35 Examples of Personal Goals You Need to Set (Updated 2023)
When we talk about personal goals, what comes to mind for you? Is it changing your eating habits or maybe incorporating more exercise into your daily routine? Whatever it is for you, I’m going to share 35 examples of personal goals you should implement today for a happier, healthier, and overall better life.
I think one important thing to keep in mind is that personal growth is an ongoing thing. You never stop growing or learning.
And as you grow and learn, good things happen. You’ll see!
What are personal goals?
Well, I Googled this one for you (you’re welcome!), and according to a few sites on Google, here is Iva’s condensed version and definition of personal goals:
“A goal is an idea you have for the future that you wish to achieve, whether it be professional, physical, or personal/emotional/spiritual which requires you to put in some work to actually achieve it.”Me
So that’s the definition in a nutshell. You want something, or you know there is something you should add to your life, and then you figure out how to do it and achieve it. Sounds simple enough, yes?
It actually really is. All that is required from you is dedication and commitment. That part is not so simple.
So let’s talk about smart goals now a bit and see how this applies to examples of personal goals to set.
What does S.M.A.R.T stand for in smart goals?
We can also break down personal goals into the popular five categories of S.M.A.R.T. goals. I know you’ve heard of smart goals but what does smart stand for in smart goals?
- S – Specific (or Significant).
- M – Measurable (or Meaningful).
- A – Attainable (or Action-Oriented).
- R – Relevant (or Rewarding).
- T – Time-bound (or Trackable).
Specific would be something like “quitting smoking” or “changing your eating habits.”
Measurable would be losing weight-something that can be tracked and will take time to achieve.
Attainable would be adding a workout routine to your daily life
Relevant would also be quitting smoking or losing weight (personally rewarding once you achieve them).
Time-bound is also losing weight or completing a big project left that has been left on the back burner for too long.
The one fantastic thing about setting SMART goals is that you can achieve them all, provided you are disciplined enough to do so!
So why is setting personal goals so important?
Can you imagine a life without goals? I can’t. I love having personal goals to set as they all give me confidence (after I’ve achieved them) and challenge me. I like being challenged, and I feel we should all take on challenges.
Challenges help us grow too!
Setting personal goals is important for various reasons.
Here are just a few:
- keeps us focused
- gives us something to strive for (betterment in life/work/school/etc.)
- gives us purpose (yup, sure does)
- helps to overcome procrastination
- motivation for personal achievement
- maintain good relationships with family members and co-workers
I really like that second last one. Motivation. When we set a personal goal to, let’s say, lose weight, we set a date and the number of pounds we need to lose we are super motivated to achieve this goal. Yay!
But focus is super important too. Setting a personal goal helps us to focus on what we want, the time it will take to get it, the steps we need to take along the way, and put in the hard work to achieve it.
Otherwise, with no focus, you aren’t putting much faith or hope into your goal.
Personal Goals Don’t Have to be Big and Scary
I feel we all want to be the best humans we can be and be as happy as we can be. When we set goals, we are already well on our way to being that happy human!
Here’s a really good article from positivepsychology.com you might like. It really breaks down why setting goals is so important.
And I just want to point out that all your goals don’t have to huge and scary. Even setting smaller goals will help you improve your life. I think your primary goal is to decide to set goals! haha!
(this article contains affiliate links so if you make a purchase I may make a small commission-affiliate disclosure)
Personal Goals For a Woman Are Different
I think it’s important to note that personal goals for a woman, especially a woman over 50 are very different from your husband, family member, or maybe even your younger friends.
As we age, there are different things we want to achieve in life that maybe we haven’t yet. We’ve spent our entire lives pleasing everyone else and doing things for others without once stopping to do things we want to do.
It’s time now to get those things done and not feel guilty about any of them!
So what are some examples of personal goals?
I’ve broken this down into a few categories for you: personal goals for health, work, and life. I will share 35 examples of personal goals and hope they inspire you even a little bit.
First up, personal health goals.
Examples of personal goals for your health
Your health is super important not only physically but mentally too. Here are eight examples of personal goals for your physical health.
While many of us want to live long, quality of life is also pretty important to achieve that. It’s not too late to start dumping each bad habit. Trust me on that.
