There’s no denying that perfectionism can be a double-edged sword. While it drives you to achieve excellence, it can also lead to unrealistic expectations and hinder your progress.
That’s where SMART goals come into play. In our guide on 13 SMART goals examples for perfectionists, we’ll show you how to harness your perfectionist tendencies and channel them into achievable objectives.
You’ll be able to make the most of your high standards while maintaining a healthy balance. So let’s embark on this journey and explore various examples designed to unlock your full potential as a perfectionist.
What is a SMART Goal?
Setting SMART goals is a vital part of any perfectionist. These goals provide a clear, well-defined path to success that you can follow.
For those unaware, SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based. Each word represents an essential aspect of goal setting:
To improve as a perfectionist, you must be clear about your goals. It’s not enough to say, “I want to be more organized.” You need a plan that gets into the nitty-gritty details.
For example, a more specific goal would be, “Declutter my workspace for 15 minutes each day for three weeks.” Doing so will provide you with clear guidance on what needs to be accomplished.
Make sure you specify a unit of measurement (e.g., time, amount, etc.) to make it easier to assess your progress toward goal completion. Using the previous example, 15 minutes of decluttering is the time measurement for the plan.
Your goals must be realistic and within your ability to change as a perfectionist. Many people give up too quickly because they strive for results that exceed their current capabilities. Realize that improving your perfectionist tendencies needs to be achievable yet challenging.
When developing goals, ensure they’re pertinent to your overall values and desires. To illustrate, learning a new language might be irrelevant if you want to improve your time management skills.
Relevant goals should encompass everything important to you, from your professional career to your mental well-being.
Having a deadline creates a sense of urgency and requires detailed goal planning. For instance, the difference between “improve communication skills” and “improve communication skills in 5 months” pushes you to take daily action to complete your goal.
13 SMART Goals Examples for Perfectionists
Let’s take a look at some examples of SMART goals for perfectionists:
1. Organize Your Workspace
“I want to create a clutter-free workspace by the end of this month. I will take 15 minutes each day to organize my desk, archive or dispose of items I don’t need, and tidy up the space. Doing so will help my productivity and promote a more calming atmosphere.”
Specific: The goal is clear. The individual wants to create a clutter-free workspace within this month.
Measurable: Make sure you free up at least 15 minutes daily for organizing.
Attainable: In a month, organizing your workspace is definitely possible.
Relevant: This relates to the person’s desire for productivity and a calming atmosphere.
Time-based: Goal attainment will be met by the end of the month.
2. Schedule Regular Breaks
“To overcome my perfectionist tendencies, I want to take a 10-minute break from work every hour within three months. This break will be used to stretch, meditate, or simply breathe fresh air.”
Specific: This statement is about taking regular breaks from work to prevent perfectionism.
Measurable: Make sure you take a 10-minute break every hour for three months.
Attainable: Scheduling regular breaks can help manage perfectionist tendencies.
Relevant: This SMART goal pertains to improving mental health and breaking the cycle of perfectionism.
Time-based: There is a deadline of three months for this particular goal.
3. Create a To-Do List
“By the end of two weeks, I will create a weekly to-do list that considers all my necessary tasks and responsibilities. I’ll then review the list daily to ensure everything is done promptly and accurately.”
Specific: The goal is explicit because the person creates a to-do list of tasks and responsibilities.
Measurable: Review the list daily to ensure everything is accomplished in a timely and accurate manner.
Attainable: This is feasible if you set aside time to create an organized and comprehensive list of tasks.
Relevant: Creating and reviewing a to-do list is vital for perfectionists who want to maximize productivity.
Time-based: There is a two-week window to accomplish lasting success.
4. Make Use of Technology
“I aim to increase my digital literacy and incorporate more technology into my work by attending workshops and training sessions as needed. By the end of four months, I want to be able to utilize digital tools and services to improve my workflow.”
Specific: The aim is to learn how to utilize digital tools and services to improve the workflow.
Measurable: You can count the number of workshops attended and the level of proficiency attained in using digital tools.
Attainable: Using technology is a realistic goal that can be done with the right resources and teaching.
Relevant: Improving digital literacy and finding efficient workflow is essential for perfectionists.
Time-based: Goal achievement should occur after four whole months.
5. Learn to Delegate
“I want to break the habit of micro-managing by delegating tasks that I’m not qualified or have no interest in completing. I’ll create a delegation plan and hold myself accountable for delegating at least one task weekly for three months.”
Specific: The SMART goal is explicit because it outlines the task of delegating and how often the person should do it.
Measurable: You can quantify how many tasks you’ve delegated each week.
Attainable: Learning to delegate can be challenging but is certainly doable.
Relevant: The goal is pertinent to learning how to break the habit of micro-managing.
Time-based: Three months are required to achieve this certain statement.
6. Limit Social Media Time
“I will reduce my daily time on social media to less than an hour in the next two months. I want to focus more on meaningful tasks, and limiting my social media time will help me do that.”
