smart goals for the New Year

Smart goal setting is one of the most effective tools for achieving goals used in the professional area. The smart goals you set should relate to the accomplishments (results), not the activities that help you achieve them.

The meaning of SMART goals

SMART is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely.

This method of setting smart goals was the idea of George T. Doran, the author of the work named “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management’s goals and objectives. Each letter in SMART refers to a different criterion for evaluating goals.

How to use SMART

A smart goal should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. 

When you are establishing a smart goal you have to think about the right reason why you plan to do that and about the time and resources, you will need.

1. Specific

Setting smart goals means knowing exactly what you have in mind for the next year. Be very clear and specific.

General goal: “I want to feel more rested and full of energy.”

Setting a goal like the one above is not enough. You should write down how many hours you will sleep and what is exactly the hour you are planning to go to bed.

Specific goal: “I want to go to bed at 10 o’clock and sleep 8 hours every night to feel more rested and full of energy.”

Find the answer to these questions to establish a specific goal:

  • What exactly do you want to achieve?
  • Where will you do it?
  • Who will help you achieve this goal?
  • Why do you want to achieve this goal?
  • What are other alternatives to achieve it?
  • What are the steps you need to take in order to achieve it?
  • Do you have any conditions? What are they?

2. Measurable

Break down your goals into measurable elements. You will be more motivated if you can measure your progress.

Think about the answer to these questions to establish measurable goals:

  • How will you know when you achieve your goals? 
  • What is your way of measuring progress?
  • How many steps will it take to achieve your goals?

3. Achievable

The goal should be important to you. Think if you have the right skills and tools to accomplish that goal. 

Although, setting a goal that is too difficult to achieve can make you lose your motivation. In this case, you can divide it into smaller goals that are easier to achieve. 

Ask yourself these questions to find out if your goal is achievable:

  • Do you have the resources that you need to reach your goal?
  • What is your motivation to reach your goal?
  • Is this goal worth the effort you will invest?

4. Relevant

To set relevant goals, you have to think about what matters to you. As a result, you will invest your time in something you really need to achieve.

  • Is this the right time for this goal?
  • Can this goal be achieved in the current situation of the country where you live or work?
  • Does this goal contribute to your other objectives?

5. Timely

Your goals should be timely. Think about the answer to the following questions:

  • What can you do today for this goal?
  • Does your goal have a deadline?
  • What can you do two months from now to achieve your goals and objectives?
  • When will you achieve that?
  • What is your goal time frame?

Smart goals vs. resolutions

There is a difference between setting smart goals and setting New Year’s resolutions. Unlike resolutions, the goal is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.

New Year’s Resolution: “I’m going to make more sales next year.”

Specific Goal: “I’m going to sell 1,460 jewelry next year. I will do so by selling 4 jewels a day. I will invest 3000$ in Facebook Ads and 4000$ in Google Ads, to promote the jewels I am selling.”

There are many more chances to achieve a smart goal that you set than a resolution. You can still make resolutions, but setting a goal using the SMART criteria is the best thing you can do.

Smart goals template

Smart goals for Next Year template

Use this template to guide you in setting smart goals. Choose some areas in which you want to invest time and resources this year and that you think would help you get good results. 

Set the type of priority for your goals choosing from the ones below:

  • Critical
  • High
  • Medium to high
  • Medium to low
  • Low

Also, think about the type of goals you have and establish a goal time-frame, so you can measure progress. Based on this criterion, there are long-term and short-term goals. These categories are also divided into: 

  • Lifetime goals – long-term goals that should be accomplished in ten or more years in the future
  • Capstone goals – goals that should be accomplished before lifetime goals, in 1-10 years
  • Foundational goals – short-time goals that should be achieved in less than a year
  • Provisional goals – stepping-stone goals that should be accomplished in less than a month

Then, think about the steps you need to take to achieve your goals.

SMART goals examples

Check these examples to learn how to set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound goals.

At first, you can establish some resolutions. Then, you can transform these resolutions into specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound goals, as you can see in the examples. 

You can check the smart goals and resolutions and then customize them based on your needs.

SMART goals for marketers

Resolution: “I will increase my company brand awareness.”

Goal: “I will increase my company brand awareness by 90% in the next three months. I will spend 500$/month on Facebook Ads with the Brand Awareness objective and I will post on Facebook three days a week. Also, I will check the Facebook Ads progress, engagement, and brand awareness every day. In addition, I will write two blog posts every week. I want to spend 1000$ on a YouTube promotion.

Type of goal: Foundational goal

Deadline: 01.04.2021

Other resolution ideas that marketers can transform into SMART goals by using the SMART criteria:

  • Increase website traffic
  • Gain more website or social media engagement
  • Get more clicks on paid ads
  • Improve your return on investment
  • Gain more email subscriptions
  • Convert leads into customers
  • Keep your customers for a lifetime
  • Win back lost customers
  • Organize your marketing strategy
  • Increase the company revenue
  • Gain more social media followers
  • Increase your blog post volume
  • Increase your ranking on Google
  • Gain more website visibility
  • Increase customers number
  • Reduce the costs of goods sold
Smart goals for designers

Resolution: “I will finish a UX/UI design project.”

Goal: “I will finish the UX/UI design project for an educational app with stories for children. In the first three days, I will research to find out if there are any other apps similar to this one and what are their features and I will find more than 10 different features that I can add. I will look at different designs. The necessary time will be one month. I will read a children’s book or a story every day and I will build an interface every two days.”

