hard at all. My future is worth investing 30 minutes a day.


Do you get a good feel now for what makes a SMART goal a SMART goal?  I hope these SMART goal examples help you as much as they helped me.

SMART goals are fun to create, because when I make goals now, things change. These are, in fact, the only kinds of goals I make now. SMART goals are that helpful.


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Have a great day,


Reach Ruthanne

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  • Katrina

    Reply Reply July 3, 2016

    Powerful post on goal setting. Like you, I struggled with goal setting. It wasn’t until I began to apply the S.M.A.R.T goal to my personal and business life that I started seeing results.

    What I love about S.M.A.R.T. goals is that they are measurable. They have an exact outcome and time period. It makes you finally commit to something. Thank you for sharing and I look forward to your next post!
    Katrina recently posted…Powerfully Building Your Business With Social MediaMy Profile

    • Ruthanne

      Reply Reply July 3, 2016

      Thanks.It’s great that when you used the SMART goals that helped you so much!

      SMART goals are soooooooo much better!

  • Great post Ruthanne! – Most helpful!
    Love the SMART acronym. Makes these things easier to remember.
    Carole Wildman recently posted…When Do You Become A Leader?My Profile

    • Ruthanne

      Reply Reply July 6, 2016

      Thanks, Carol. I love the acronym, and it sure is helpful to remember.

  • Annalize

    Reply Reply July 7, 2016

    One of the Smartest goal setting frameworks I have seen. I can see this can produce results! Definitely going to try this!
    Annalize recently posted…First visit to New York: Tips for 7 Low Budget Activities, Interesting Facts and RestaurantsMy Profile

    • Ruthanne

      Reply Reply August 1, 2016

      Using SMART goals really helped me so, so, so much. I hope they help you as well.

  • Kay Somji

    Reply Reply July 12, 2016

    Thanks for providing these detailed examples. We hear a lot about smart goals, but it’s great to see it laid out to really understand it!

    • Ruthanne

      Reply Reply August 1, 2016

      Hi Kay, and thanks much

  • Making goals SMART is the way to go Ruthanne. Thanks for this detailed post

    • Ruthanne

      Reply Reply August 1, 2016

      Glad this helped you, Yemisi

  • Jeff Beeman

    Reply Reply September 23, 2016

    You wrote – “The second of our SMART goal examples is with gardening. Previously, my gardening goal was this:

    Have a garden this year.

    No kidding. That really was my goal. And some years went ok, but some years (like last year) were a complete flop.”

    Love it because that was our goal as well .. And we did it! Mostly weeds but we did it!
    Jeff Beeman recently posted…Simplifying The Online Marketing Process for Your Home Business | Breaking Down The Numbers.My Profile

    • Ruthanne

      Reply Reply October 6, 2016

      Glad it went well!

      And… Better to have weeds than no weeds, and a groundhog that burrows from your neighbor’s yard, under the buried chicken-wire fencing (to prevent groundhogs from burrowing), and coming up inside your fenced-in garden, right next to the tomatoes!


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