Last Updated on December 14, 2023 by Erin
Cultivate a fulfilling midlife journey in the new year by setting SMART midlife goals. This insightful guide should give you a few ideas!
I don’t know about you, but I get so excited when a new year rolls around. It feels like a fresh start and a chance to reflect on how things are going. Are you moving in the direction you want? Are there new and exciting things you want to accomplish?
There have been many well-intentioned diet and exercise goals I’ve set for each new year…and each one failed miserably. They were never realistic and never planned out very well. This left me feeling like a total failure.
This year I’m challenging myself, and you as well, to look beyond diet goals for the new year and search for new ways to grow as a person. Last year was my first year creating a vision board and because I actually sat down and thought about what I really wanted in my
“dream life,” most of the things actually happened! I made a career transition, I spent more time with my family, I focused on my mental well-being, I traveled, and I continued to build passive income via real estate and blogging.
I encourage you to look through the list I’ve created in this post and see what resonates with you. Which goals would help you become one step closer to your dream life? Midlife is the perfect time to focus on YOU and your priorities.
No need to use these goals word for word. Just make sure that you are creating SMART goals. What does that mean? SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. When you write out your goals in this thoughtful and detailed way, you are much more likely to see it through.
In this list, each goal will written out in a paraphrased way and then with an example of a SMART goal. Make sure to pin and save this post so you can refer to it down the road and year after year!
**This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click and buy, I may receive a small commission (at zero cost to you). Please see my full disclosure policy for details.**
Health and Wellness Goals
Goal: Commit to regular exercise routines that suit individual preferences and health needs.
SMART Goal: In order to improve my overall fitness and energy levels, I will engage in 30 minutes of moderate exercise (cardio and/or strength training), five days a week, with success in at least 9 of 12 months by the end of the year.
Goal: Adopt a balanced diet and focus on healthier eating habits.
SMART Goal: I will gradually transition to a balanced diet focused on whole foods, aiming to incorporate at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily by the end of July.
Goal: Prioritize mental health through practices like mindfulness, meditation, or therapy
SMART Goal: For the next three months, I will dedicate 20 minutes each day to mindfulness or meditation practices. I’ll start with guided meditation sessions three times a week, gradually transitioning to daily sessions as I build consistency.
SMART Goal: I will schedule an initial consultation with a licensed therapist within the first month of the year to discuss my mental health concerns and establish a plan for ongoing therapy sessions to improve my overall well-being.
Goal: Schedule regular health check-ups and screenings
SMART Goal: By the end of this year, I will proactively schedule and attend all recommended health check-ups and screenings, including an annual physical examination, dental check-up, eye exam, and any specific screenings advised by my healthcare provider.
You may need a few tools to be successful in tracking your goals throughout the year. These might include:
- A fitness tracker app, such as My Fitness Pal
- A meditation app, such as Headspace
- A calendar and health planner
Career and Professional Development Goals
Goal: Advance my career or consider a career change if necessary
SMART Goal: Within the next six months, I will conduct a self-assessment to define specific career advancement objectives aligned with my interests and skills. I will explore at least three potential career paths. By the end of the period, I will have identified a clear direction for my career growth or change and drafted a detailed plan with actionable steps to pursue this path.
Goal: Pursue further education, certifications, or skills training to enhance professional growth
SMART Goal: Over the next year, I will enroll in two professional development courses relevant to my field, dedicating at least four hours per week to study and complete assignments. I will research and select courses aligned with my career goals and by the end of the period, earn certifications or acquire new skills that will significantly contribute to enhancing my professional expertise.
Goal: Explore entrepreneurship or start a side business based on personal interests
SMART Goal: Within the next six months, I will conduct market research and feasibility studies to assess the viability of three potential business ideas aligned with my passions and skills. I will dedicate four hours per week to develop business plans and gather resources. By the end of this period, I aim to launch a viable side business.
If this is an area you are considering, I highly recommend you check out the following blog posts, written by yours truly! I myself went through a career transition this past year and have continued to build up several side hustles to support my financial goals.
- Questions to Ask When Considering a Midlife Career Change
- Midlife Career Change Advice for Success
- Realistic Passive Income Ideas for Midlife Women
- Ways to Make Money from Home in Midlife
Goal: Create a solid financial plan, including saving for retirement and building an emergency fund
SMART Goal: Over the next 12 months, I will establish a comprehensive financial plan that includes allocating 15% of my monthly income towards retirement savings and setting aside 10% into an emergency fund. I will research and select suitable investment options for retirement and commit to monthly contributions to both accounts.