Reducing sugar intake
We all already know sugar is bad for us (sorry) so why not aim to reduce the amount of sugar you consume daily. A wee less in your coffee and/or maybe ease up on candies and chocolate bars.
Try to get in at least 30 minutes of walking (15 if you can) 5 days a week. We all know the benefits of walking already! Why not hook yourself up with a FitBit to motivate you even more!?
Eat less bad carbs
Why not look at replacing your bad carbs with good carbs. Ok, I know there’s no good replacement for pizza (seriously) but we don’t have to eat it three times a week either. Also, bad carbs can cause brain fog, depression, low energy and other serious health conditions.
Start a fitness regime
I get that not everyone can afford to go to a gym but you don’t have to! There are so many amazing YouTube videos for exercising and a lot of no equipment needed videos too!
You might like this article I wrote recently about the 20 best bodyweight exercises you can do at home.
Drink more water-less pop or juice
I totally get that plain water is just boring and icky. Trust me I know. We want flavour dammit. Why not try adding some lemon, ginger, mint, cucumber or whatever tickles your fancy.
Water is not only very hydrating but it absolutely mandatory for our joints, oxygen, energy and so much more!
Eliminate late-night snacking
I know you just groaned. Sorry. I’m the worst when it comes to this because I work up until 10 pm some nights and I want snacks! If you eat a nice big healthy meal at dinner time, you’ll be less apt to reach for those Doritos at 9 pm.
Substitute donuts for healthier treats
Ok I know you already hate me (right after the no more pizza, reduce sugar and stop late night snacking) but do you need to have a donut daily? I think not. Stopping at that drive thru coffee place for coffee is fine. But no more donuts.
Try Yoga or Pilates
If you already exercise at home, why not try something new? Yoga is a fabulous way to stretch out that body, it’s great for posture and balance too. You can still get an amazing workout in with Yoga or Pilates.
I hope you liked those examples of personal goals though I’m sure you didn’t like the no-sugar one. Sorry?
If you’re still my friend after all that, let’s move on 🙂
Examples of personal goals for work
Whether you work at home or in an office/store/business these are great personal smart goals examples for work. Here are 8 work goals examples.
Plan out your day more efficiently. The Pomodoro technique is amazing at helping you knock off tasks without getting sidetracked. I aim for 60 minutes on 10 minutes off, which usually works great for me.
This technique is also really good for helping you overcome procrastination!
Turn off social media
Close Facebook, Instagram, or whatever social media weapon of mass destruction you have playing in the background. You’ll get a poop ton more work done. Trust me.
Work on your public speaking
If you are afraid of public speaking or have a hard time using your voice why not work on that and build your confidence simultaneously!
Learn more things!
If you are a freelance writer (blogging) why not learn how to become a copywriter? Or learn how to read charts and analyze data to enhance your work skills further. You’ll become more valuable as an employee (or more sought after for freelance work)
Improve your listening skills
Many of us listen to reply back. Why not listen to learn new things and not interfere when someone at work is talking? Open your ears more and your mouth less (ouch, ok that was kinda rude but you get the point).
I used to be notorious for that, close ears, open mouth but I’ve come an awful long way. Now I listen to learn.
Know when to turn work off
Do you work 10-12 hours a day at home and don’t know when to stop? Yup me too. But I’ve also learned to take time away from the computer to chill out and stop my work brain. “Me time” is so important.
We’re not machines.
Manage stress better
Stress is a life sucker. If you are easily stressed out at work or while you’re working from home, why not learn some stress management techniques? Deep breathing is a really good one!
You might really enjoy this article from WebMD on stress management techniques.
Grow your network
Get out and meet new people in your niche. Make connections online with other entrepreneurs. Reach out to successful people who do what you already do to learn more and meet even more awesome peeps.
I hope you enjoyed those examples of personal goals for work
Examples of personal goals for life
I’d have to say, out of all the examples of personal goals to set, I feel the personal development goals are the most important. These goals help us become better and happier people! Here are 8 examples of personal goals for your life.
Are you one of those who fly off the handle too quickly? Learn how to take a step back and assess the situation to prevent you from losing your patience.