Specific: This states the desired outcome of reducing daily social media time to less than an hour in two months.
Measurable: You could track how much time you spend on social media every day.
Attainable: Limiting social media time to less than an hour daily is feasible if you are disciplined and persistent.
Relevant: This SMART goal is relevant to perfectionists who want to spend more time on meaningful tasks and less on social media.
Time-based: The statement should be achieved by the end of two months.
7. Take the Initiative
“I will take the initiative to complete two new projects in the following 5 months. I’ll focus my efforts on researching and understanding the details of each project and then commit to delivering quality work on time.”
Specific: The goal is clear on what will be done and when it needs to be completed.
Measurable: You could measure the number of projects completed and the quality of work delivered within the specified time frame.
Attainable: This is a feasible goal because two new projects can be completed in 5 months.
Relevant: This is important to developing new skills and demonstrating initiative as a perfectionist.
Time-based: There is a 5-month deadline for completing this goal.
8. Set Time Limits on Projects
“I’ll set a reasonable time limit of three weeks for completing projects. This way, I can effectively manage my energy and remain focused on the tasks at hand instead of stressing over unfinished tasks.”
Specific: The individual aims to set a reasonable time limit for project completion.
Measurable: They will set a three-week timeline for several projects.
Attainable: This is reachable because it gives you enough time to complete tasks while maintaining focus and energy.
Relevant: The goal is appropriate because it helps you better manage energy and prioritize tasks.
Time-based: The goal is time-bound since it has an end date of three weeks.
9. Embrace Constructive Criticism
“I will be open to constructive criticism and feedback from colleagues, friends, and family. Within three months, I’ll make it a point to take the time and listen and strive to develop better solutions based on what I hear.”
Specific: You have a plan in place—listen and develop better solutions based on feedback.
Measurable: Track the number of times you receive, listen, and act upon constructive criticism.
Attainable: Assuming you are open to constructive feedback, this is an achievable goal.
Relevant: This pertains to your primary objective of embracing constructive criticism.
Time-based: Expect this goal to be met within the three months ahead.
10. Find a Support System
“I will try to build a network of supportive people who understand and can relate to my perfectionist tendencies. Within 7 months, I want to find and nurture these relationships to provide a safe place to talk through my struggles.”
Specific: The goal states that you need to build a network of supportive people and nurture these relationships.
Measurable: You could measure the number of supportive people in your network.
Attainable: Finding a support system is absolutely possible and can be done by reaching out to friends, family members, or professionals.
Relevant: A support system can improve mental health and well-being.
Time-based: Goal completion is anticipated over the following 7 months.
11. Celebrate Your Accomplishments
“To gain more confidence and self-esteem, I’ll celebrate my successes by reflecting on and appreciating the hard work I’ve put into each accomplishment. I will also practice positive affirmations and self-care habits to help nurture my overall well-being.”
Specific: The goal is well-defined, outlining precisely the changes the individual hopes to make.
Measurable: Gauge your progress by reflecting on accomplishments and celebrating small successes.
Attainable: This goal can be achieved by using positive affirmations and taking time for self-care.
Relevant: Perfectionists often have difficulty recognizing their successes and feeling confident.
Time-based: You should consider this an ongoing goal that you pursue regularly.
12. Be Kind to Yourself
“I aim to practice self-compassion and kindness by engaging in positive self-talk at least once daily. I want to be kind and forgiving to myself instead of being overly critical.”
Specific: The goal states the objective, what will be done to achieve it, and the timeline.
Measurable: You can track how often you practice positive self-talk each day.
Attainable: This is achievable because it’s a realistic goal and requires only a few minutes each day.
Relevant: Being kind to oneself is crucial for perfectionists as it can help to promote self-care and balance.
Time-based: The goal is reoccurring; practice positive self-talk at least once daily.
13. Change Your Perspective
“Within four weeks, I’ll challenge myself to take a more positive light on situations and think of solutions instead of problems. I will also try to be more open to other perspectives and opinions to expand my understanding of the world.”
Specific: This is explicit because the person has identified a time frame and action steps to improve their perspective.
Measurable: It can be evaluated by journaling and tracking progress through weekly reflections.
Attainable: This SMART goal is achievable in four weeks if the person puts effort into changing their perspective.
Relevant: Changing one’s perspective can have wide-reaching effects on personal and professional life, making this a valuable goal for perfectionists.
Time-based: Four whole weeks are needed to achieve long-term success.
By following the listed 13 SMART goals for perfectionists, you can transform your relentless pursuit of perfection into a powerful tool for personal and professional development.
Recognize that the key to success lies in using the SMART goal-setting framework. You will satisfy your inner perfectionist and maintain a healthy balance in your life.
So apply these SMART goals to your unique aspirations and watch yourself progress toward excellence with newfound confidence and determination.
Embrace the journey, celebrate your achievements, and continue learning from each experience as you strive to become the best version of yourself.
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