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Practicing daily self-care is extremely important in maintaining a good outlook on life and good mental health. Being happy and well-rounded starts with being able to take care of yourself.
However, there are challenges faced when practicing daily self-care, and this is where SMART goals play an important role. SMART goals allow you to set specific, measurable, and attainable goals that should be achieved reasonably.
This article looks at 11 self-care SMART goal examples to show you what we are talking about. Our aim is to provide you with the information you need to set your own SMART goals so you can practice self-care daily.
What are SMART Goals?
Before we can provide you with examples of SMART goals, you first need to know what they are. SMART is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timebound.
This is a method for setting effective, precise, and fast goal achievement goals. You can overcome various self-care obstacles related by setting SMART goals. First, let's look at what each letter of the SMART acronym stands for.
Each aspect is essential to maximize your chances of achieving any goal.
If you want to learn more about SMART goals, check out this Ultimate Guide to SMART Goals.
Why are SMART Goals Important for Practicing Daily Self-Care?
People face challenges in practicing daily self-care. One of the biggest challenges many face is recognizing we have issues that need to be dealt with. Then, dealing with them is the next step.
Many of us make simple excuses, such as I will start tomorrow. However, changing our lifestyles to ensure better physical and mental health is easier said than done. Most of us simply put it off because we think that we can just start tomorrow.
Another challenge many face is putting ourselves first. Putting family and friends first can sometimes be good, but not all of the time. You have to put yourself first when practicing daily self-care, and this is something that you may have trouble doing.
Moreover, finding time to take care of yourself can be a challenge. Many of us are busy with jobs and children, making it difficult to engage in good self-care routines and activities.
Even when we take the time to take care of ourselves, we often end up feeling guilty because we think we are being selfish, indulgent, or just unproductive and lazy.
However, the reality is that we must take care of ourselves, as our mental health depends on it. Therefore, consider setting SMART goals for yourself.
Setting precise, measurable, and achievable goals can help improve your daily self-care routine. In addition, setting specific goals you can measure will allow you to take better care of yourself.
11 SMART Goal Examples to Practice Daily Self-Care
1. Engage in a Self-Care Activity Daily
“I will set aside at least 45 minutes per day, 5 out of 7 days, to engage in a self-care activity to reduce stress levels and get some me-time, which involves taking a long and hot bubble bath.”
S: This goal is very precise—to reduce stress levels and get some me-time by setting aside a certain amount of time per day to take a bubble bath.
M: This goal is easy to measure simply by monitoring your time taking a bubble bath each day.
A: This goal is pretty easy to attain because if you schedule your day well enough, you should be able to get at least 45 minutes to yourself.
R: This goal is relevant because taking time for yourself to destress and decompress is a daily self-care habit.
T: Although it is an ongoing goal, it is timebound because the aim is to take a bubble bath for 45 minutes every day, at least five days per week.
2. Walk Outside Every Day
“My goal is to spend at least 30 minutes per day walking outside while not having any communication devices on hand. The goal is to give me 210 minutes per week where I do not have to communicate with anybody and can spend time reflecting on my own life and progress in terms of my mental health.”
S: This goal is specific—take at least 210 minutes a week to reflect on yourself and your progress in terms of your mental health.
M: This goal is measurable because you can easily monitor how much time you spend every day or week walking without any communication devices. This goal is also subjectively measurable because you can judge how much progress you are making for yourself when you reflect inwards.
A: This goal is pretty easy to attain because you should be able to set aside at least 30 minutes per day to spend it without having to communicate with others.
R: This goal is very relevant because taking time to decompress is vital to your overall mental health and is a big part of daily self-care.
T: This goal is timebound because the aim is to continue taking at least 30 minutes per day for yourself every day.
3. Take a Break from the Kids
“At least once a week, I will get friends or family members to care for the children for an afternoon to allow myself free time to do what I please without being constrained by children to care for. My goal is to use this time to decompress, relax, and reflect on my own life and goals.”