Remember, patience obtains all things. We don’t know why someone is running late or things aren’t working properly. Learn to be patient and always trust that everything will always work out in the end.
Work on your weakness
Make a list of some of your weaknesses and find out how to eliminate them and become mentally strong. Discover where your weakness stems from and maybe work on healing that too.
Many of our weaknesses come from limiting beliefs or trauma we may have suffered growing up. Whatever the case may be, work on them, like today!
Take more “me time”
Spend more time alone away from people, family, friends, and electronic devices. Learn how to be happy alone without needing distractions. You know that whole be here now stuff.
Self-care is so important. I can’t stress that enough. You are the most important person in the world. Not your kids, spouse, mother, etc, but you! Take care of yourself first!!
Learn to meditate
Meditation is by far the one thing everyone on the planet should be doing. It helps us calm our minds and become more at peace. There are bazillions of guided meditations on YouTube and Insight Timer.
Find ones that resonate with you.
FYI you don’t have to meditate for hours each day. Even just 5-10 minutes is powerful and effective.
Chill out more
Don’t take everything so seriously. Learn to let things roll off your back. Did you know that everything in life is temporary and the things you worry about today won’t even matter a year from now?
Ya. Chill out, girl!!
Learn to laugh more. Learn to let things slide more.
Dump the toxic people in your life
Like, right now. Friends, family, neighbours, I don’t care who they are, either get rid of them or reduce the time you need to spend with them.
Toxic people are soul-sucking. You are not obligated to be around them. Ever.
And you know who they are. There is no room in your life for a toxic person.
Forgive, let go and move on
Take the time to forgive everyone who has ever hurt you, let go of the past, stop holding grudges, and start moving on and forward with more inner peace. Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.
It doesn’t work that way. You’re only hurting yourself.
I recently wrote this excellent little eBook about How to Forgive Someone Who Hurt You. If you’re struggling with this, you might really enjoy this book.
Set personal boundaries
Start saying no to people more and yes to yourself. People pleasing doesn’t serve you anymore. Find and use your voice to let people know you won’t be walked all over anymore or treated like a doormat.
Let someone else say yes for a change.
You must also let people know what you will and will not tolerate. Make sure disrespect is at the top of that list! I also wrote a book on How to Set Boundaries in my mini self-help eBook series. You can check it out (and grab your copy) here!
10 Personal Development Goals
I thought I would update this post to add ten more examples of personal goals. I find that each year I get older, I set more goals. So weird.
Strive to be a nicer, kinder and more loving human being.
I think this one is pretty important now more than ever as there is so much anger and violence, and hatred in the world today. It truly breaks my heart. Just be more loving.
It’s so easy for us to lash out at people who have hurt us or made us mad, but next time something like that happens, before you react, stop and breathe. In and out.
Calm yourself down first, and then you will be better equipped to handle the situation.
Become a better person
I honestly think this is the best personal goal. Just be a better human being. You already know what your faults are. It’s up to you to fix, correct, improve, whatever you gotta do. Do it.
Maybe you need to be more patient or less judgemental. Or maybe you need to show and have a little more compassion, and understanding empathy. Remember the world needs more better people.
Work on having a positive mindset
This will take a little bit of work if you are always negative and pessimistic but it’s not impossible.
A fun little trick to try is this- next time you have a negative thought, stop it and immediately replace it with 3 positive thoughts and watch how your life changes. It really works!
Daily gratitude journaling
I started doing this about 8 years ago and I can’t even begin to tell you how much my life has improved because of it. I am now more grateful throughout the day for so many things I use to take for granted.
When we stop and remember all the things we have in our lives to be grateful for, well, more things show up in our lives to be grateful for. That’s how it works!
Set more specific goals
I love mind mapping. It’s a great way for me to write out specific goals, whether they be long-term goals, short-term goals, business goals, or career goals, no matter what type of goal it is, have a look at them, and cross them off as I achieve them.
I think it’s important to have a variety of achievable goals and realistic goals so that you can see what you want and work towards making them happen. Honestly, I think goal-setting is kinda fun and rewarding too!
Step out of your comfort zone
I think too many of us are afraid to learn new skills or change anything too drastic in our lives because we have this crazy fear of failure. We need to dump that.
