12 SMART Goals Examples for Better Decision Making

Making decisions can be arduous, especially when faced with many options. But setting SMART goals could make this process more manageable. The SMART method provides structure and organization, enabling you to focus on the most critical tasks.

This post will discuss some examples of SMART goals for decision making. By establishing these goals, you’ll make better-informed decisions that lead to success.

What is a SMART Goal?

The SMART system is your best friend when setting effective goals. If you didn’t already know, SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.

Need more clarity? SMART goals are:

  • Specific: We all have aspirations of success, but without a plan, we’re likely to get nowhere. When making decisions that lead us closer to our goals, the more detailed they are, the higher our chances of achieving them.
  • Measurable: Having measurable goals is critical for success; you can accurately assess your progress with them. Otherwise, you may be spinning your wheels instead of achieving your desired outcomes.
  • Attainable: Make sure you are being realistic when setting goals. Establishing unrealistic expectations may lead to unnecessary stress and disappointment. Goal-setters need to create achievable benchmarks for themselves that can be met promptly.
  • Relevant: Developing relevant goals is the cornerstone of success in any field. It will help you stay motivated and laser-focused on reaching your desired results.
  • Time-based: Setting a specific timeline will ensure you can focus on your goals and move forward steadily. You’ll be able to stay accountable on the path to better decision making.

Decision making is an essential skill everyone needs to attain their goals and succeed. Fulfilling these 5 SMART components will help you do everything necessary to make sound judgments in your professional and personal lives.

12 SMART Goals Examples for Better Decision Making

Here are 12 examples of SMART goals for effective decision making:

1. Don’t Dwell on Mistakes

“Rather than dwelling on mistakes made in the past, I will focus on finding solutions and learning from those experiences by the end of three months. This will help me stay focused on making the best decisions possible to move forward.”

Specific: The aim is to learn from mistakes rather than dwelling on them.

Measurable: Keep track of how often you find yourself dwelling on past mistakes and compare it to the number of times you focus on solutions.

Attainable: Developing an attitude that focuses on solutions is an achievable goal within the given timeline.

Relevant: Learning from mistakes is key to making better decisions in the future.

Time-based: You want to achieve this goal by the end of three months.

2. Use a Decision Journal

“To improve my decision-making process, I’ll create and use a journal to track my decisions for 8 months. I want to determine why I made that choice and consider any implications it might have in the future.”

Specific: The goal is clearly defined in terms of what needs to be done and when.

Measurable: Track the number of decisions you make and review the entries in your journal.

Attainable: Creating and using a journal can be done within the timeline given.

Relevant: This goal relates to the decision-making process and can allow you to gain greater insight into your choices.

Time-based: There is an 8-month deadline for goal achievement.

3. Take Time Out

“I will take 15 minutes to assess any decision before committing to it for the four months ahead. This allows the opportunity to evaluate an action’s potential outcomes and implications before following through.”

Specific: This goal is explicit as it guides you to take 15 minutes before making any decisions.

Measurable: The person should measure the time taken to assess their decisions.

Attainable: Fifteen minutes is a feasible time frame for assessing the potential implications of an action.

Relevant: This is pertinent as it will help the person better understand their decisions and make sound choices.

Time-based: The goal should be achieved within four months.

4. Get Feedback From Others

“I will expand my network of contacts and resources by talking with at least three people outside my immediate department for advice on my major decisions within three months. I want to get multiple perspectives and ideas for critical matters.”

Specific: The statement indicates who the person should be talking to and how often they should do it.

Measurable: Count how many conversations have taken place.

Attainable: It’s relatively easy to reach out and start a conversation with someone, so this goal is possible.

Relevant: Getting diverse perspectives when making decisions can be beneficial and help to ensure better outcomes.

Time-based: Three months is the time frame for this particular target.

feedback goal setting

5. Consider the Consequences

“I’ll take a moment to consider the potential consequences of my decisions before committing by the end of two months. This will benefit everyone involved and not create any negative repercussions.”

Specific: This goal outlines a particular behavior that needs to be changed.

Measurable: Track how often you have taken the time to consider potential consequences.

Attainable: Anybody can accomplish this with enough focus and effort.

Relevant: This is relevant to decision making because it teaches you to think before acting.

Time-based: The goal should be achieved by the end of two months.

