Setting Smart Goals
Using the 7 Basic Goal Setting Categories

Setting smart goals is easy when you follow the steps to set them in the following 7 basic categories. Smart goals are those that are set to identify any one of our seven basic human needs. The way to achieve balance is to set goals in all 7 categories.  So what are those 7 categories, you ask? 

The 7 basic goal setting categories

setting smart goals
  1. Mental: These are goals you set to expand your mind or expand your knowledge. One of our very basic human needs is to grow our intellect. It keeps us young and vital and it keeps us motivated. A goal to participate in continuing education classes or to study a foreign language could be examples of mental goals.
  2. Physical: These are goals you set pertaining to your physical well being. Being physically fit and healthy is a very basic human need. The goal to exercise 3 times a week or to loose 10 pounds could be used as examples for physical goals you set for yourself.
  3. Family: These are goals you set to increase the value of your family life. Setting the goal to dedicate one night a week to date night with your spouse or setting aside time to have a family game night once a week would be considered family oriented goals.
  4. Social: These are the goals you set that involve your social life. A healthy social life is important and should not be overlooked. Setting the goal to have a dinner party once a month where you invite friends or going to the movies once a month with a friend are examples of social goals.
  5. Spiritual: These are goals you set to expand your spirituality. Setting a goal to attend church once a week or to pray once a day are examples of spiritual goals.
  6. Career: These are the goals we set to advance our careers. Setting a goal to start your own business or to get a promotion are examples of career goals.
  7. Financial: These are the goals that pertain to our finances. Examples of smart financial goals would include saving for retirement or earning a certain amount of money in a given time period.

Smart goal setting guidelines

You can set a goal in any one of the categories above or you may set goals in multiple categories above. The overall goal, however should be to have balance in your life. In order to achieve this, one needs to set and meet goals in all of the above categories.

Each one of the categories above represents a basic human need and if we do not have balance among those basic needs we can never be truly successful.

Setting smart goals is easy as long as you remember that the overall goal is to achieve balance in your life.

Caveat Sometimes we must be out of balance to achieve balance in the long run. For example: Sometimes we must work extra hours now to open our own business, so that we will eventually have the freedom to set the goals to spend more time with our family. As long as the overall goal is to create balance it is ok to be out of balance on occasion. The trick is not to stay out of balance for too long.

You can also see from the example above that sometimes one goal category will overlap another. When this starts to happen more and more and all of your goals start to overlap then you will know that you are setting smart goals.

Related Pages

S.M.A.R.T. Goals

goal setting tips

quotes on goals

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