I think it’s important to step out of your comfort zone and def try new things at least once a week. More if you can!
Do something nice for someone else
All the time. Not just once a year. Go volunteer at a homeless shelter or maybe even help out an organization that calls to your heart that needs more hands.
Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community and meet new people, not to mention it will explode your heart too!
Control your temper/anger
This is super important. I know it’s kind of part of becoming a better person but not only that, it will help you be more physically and emotionally healthier too! Anger is toxic and can cause high blood pressure, headaches and so many other physical ailments.
Not only that, when you project your anger on to someone else, you are hurting them a lot. So work on anger management and have more calm in your life.
Stand up for what you believe in
Too many of us are letting injustices happen all around us. No matter how big or small, you can make a difference. Use your voice and your words and stand up for what you believe in.
Even if you have to stand alone. That’s ok. It’s important to have a voice and integrity. In my opionion anyway.
Wake up a little earlier
Even 15 minutes earlier every morning is life-changing. In that 15 minutes, you can quietly spend some time alone, read, journal, meditate (all the things we talked about already!) do some yoga or pilates.
The possibilities are endless! You might even have time to make a healthy breakfast too! 15 minutes can change your entire day and mood for the day.
Spend more time with aging relatives or friends
Ok so I threw this one in at the last minute so now we have 36 examples of personal goals but listen. When was the last time you sat and had tea with lovely little Margaret from down the street?
You know she’s lonely and I’m sure she’d love some company. Or what about friends you haven’t seen in a really long time? Call ’em up!! Go for a tea or maybe even take a road trip together to go get ice cream or something fun!
Financial Goals Are Equally Important
While I didn’t mention money goals at all in this article, I think it’s an essential component in goal setting. Many of us don’t have extra money or an emergency fund (in case you lose your job or in case of a death or whatever). Myself included!
We have no financial security, which is scary if you ask me.
I think having a solid money plan should be set in place. I think one of the best things here would be to look into hiring a financial advisor (you can find affordable ones or just talk to a banker!) and discuss long-term financial goals.
How to Write Personal Goals
I’m going to break this down into a few chunks for you. In my opinion, personal goals, work goals, health goals and life goals are all vastly different and you can’t apply the same tools to each.
I could be wrong about that though.
Personal Goals For Your Health
If you need to lose weight, eat better or cut out sugar, whatever the case may be, set a date, clean out your kitchen and stick to it. Some people love to work on health goals with a buddy.
If you are one of those women who loves having an accountability buddy ( I sure am!) then find one!
Personal Goals For Your Life
Take inventory and see what areas of your life need improving or changing. This can be hard to do because we are forced to face our toxic traits. That’s ok. We aren’t perfect.
Write down the top five and choose the first three to work on. Don’t tackle everything at once because you’ll only set yourself up for failure.
Personal Goals For Work/Career
Do you hate your job? Are you ready to retire or maybe not even close? Does something have to change here?
Take a close look at your work life and see how you can change, improve, retire early or completely overhaul. Remember, nothing is impossible.
I completely reinvented my life at 52 and don’t have one single regret.
Make a plan and execute it!! That’s what I did.
Personal Goals For Personal Growth
Where do you need to grow? Is it spiritual, emotional, physical, or mental? Do you want to become a better person?
Maybe you want to learn something new or polish up an old skill or craft you had. Whatever the case may be, write out what you want to enhance on and make a plan.
Some benefits of setting personal goals
I think it’s a great idea to wrap this up by going over the benefits of setting personal goals, and sticking to them! I’m going to share 6 with you right now.
- Builds self-confidence
- Boosts self-esteem
- Helps you reach success in a timely manner
- Inspires others to follow suit
- Great sense of pride and accomplishment
- Builds courage to do fearful things
I know that some of these examples of personal goals was kind of scary, some seemed rather hard but none of them are impossible. Here’s to your new life!
This was just a small list of examples of personal goals and if none of them resonate with you ( I know you probably hated the less pizza and less donuts one) you can Google for lots more!!
The first step is to make a plan and take action on something!
The goal here (ahem pardon the pun) is to get you on track to live your best life ever and be the person you want to be. Happy, successful, stressfree and abundant.
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xo iva xo