6. Narrow Your Options

“I will narrow down my options during the decision-making process by listing the pros and cons of each option within two weeks. I want to avoid being overwhelmed by too many choices and focus on the most pertinent information.”

Specific: The goal states what needs to be done and the timeline for completion.

Measurable: You can determine how much time it takes to narrow down your options.

Attainable: This is a realistic goal because it is possible to limit the number of choices you have to make.

Relevant: Narrowing down options is essential for making informed decisions quickly and efficiently.

Time-based: There is a two-week deadline for accomplishing this goal.

7. Learn to Say No

“I’ll practice saying no to non-essential tasks and requests that don’t align with my objectives. I will also review the criteria for making decisions so that I’m only saying yes to important and necessary tasks.”

Specific: You will practice saying no to requests that aren’t in line with your objectives.

Measurable: Individuals can measure their success by the number of times they refuse tasks and requests.

Attainable: Saying no is a realistic goal to set and complete.

Relevant: This goal relates to decision making as it helps an individual prioritize and focus on essential tasks.

Time-based: This is a continual goal the person should aim to do daily.

8. Control Your Emotions

“I will work on controlling my emotions by taking 5-minute breaks when needed and actively recognizing when I become overwhelmed. By the end of four months, I will be able to remain calm and professional during stressful life situations.”

Specific: The aim is to take 5-minute breaks when needed and actively recognize when emotions become overwhelming.

Measurable: Assess how effectively you can control your emotions during stressful situations.

Attainable: This goal is achievable with regular breaks and practice.

Relevant: Being able to control emotions is vital for decision making, so this goal is highly relevant.

Time-based: You should anticipate goal achievement after four months.

9. Learn From the Past

“I’ll actively review past decisions and outcomes from current operations to identify patterns that could be useful for future decision making. By the end of 6 months, I will have developed a process to capture key learnings from the past and use them in future planning.”

Specific: This goal focuses on reviewing past decisions and outcomes to identify patterns that can be used in the future.

Measurable: You could measure the number of decisions and outcomes you review each month.

Attainable: Reviewing past decisions is something that can be done regularly.

Relevant: Gathering information from the past can help you make smarter decisions in the future.

Time-based: There is an end date of 6 months for the goal.

10. Ask Good Questions

“I will become more inquisitive and analytical by asking at least one meaningful question in each meeting, presentation, or class I attend. For the next 5 months, I’ll try to make a habit of questioning rash assumptions and developing better solutions.”

Specific: You want to make it a habit of asking meaningful questions.

Measurable: Track the number of questions you ask in each meeting, presentation, or class.

Attainable: Assuming that you make the necessary commitment, this goal is achievable.

Relevant: This relates to your primary objective of becoming more inquisitive and analytical.

Time-based: You should expect to see success after 5 months.

11. Do Not Multitask

“To better focus my attention on individual tasks and increase productivity, I will practice not multitasking for the following three months. I’ll focus on one task at a time instead of juggling too many things at once.”

Specific: The SMART statement is well-defined. The individual will practice not multitasking for three months.

Measurable: They can focus on one task at a time and track progress.

Attainable: This realistic goal is achievable with the right amount of dedication.

Relevant: Multitasking may increase the risk of making mistakes, which must be avoided during decision making.

Time-based: The person has three months to reach this certain goal.

12. Avoid Overanalyzing

“I will avoid overanalyzing or endlessly studying data over the course of 5 months. I’ll strive to make wise decisions swiftly, with the understanding that I can adjust my course of action if needed in response to new information.”

Specific: This goal describes what needs to be done (avoid overanalyzing) and the time frame (5 months).

Measurable: You could count the number of decisions you make within a certain period.

Attainable: This goal is doable if you practice making decisions without overanalyzing the data.

Relevant: Making wise and timely decisions is essential to almost everyone.

Time-based: Goal completion is expected within 5 months.

Final Thoughts

The SMART framework is a fantastic tool for making better decisions and reaching success. They are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based, which makes them easy to understand and follow.

SMART goals can also bring clarity to a decision by focusing on the outcome you want to achieve. Whether setting personal or professional objectives, applying SMART will help you reach your goals faster and more effectively.

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Rei Shen

Rei is the founder of Success in Depth. Based in Washington, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. He brings years of experience in goal setting to empower readers to reach their aspirations.