S: This goal is specific—to get somebody to take care of your children one afternoon per week to provide time for you to reflect and relax.
M: This goal is measurable by monitoring how much time you spend reflecting and relaxing without your children present.
A: This goal is attainable because there are usually friends or family to take care of kids, daycare centers, etc.
R: This goal is relevant because you need time to take care of yourself.
T: This goal is timebound on an ongoing basis because it repeats every week.
4. Limit Alcohol Intake
“My goal is to reduce the amount of alcohol I drink weekly from 12 beers to 3 beers, and I will only consume alcohol once per week instead of 3 times per week, which will help manage my depression and physical health. I aim to achieve this goal within the next month.”
S: This goal is very precise—to reduce your alcohol intake by a certain amount within a certain period to manage physical health and depression.
M: This goal is measurable by monitoring how many alcoholic drinks you have per day or week.
A: This goal is attainable because many means can help you reduce your alcohol intake.
R: This goal is relevant because reducing alcohol intake is directly related to self-care, particularly physical and mental health.
T: This goal is timebound because the aim is to reduce alcohol consumption by a certain amount within the next month.
5. Eat More Healthy Foods
“My goal is to reduce the amount of meat eaten weekly, from 7 to 4 servings, and eat more vegetables and healthy foods. In addition, I plan to eat at least 3 servings of vegetables and fruits daily to maintain physical health. The overall goal is to lose 2 pounds per week and 24 pounds within the next 3 months.”
S: This goal has many specifics—to decrease meat intake, increase healthy food intake, and lose a certain amount of weight within a specific time frame.
M: This goal is easy to measure by monitoring your food intake and keeping track of your weight using a bathroom scale.
A: This goal is attainable by setting strict dietary rules and other healthy eating means.
R: This goal is relevant because a good, balanced diet is essential for daily self-care.
T: This goal is timebound, and the aim is to start immediately. The other timebound aspect of this goal is to lose 2 pounds per week for 12 consecutive weeks.
6. Sleep for 8 Hours Every Night for One Month
“For a one-month period of time, I will get 8 hours of sleep each night. I will accomplish this by darkening the room, putting aside my electronic devices prior to bedtime, and using soothing music to lull me to sleep early. The goal is to establish a healthy sleep pattern that will lend me the benefits of less stress, improved mood, and increased health.”
S: This goal is specific in that you've set a goal of 8 hours of sleep per night and have laid out plans to help you get to sleep if you can't dose off on your own.
M: This goal is measurable because you will quickly see how much time you've slept nightly. At the end of one month, you can assess how often you were able to meet your goal.
A: This goal is attainable because it's reasonable, and you can choose what bedtime works for you in relation to when you need to get up to get your day started.
R: This goal is relevant because a good night's sleep each night, over time, offers many physical and mental health benefits. It helps decrease stress, keep your blood pressure in a normal range, and regulate your mood.
T: This goal is time bound in two ways: you've set your goal for one month and set each night's sleep for 8 hours.
7. Drink 64 Ounces of Water Every Day for Two Weeks
“For the next two weeks, I will drink 64 ounces of water each day. This is equivalent to 4 16-ounce water bottles, which makes the goal easy to keep up with. I will do this to enjoy the benefits of a well-hydrated body, which will help me become healthier.”
S: This goal is specific because you've set a goal of drinking 64 ounces of water daily.
M: This goal is measurable because you can keep up with how much water you drink based on how much water in your water bottle you consume.
A: This goal is attainable because you've set the amount of water you plan to drink daily to a reasonable amount.
R: This goal is relevant because drinking water and staying hydrated can provide health benefits and prevent dehydration. It helps improve physical performance, maintain healthy joints and skin, and prevent headaches.
T: This goal is time bound because you've set it for a period of two weeks.
8. Take a 5-Minute Break from Every Hour of Screen Time for a Week
“For a week, I will allow myself a 5-minute break for every hour I spend in front of a screen, whether it is a computer, tablet, phone, or TV. I will accomplish this by setting an alarm at the end of each hour and setting a 5-minute timer for my break. This will prevent eye strain and help refresh my mind.”
