Emotional intelligence is about sorting out your emotions and understanding how they impact you and those around you.
It could allow you to control your emotions better and stay calm even in stressful and anxiety-inducing situations. But improving your emotional intelligence isn’t easy without a goal-setting plan.
That’s why creating SMART goals will increase your likelihood of succeeding in your career, having healthier relationships, and being more positive.
But first, let’s figure out what SMART goals are and why they’re important to strengthening your emotional intelligence.
What Are SMART Goals?
For those not in the know, SMART is a goal-setting methodology developed to help people set specific and achievable goals.
Instead of aiming for vague objectives with little detail, SMART goals are clear and easy to understand. To better clarify your misunderstandings, SMART is an acronym that stands for:
Make sure your goal is specific; otherwise, you won’t be able to accomplish anything. Try to answer the 5 W’s: who, what, when, where, and why.
Resolving these questions will help you plan out your objectives. Hence, the goal will be more well-defined and understandable.
Having mini-goals and milestones is crucial to staying focused on goal attainment. From weekly to daily goals, setting metrics will encourage you to persevere and work towards your dreams. Naturally, choose milestones that make sense given your deadline.
Creating impossible goals is discouraging, and it’s easy to get frustrated when we constantly feel like we’re falling short.
But what if we took a different approach? What if instead of setting our sights on something unattainable, we chose a realistic goal within reach?
That doesn’t mean making your goal too easy—the sweet spot is finding the balance between difficulty and achievable. And remember, you don’t have to do everything at once. Don’t be shy to improve incrementally, little by little.
Ensure your SMART goals fit in with your long-term pursuits. They should always be practical, never working against you. It is especially important for people to have their values and interests in mind. Doing so will align your goals to support professional and personal growth fully.
Implementing the SMART goal approach involves pushing yourself to accomplish goals with a timeline. This leaves you less vulnerable to procrastination, creating a sense of urgency to move you along. Soon enough, you’ll replace your unrealistic ambitions with achievable ones.
Why SMART Goals Are Important for Emotional Intelligence
Developing your emotional intelligence is exceedingly easier with a detailed roadmap to point you in the right direction.
That’s why SMART goals come in handy. When you are clear about what you want to accomplish, you’re more likely to be inspired to reach it.
The SMART framework involves setting specific goals. For example, striving to “take 10 minutes each day to journey your thoughts and emotions” is much better than “reflecting on yourself.” There is less ambiguity behind what you’re hoping to achieve.
SMART goals also encourage you to take small, micro steps that lead to great results. This may elevate your confidence and motivation to a new level as you progress toward your goal.
In any case, SMART goals provide a framework for monitoring your progress and adjusting as needed. This process of reflection and adjustment is essential for developing emotional intelligence.
So setting SMART goals will surely boost your emotional intelligence and help you better manage your emotions.
10 Examples of SMART Goals for Emotional intelligence
Here you will find 10 examples of SMART goals to further your emotional intelligence:
1. Deepen Your Understanding of Emotional Intelligence
SMART Goal: I want to attend a seminar on emotional intelligence and read two books on the topic within the next month.
- Specific: The goal-setter has specific actions to develop a deeper understanding of emotional intelligence.
- Measurable: We will know this goal is on track when the goal-setter has attended the seminar and read the two books.
- Attainable: With free time available, this goal is realistic and achievable.
- Relevant: This is pertinent to emotional intelligence development.
- Time-based: The goal is to be accomplished within the next month.
2. Enhance Your Self-Awareness
SMART Goal: I will take 10 minutes every day to check in with myself and notice how I’m feeling for 5 months. I’ll also keep a journal to document any changes I notice in my emotions daily.
- Specific: The individual plans to regularly check in with themselves.
- Measurable: Take 10 minutes out of every day to focus on your emotions.
- Attainable: This goal is achievable and only requires a small time commitment.
- Relevant: Self-awareness is a core aspect of recognizing your emotions better.
- Time-based: This goal will be pursued for 5 whole months.
3. Strengthen Communication Skills
SMART Goal: I want to communicate more effectively by the end of this year by actively listening to others, showing empathy, and using verbal and nonverbal cues. I will also avoid making assumptions and instead ask clarifying questions.
- Specific: The leader has specified that they will communicate more effectively by practicing active listening, showing empathy, and using verbal and nonverbal cues.
- Measurable: The goal is measured by the leader’s ability to communicate more effectively with others.
- Attainable: Improving communication skills is an achievable goal for anyone.
