SMART Goal Setting As You Age

Sydney Codrington
April 17, 2023

If you’ve checked out our blog post on Aging in Place, then you’ve already got a head start on knowing about how setting goals is a major key to aging smart and successful. 

As we all know, getting older doesn’t mean you stop setting goals. The best way to start developing those goals is using the S.M.A.R.T method. Setting these goals may help you focus your energy, boost your motivation, and hold yourself accountable for your progress. And those either retired or nearing retirement may have the desire to leave a legacy for future generations. 

S.M.A.R.T stands for S - Specific, M - Measurable, A - Achievable, R - Realistic, T - Timebound. So perhaps you may have heard this term in business planning, but it also applies to your everyday life to ensure you stay motivated and moving forward.

So where do you start?

  • Start with a Vision: The first step in setting S.M.A.R.T. goals is to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve. Take some time to reflect on what's important to you and what you want to accomplish in the next few years. Your vision should be specific and align with your values and long-term aspirations.
  • Make Your Goals Specific: Once you have a vision in mind, it's time to make your goals specific. A specific goal is well-defined and clear. It should answer the questions of who, what, where, when, and how. For example, instead of saying "I want to improve my health," make it specific by saying "I want to walk for 30 minutes every day for the next month."
  • Ensure Your Goals are Measurable: Measuring progress is an important part of achieving your goals. A measurable goal has a specific metric attached to it. For example, if your goal is to walk for 30 minutes every day, the metric could be the number of steps you take or the distance you cover. Measuring progress allows you to track your success and make adjustments along the way.
  • Make Your Goals Achievable: Setting goals that are too lofty or unrealistic can lead to frustration and disappointment. An achievable goal is challenging but realistic. Take into account your current resources, skills, and abilities when setting your goals. For example, if you've never run before, it may not be realistic to set a goal of running a marathon in six months.
  • Ensure Your Goals are Relevant: Your goals should align with your values and long-term aspirations. A relevant goal is meaningful to you and serves a purpose. Take some time to consider how achieving your goals will impact your life and the lives of those around you.
  • Make Your Goals Time-bound: A time-bound goal has a specific deadline attached to it. Setting a deadline creates a sense of urgency and helps you stay focused on your goal. For example, if your goal is to walk for 30 minutes every day, set a deadline of one month.

You can have many S.M.A.R.T. goals to work towards different goals. Think of this as a fun mini-project! Take some time to prioritize yourself and your loved ones, and the things you’d like to accomplish. Think of setting goals as a form of self-care, rather than just another to-do list. 

Setting personal S.M.A.R.T. goals are important for achieving personal growth and success. It provides focus, increases motivation, helps measure progress, encourages accountability, and promotes personal growth. So take some time to reflect on what you want to achieve and start setting S.M.A.R.T. goals today!