13 SMART Goals Examples for Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Are you tired of feeling like you’re constantly butting heads with a child or teen who seems to defy everything you say? Are power struggles and arguments becoming the norm in your household, leaving you frustrated?

Well, it’s time to shift gears and take control of the situation by setting goals for ODD. Here, we’ll guide you through 13 examples of SMART goals to help transform your interactions with a defiant child or adolescent.

Get ready to unleash the potential for positive change and create a more harmonious environment for everyone involved.

What is a SMART Goal?

The SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-based) methodology is invaluable for individuals addressing oppositional defiant disorder as it offers a structured approach to goal setting.

For a deeper understanding, let’s explore each facet of SMART in the context of managing the medical condition:


In dealing with oppositional defiant disorder, precision in your goals enhances the likelihood of success. Avoid pursuing vague or overly ambitious objectives that may dampen your motivation.


It is imperative to establish measurable goals facilitating progress tracking. Without a system for gauging success, efforts to manage ODD may become disorganized.


Striking a balance between ambitious goals and ones that are too easily attained is pivotal. Overly difficult goals might lead to frustration, while those that are too simplistic may lack a sense of accomplishment. The key lies in setting attainable targets that inspire continued effort.


For effective management of ODD, align your goals with personal values and professional aspirations. Reflect on your core values to ensure they resonate with your objectives.


Realizing success is a gradual process requiring consistent effort. Establishing timelines for your goals ensures a sustained commitment, nurturing your journey toward success with determination.

13 SMART Goals Examples for Oppositional Defiant Disorder

1. Set Boundaries and Expectations

“Over the next month, I’ll focus on setting clear boundaries and expectations for managing ODD. I will seek guidance from an experienced caregiver to validate the effectiveness of the established boundaries.”

Specific: Clearly define boundaries and expectations for managing ODD.

Measurable: You can track your established rules and limits over time.

Attainable: Given consistent implementation, setting well-defined boundaries is a realistic goal.

Relevant: This aligns with the overarching desire to handle your condition effectively.

Time-based: Aim to successfully establish boundaries after a month.

2. Enhance Emotional Regulation Skills

“I want to advance my emotional regulation skills to manage ODD manifestations for two months. I’ll do this by participating in two emotion-regulation workshops and exploring 5 books related to the subject.”

Specific: The individual aims to boost emotional regulation skills to address their ODD condition.

Measurable: Count how many workshops attended and books read on enhancing emotional regulation.

Attainable: You’re proactively seeking resources and professional guidance to enhance emotional regulation skills.

Relevant: Improved emotion management will allow you to address vital aspects of ODD.

Time-based: The goal is time-bound, with a deadline of one month to succeed.

3. Develop Better Communication Strategies

“I will incorporate daily reflective communication exercises for 10 minutes by the end of two months. That involves honing my ability to express thoughts effectively and fostering healthier interactions.”

Specific: This specifies the actions required—practicing daily reflective communication exercises for two months.

Measurable: Count the number of workshops attended and the days of consistent practice.

Attainable: Dedicating 10 minutes each day for reflective communication exercises is reasonable.

Relevant: Enhancing communication methods contributes to improved management of oppositional defiant disorder.

Time-based: You have a defined timeline of two months for completion.

4. Promote Conflict Resolution Techniques

“I hope to practice effective conflict resolution techniques within four months. The aim is to ensure that conflicts are addressed constructively without any negative repercussions for seeking resolution.”

Specific: Use conflict resolution techniques to come to a successful resolution.

Measurable: Assess the adoption of strategies and the resolution of conflicts positively.

Attainable: This goal is feasible by collaborating with mental health professionals and incorporating conflict resolution practices into daily life.

Relevant: This is pertinent to handling ODD as it addresses the need for constructive conflict resolution to foster positivity.

Time-based: The SMART goal is time-bound, with a four-month deadline.

5. Encourage Empathy and Perspective-Taking

“For four months, I’ll foster empathy and perspective-taking. I will attend empathy-building workshops, participate in relevant conferences, and read three books emphasizing understanding.”

Specific: You know what to do (attend workshops, conferences, and read books) to encourage empathy and perspective-taking.

Measurable: Ensure you complete each step in the plan and assess improved empathy in interactions.

Attainable: Achieving this goal is realistic, as the individual invests time and effort in learning empathy and perspective-taking.

Relevant: This goal is highly pertinent to ODD and creating a supportive environment.

Time-based: You have a four-month window to reach excellence.

6. Foster a Positive Support System

“Cultivating a positive support system is important for ODD management. Within two weeks, I’ll engage in supportive activities, such as joining relevant support groups and seeking guidance from mental health professionals, to create a robust plan that enhances my well-being.”

Specific: You plan to develop a positive support system to manage oppositional defiant disorder (ODD).

Measurable: Ensure engagement in the listed supportive activities to evaluate progress.

Attainable: The goal is possible within two weeks, allowing for the initiation of positive activities and connections.