Type of goal: Foundational goal

Deadline: 01.02.2021

Other resolutions ideas that designers can transform into SMART goals by using the SMART criteria:

  • Learn shortcuts in the apps you use for design
  • Design a guideline book
  • Create your portfolio
  • Improve your portfolio
  • Get more freelance projects done
Smart goals for programmers

Resolution: “I will plan a website.”

Goal: “I will make a website for the X recruiting solutions company in 3 months. I will create 5 website pages each week. The website will have 60 pages. In the last two weeks, I will test its usability. I will work with 2 designers.” 

Type of goal: Foundational goal

Deadline: 01.04.2021

Other resolutions ideas that you can transform into SMART goals by using the SMART criteria:

  • Learn a new programming language
  • Develop a mobile application
  • Improve your website design
  • Read articles on particular topics
  • Watch videos on particular topics
  • Improve your mobile application
  • Get more app downloads
  • Grow mobile app users’ number
  • Ask all your users for reviews and improve your app based on their feedback
  • Get more free sign-ups on the app
  • Get more purchases on the app
Smart goals for recruiters

Resolution: “I will find qualified candidates.”

Goal: “I will find 10 qualified candidates in two months for the Software Developer position and 5 qualified candidates for the Marketing Specialist position. I will post the job announcements on 3 jobs platforms: Linkedin, BestJobs, and eJobs.”

Type of goal: Foundational goal

Deadline: 01.03.2021

Other resolutions ideas that you can transform into SMART goals by using the SMART criteria:

  • Organize your recruiting process
  • Improve candidates satisfaction
  • Decrease hire failure
  • Increase the number of applications
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Gain more followers on Linkedin
  • Improve salary
  • Figure out the cost-per-hire
  • Improve managers satisfaction
Smart goals for managers

Resolution: “I will improve productivity among employees.”

Goal: “I will improve productivity among employees by 30% in the next three weeks by purchasing a mind mapping tool for my team. Each employee will use this tool every day to organize his/her activities and collaborate with the team.

Type of goal: Provisional goal

Deadline: 22.01.2021

Other resolutions ideas that you can transform into SMART goals by using the SMART criteria:

  • Unite your team
  • Build your network
  • Become a better motivator
  • Improve your critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Get more revenue for the company
  • Participate in leadership training
Smart goals for teachers

Resolution: “I will make learning Geography exciting.”

Goal: “I will make learning Geography exciting by presenting each subject in a mind map. I will learn mind mapping techniques and I will use Mindomo to create mind maps and concept maps. I will present geography mind maps at each course every day. In this way, the students will understand the concepts with ease. Also, I will ask them to create their mind map twice a week. I will use templates like “7 Continents of the World”.

Type of goal: Provisional goal

Other resolutions ideas that you can transform into SMART goals by using the SMART criteria:

  • Help students get better grades
  • Make students understand lessons faster
  • Write a new scientific book
  • Involve parents more
  • Create an online presence
  • Integrate computer learning tools
  • Teach students how to use a mind maps for note-taking
  • Improve classroom management
Smart goals for students

Resolution: “I will improve my English skills.”

Goal: “I will improve my English writing skills in the next two years. I will do 3 English writing exercises every day and I will use the Mindomo templates to learn Grammatics. Also, I will complete a template every week. For example, I will use the following templates: Parts of Speech, Nouns, English tenses, Multiple Meaning Words, British English vs American English, Action or linking verb, etc.”

Type of goal: Capstone goal

Deadline: 01.01.2022

Other resolutions ideas that you can transform into SMART goals by using the SMART criteria:

  • Focus on learning, not just grades
  • Graduate with honors
  • Watch an online course
  • Participate in training
  • Read books related to your domain of interest
  • Have 100% attendance in classes
  • Learn how to create a mind map
  • Write your diploma paper
Smart goals for personal life

Resolution: “I will start jogging.

Goal: “I will start jogging and I will run 2km every morning for 3 months and I will develop this habit.”

Type of goal: Lifetime goal

Other resolutions ideas that you can transform into SMART goals by using the SMART criteria:

  • Sleep well every night
  • Go to the gym every day
  • Learn how to control your emotions
  • Spend time with family and friends
  • Visit many countries
  • Learn how to cook
  • Eat more healthy food
  • Read more books
  • Manage your budget better

You can also try this New Year’s resolutions template. Here you can measure the progress of your goals. A good strategy would be to think about some New Year’s resolutions and then transform them into SMART goals using the SMART goals template.

How to achieve your goals

To achieve your goals, you must be persevering. Think about the achievements you have made this year, so you can have an overview of what you have done so far. 

Measure the progress so you know exactly where you still have work to do. See why you couldn’t complete some of the goals and work harder on them.

Make sure you set relevant goals and stick to them in 2021. Don’t forget to consider these smart criteria: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

We would love to hear what are your smart goals and objectives for the Next Year. Write them in the comments section below. 

Keep it smart, simple, and creative! 
The Mindomo Team


  1. Bharat Banjara Reply

    The goal of life varies, but all the divergent goals of all the people can be sorted and brought unmistakably under three classes.

    Class 1. Striving for long efficient life.
    The existence aspect of Reality.
    A person endowed with efficient hand.

    Class 2. Searching for more happiness.
    With a loving heart.
    Ultimate Reality.

    Class 3. Seeking after wider knowledge.
    with a clear head.
    Cosmic reality.

    For more detail see below link :


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