Examples of Goals

If you’re like me, it helps when starting something new to look at examples. Using examples of goals others have written to guide your goal definition and creating your action plan is always a good idea. In an effort to help you along, I’ve included a couple of examples of goal statements below:

Make Them SMART

Any conversation about how to select or write good goals should start with the tried and true acronym: SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Sensitive). Here are a couple of examples of SMART goal statements, both well written and not so much:


Not good: I want to retire with alot of money.

Better: I will retire at age 50 with $2.08 million dollars in liquid investments and my home paid for. This will allow me to live on $10,000/month and still allow my principal to grow by 2% to keep pace with inflation.

Why: This is specific ($2.08 million by age 50), measurable (just check the bank balance on your 50th birthday), attainable (depends on your age, income), relevant (retirement planning is an important activity), and time-sensitive (deadline of age 50). There will be no doubt whether this goal has been reached or not, and it’s quite clear what has to be done to reach it. Exactly HOW it will be reached is another subject (the Action Plan), but where you are heading is certain, and that’s important.
Here’s another example:
Not good: “I don’t want to have to take my daughter to day care any more.”

Better: I will earn an additional $750 a month by doing Company ABC’s bookkeeping work starting next month. I will do this for 4 hours every Saturday, which will pay for a nanny to stay with my daughter from 9pm – 4pm every day until I come home from my job.

Why: Again, it’s specific (do Joe’s excess bookkeeping work), measurable (4 hours every Saturday), attainable (to be done on the weekends), relevant (affects how she raises her daughter) and time-sensitive (starts next month, continuing every Saturday).

Top Goals

Here are the top 25 goals we are setting lately, according to 43Things:

1. Lose weight 37224 people
2. Stop procrastinating 27241 people
3. Write a book 26469 people
4. Fall in love 24734 people
5. Be happy 22226 people
6. Get a tattoo 20481 people
7. Drink more water 19283 people
8. Get married 18895 people
9. Travel the world 18699 people
10. Go on a road trip with no predetermined destination 18691 people
11. See the northern lights 17156 people
12. Learn Spanish 15784 people
13. Save money 14979 people
14. Kiss in the rain 14608 people
15. Take more pictures 14421 people
16. Make new friends 12906 people
17. Buy a House 12788 people
18. Learn to play the guitar 12772 people
19. Get out of debt 11217 people
20. Read more books 11115 people
21. Get a job 10941 people
22. To live instead of exist 10924 people
23. Learn french 10786 people
24. Tun a marathon 10729 people
25. Exercise regularly 10620 people

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