Relevant: A positive support system is highly pertinent to boosting overall well-being.

Time-based: You have two whole weeks to accomplish greatness.

7. Provide Consistent Consequences

“I’ll establish consequences for behaviors associated with ODD within my household. This involves utilizing clear rules, enforcing fair disciplinary actions, and offering guidance on positive behavior within 7 months.”

Specific: This SMART goal specifies the need to set consistent consequences for behaviors linked to ODD.

Measurable: Assess the effectiveness of the implemented consequences and the improvement in behavior management.

Attainable: Establishing consistent consequences is achievable by implementing clear rules and fair disciplinary actions.

Relevant: The goal pertains to managing ODD as it focuses on providing consistent consequences to address behavioral challenges.

Time-based: The statement has a defined timeline of one year.

8. Avoid Negative Coping Mechanisms

“I’ll decrease the instances of oppositional behavior associated with ODD from four occurrences to one per day within three months. This approach aims to minimize the reliance on negative coping mechanisms.”

Specific: The goal is to actively reduce oppositional behavior, focusing on positive reinforcement strategies.

Measurable: Progress is evaluated by limiting oppositional behavior to one occurrence per day for the next month.

Attainable: Avoiding oppositional behavior is more doable than eliminating the behavior entirely, emphasizing positive reinforcement.

Relevant: Addressing oppositional behavior relates to handling your condition and avoiding poor coping methods.

Time-based: You have a specific one-month deadline to succeed.

9. Utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

“Within four months, I’ll enhance my skills by engaging in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). That includes attending CBT sessions, participating in relevant workshops, and reading three books on applying CBT techniques for ODD.”

Specific: This details the plan to enhance skills in managing the medical condition through CBT.

Measurable: You have listed action items in order to ensure success.

Attainable: Engaging in CBT and dedicating time for daily practice is realistic within four months.

Relevant: Utilizing CBT pertains to managing ODD as it focuses on effective therapeutic techniques for behavioral management.

Time-based: You have a four-month end date for goal completion.

10. Implement Effective Time-Outs

“By the end of 6 months, I want to reduce the frequency of ODD-related outbursts by 50% through the consistent and appropriate use of time-outs in my household.”

Specific: Use time-outs as a strategy to control oppositional defiant disorder behaviors in the household.

Measurable: Assess the reduction in the frequency of ODD-related outbursts by 50% over 5 months.

Attainable: Implementing effective time-outs is absolutely feasible with moderate effort.

Relevant: The statement is suitable for managing ODD as it focuses on a practical intervention strategy.

Time-based: You have 6 months to accomplish excellence.

11. Practice Self-Care as a Caregiver

“I’ll be patient and prioritize self-care over four months. I’ll allocate 10 minutes each morning to refocus and center myself, ensuring I maintain a healthy balance while caring for someone with ODD.”

Specific: This emphasizes the need for patience and self-care in managing ODD behaviors.

Measurable: Dedicating 10 minutes every morning to promote self-care is a quantifiable commitment.

Attainable: Prioritizing self-care as a caregiver is doable within the four-month deadline.

Relevant: The goal relates to your caregiver role for those with ODD and addresses the importance of maintaining personal well-being.

Time-based: Goal achievement is expected by the end of four months.

12. Create a Structured Daily Routine

“I will craft a well-defined daily routine in a month. This entails setting explicit guidelines for daily activities, implementing disciplinary measures, and reinforcing positive actions. The overarching aim is to foster a supportive and predictable environment.”

Specific: You want to establish a structured daily routine for managing ODD behaviors.

Measurable: Evaluate the effectiveness of the routine and the perceived sense of security and respect within ODD individuals.

Attainable: Creating a structured daily routine is possible, given clear guidelines and consistent measures.

Relevant: The goal pertains to managing ODD, focusing on developing a supportive environment.

Time-based: One year is the required timeline to meet the SMART goal.

13. Seek Professional Help

“I’ll diligently pursue professional assistance to address my condition within four months. I will allocate 5 minutes daily to reinforce my commitment, ensuring I stay attentive.”

Specific: The goal is well-defined. The individual recognizes the need for professional help to manage ODD.

Measurable: You will set aside 10 minutes each morning for self-reflection and commitment to seeking professional support.

Attainable: This is reasonable with appropriate access to resources and time commitment.

Relevant: It aligns with your desire to address the mentioned medical condition.

Time-based: Goal attainment is targeted after four months.

Final Thoughts

Establishing SMART goals for individuals with ODD can be an excellent tool for personal development. By focusing on the 5 listed criteria, individuals can take control of their condition and work towards positive change.

Whether it’s improving communication skills, managing anger effectively, or building healthy relationships, these examples demonstrate the power of goal setting in overcoming challenges associated with ODD.

By taking consistent action, it’s possible to unlock one’s true potential and create positive change. Embrace the power of setting SMART goals and begin your path to a brighter future today.

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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.