S: This goal is specific because you've set the length of your goal at a week and then specified the time you'll take to accomplish this goal each hour. Plus, you've set forth how you will make sure you can meet your goal.
M: This goal is measurable because you can use a timing device to ensure you are reminded of your goal and can adhere to the time you've set for your break.
A: This goal is attainable because you've given yourself a short break that should be easily accomplished without interfering with your daily tasks.
R: This goal is relevant because of the benefits you'll receive, including preventing eye strain from looking at screens too long and helping you to get better rest when you sleep.
T: This goal is time bound because you've set it for a period of one week, and the time you'll spend taking breaks will be 5 minutes after each hour of screen time.
9. Meditate for 10 Minutes Every Day for a Month
“I will make a plan to meditate at least 10 minutes each day for the period of a month. To accomplish this, I will wake up 10 minutes early each day and meditate first thing each morning until my morning alarm goes off.”
S: This goal is specific because it lays out a monthly plan for each day where you'll take action to rise early and meditate.
M: This goal is measurable because you'll use an alarm to begin and end your meditation for a month.
A: This goal is attainable in that you've put in place a reasonable plan of how you'll accomplish the goal by meditating for precisely 10 minutes each day for a month.
R: This goal is relevant because of the benefits you'll receive, which include setting your mood for the day, calming your mind, and empowering yourself for any challenges that come your way.
T: This goal is time bound because you'll stay the course for one month to meditate daily for 10 minutes.
10. Exercise for 30 Minutes Three Times a Week for Two Months
“I will exercise three times a week for 30 minutes for the next two months. I will accomplish this goal by marking off the time on my calendar as if it is an important appointment because it is. By exercising regularly, I expect to reap the benefits of better physical and mental health.”
S: This goal is specific because you have planned to exercise a set number of times weekly, and you have a plan to make sure you meet your goal.
M: This goal is measurable because you will use your calendar to hold your “appointment” to exercise.
A: This goal is attainable because you can easily accomplish this goal by adhering to the time you've set aside to exercise.
R: This goal is relevant because of the benefits you'll realize from exercising, which include better sleep, a healthier body, and relief from stress.
T: This goal is time-bound because your set time frame is two months. You've also set your exercise time to a 30-minute limit.
11. Read 1 Book a Month for a Year
“I will read one book a month for the next year and accomplish this by dividing the number of chapters or pages by the number of days in the month.
I will carve out time to do this during my lunch hour. Reading will enable me to escape from the cares of the world for a bit, thereby improving my mental health. Depending on the book, it may also increase my knowledge on topics of interest.”
S: This goal is specific because you proposed reading one book for each month within the following year. You also have a plan to accomplish your reading goal and listed benefits you'll receive from reading.
M: This goal is measurable because you will determine how many pages or chapters you must read to accomplish your goal.
A: This goal is attainable because you have found a way to work the time spent reading into your schedule.
R: This goal is relevant because reading will help ease your stress, give your mind a break from day-to-day worries, and help you become more knowledgeable in subjects that interest you.
T: This goal is time bound because you have set your goal for a year of reading exactly one book a month. Within that year's time, you'll have read 12 books!
Final Thoughts on Self-Care Smart Goals Examples
As you can see, SMART goals can help provide the structure you need to take better care of yourself every day. If you have trouble practicing self-care, set SMART goals for yourself, as they make any goal easier to achieve.
And if you want more SMART goal ideas and examples, be sure to check out these blog posts:
- 5 SMART Goal Examples to Improve Your Positive Mental Health
- 6 SMART Goals Examples to Improve Your Relationship
- 8 SMART Goals Examples for Building More Confidence
Finally, if you want to take your goal-setting efforts to the next level, check out this FREE printable worksheet and a step-by-step process that will help you set effective SMART goals.