- Relevant: Communication is relevant to emotional intelligence because it is one of the main ways we interact with others.
- Time-based: There is a one-year end date for reaching this goal.
4. Learn to Be Appreciative
SMART Goal: For two months, I will work on being more appreciative by sending at least two handwritten thank-yous per week and making a point to verbally thank my team for their contributions at least once daily.
- Specific: This goal outlines what you need to do (send thank-yous and express appreciation verbally) and how often you need to do it (at least twice per week and once daily).
- Measurable: You can measure your progress by counting the number of thank-yous you’ve sent and the number of times you’ve verbally expressed appreciation.
- Attainable: Sending thank-yous and expressing appreciation is realistic.
- Relevant: Developing a culture of appreciation is a sign of being emotionally self-aware of your surroundings.
- Time-based: You have two months to meet this goal statement.
5. Admit Your Mistakes
SMART Goal: I want to be better at admitting when I am wrong. For three weeks, I will take responsibility for my actions that led to a negative outcome.
- Specific: The person wants to be more accountable for their actions and knows that admitting when they are wrong is the first step.
- Measurable: The goal can be tracked by how often the person admits their mistakes over the course of one week.
- Attainable: This goal is definitely possible because it only requires the person to be more mindful of their actions and words.
- Relevant: Admitting mistakes is difficult for many people, but it is crucial to emotional intelligence.
- Time-based: The individual wants to achieve this goal within three weeks.
6. Become Assertive
SMART Goal: I will learn to express my needs and wants better for one week. To achieve this goal, I will practice saying ‘no’ to things I don’t want to do.
- Specific: The person wants to be more assertive in expressing their needs.
- Measurable: This goal could be tracked by how often the person says ‘no’ for one week.
- Attainable: This is achievable because it only requires the person to be more mindful of their actions and words.
- Relevant: Being assertive is difficult for many people, but it is a key part of emotional intelligence.
- Time-based: The person wants to reach this goal by the end of one week.
7. Stop Being Judgmental
SMART Goal: I will catch myself whenever I make a judgment about someone and try to see things from their perspective instead. I will be mindful of my actions for two weeks.
- Specific: This goal is clear because it asks you to focus on your thoughts and behaviors.
- Measurable: You can measure progress by noticing how often you make judgments about others.
- Attainable: It is possible to change your thinking patterns and behaviors.
- Relevant: This goal relates to emotional intelligence because it asks you to be more understanding and tolerant of others.
- Time-based: Two weeks is a reasonable time frame to achieve this goal.
8. Avoid Emotional Outbursts
SMART Goal: I hope to be in control of my emotions and avoid outbursts. I will count to 10 before responding to any situation that may upset me.
- Specific: The individual wants to control their emotions and avoid outbursts.
- Measurable: You could measure how often you have an emotional outburst by tracking how many times you count to 10 in a day.
- Attainable: It is realistic to better control your emotions in your professional and personal life.
- Relevant: Managing your emotions is vital to maintaining relationships and being successful in all areas.
- Time-based: This could be an ongoing goal. It should be something you work on every day.
9. Take an EQ Test
SMART Goal: I will take an emotional intelligence test by the end of the month to find out what areas I need to work on.
- Specific: This goal is explicit in that it states what the person plans on doing—taking an emotional intelligence test.
- Measurable: The completion of the test will show whether or not this goal has been achieved.
- Attainable: Anyone can take an emotional intelligence test, making this goal feasible.
- Relevant: This is suitable because it will help the person identify areas that need improvement.
- Time-based: The goal should be completed by the end of the month.
10. Express Gratitude
SMART Goal: Over the next three months, I want to express gratitude more often. I will write down five things I am grateful for every day in my journal.
- Specific: The individual wants to focus on gratitude by listing 5 things daily.
- Measurable: This can be checked off each day, with three months required.
- Attainable: This is easily achievable since it doesn’t require much time or effort.
- Relevant: Gratitude can lead to improved emotional intelligence, so this is an appropriate goal.
- Time-based: There is a three-month timeline for meeting this particular goal.
Enhancing your emotional intelligence doesn’t need to be an uphill battle. Luckily, you may create SMART goals to increase your chances of success.
Your goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. Following the SMART goals examples above will ensure you are setting the foundation for success in attaining your goals.
And as you may imagine, this won’t be done overnight. You’ll have to be patient and take things slow. With time and directed effort, you’ll be on track to increasing your emotional intelligence.
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