Goal: Seek advice from a financial advisor to ensure financial stability and growth
SMART Goal: Within the next three months, I will schedule a consultation with a certified financial advisor to review my current financial status, investment portfolio, and long-term goals. I will prepare a list of questions regarding investments, savings, and financial planning to maximize the sessions’ effectiveness.
Goal: Pay off debts and manage finances more effectively
SMART Goal: Over the next 12 months, I will develop and follow a debt repayment plan, focusing on paying off high-interest debts first while maintaining minimum payments on others. I will allocate an extra $500 per month towards debt repayment by reducing discretionary spending and increasing income through side jobs.
In order to be successful in your financial goals, I highly recommend the following tools:
- Use an online wealth management tool, such as Empower (they also offer financial advisor services)
- A budget binder if you plan on using a cash envelope system Dave Ramsey style
- Mini savings challenges to get on track
- Use printable tools to help cut back on discretionary spending
Personal Growth and Self-Care Goals
Goal: Find hobbies or activities that bring joy and fulfillment
SMART Goal: For the next six months, I will dedicate at least two hours per week to pursue hobbies or activities that bring me joy, such as painting, gardening, and playing a musical instrument.
Goal: Set aside time for self-care
SMART Goal: Every month, I will schedule one self-care day devoted to activities like reading, enjoying a spa session, or engaging in creative endeavors. I will plan these days in advance, setting aside specific hours and avoiding any work-related commitments during this time.
Goal: Practice self-compassion and self-acceptance
SMART Goal: Over the next three months, I will incorporate daily self-compassion practices by starting and ending each day with positive affirmations. I will also maintain a gratitude journal, noting three things I appreciate about myself daily.
If this is an area that speaks to you, feel free to check out my other posts on the topic of self-care and self-love:
- Self-Care for Midlife Women (and a Mega List of Ideas)
- Midlife Mom Guide to Rediscovering Yourself
- 30-Day Gratitude Challenge for Midlife Women
- Exploring Midlife Crisis Hobbies to Rekindle Joy
Relationship and Connection Goals
Goal: Strengthen existing relationships and nurture friendships
SMART Goal: Over the next four months, I will prioritize regular communication and quality time with my three closest friends by scheduling bi-weekly catch-ups or virtual calls.
Goal: Explore new social groups that align with personal interests
SMART Goal: Within the next six months, I will research and attend three events or gatherings related to my hobbies or interests, aiming to meet new like-minded individual. By the end of this time period, I will commit to joining a group and attending future gatherings.
Goal: Prioritize quality time with your spouse
SMART Goal: Every weekend for the next 12 months, I will go on an uninterrupted date with my spouse for at least three hours.
Here are some fun ideas if quality time with your spouse is a goal of yours:
Community Involvement Goals
Goal: Volunteer or get involved in community service
SMART Goal: Over the next six months, I will dedicate four hours per week to volunteer at a local community organization or charity. I will explore opportunities aligned with my skills and interests, committing to a consistent schedule. By the end of this period, I aim to have completed at least 100 hours of community service, contributing meaningfully to causes that resonate with me.
Goal: Support causes that are meaningful to me
SMART Goal: Over the next 12 months, I will commit to monthly donations for local a animal rescue group. I will track donations and actively engage in spreading awareness through social media or community events.
Goal: Mentor younger generations
SMART Goal: For the next year, I will volunteer as a mentor for local high school students, dedicating one hour per week to providing guidance and sharing insights in a structured program.
If you aren’t sure about volunteer opportunities near you, check out Create the Good on AARP’s website. They can connect you with local and remote opportunities.
Goal: Plan trips to new destinations and familiar favorites
SMART Goal: Over the next nine months, I will plan and execute four trips: two to completely new destinations and two to revisit my favorite places.
Goal: Give solo travel experiences a try
SMART Goal: Within the next six months, I will embark on two solo trips, spending a minimum of three days in each location to immerse myself in diverse cultures and environments.
Goal: Explore different cultures and broaden my perspectives
SMART Goal: Over the course of this year, I will visit at least three destinations known for their unique cultural heritage and diverse traditions. I will engage with others, participate in cultural activities, and try authentic cuisine to immerse myself in each culture.
To prepare yourself, give these resources a look:
- Visit the Nomadic Matt blog for travel tips, including solo travel
- Try out the Duolingo app to learn some essential phrases in other languages
- Visit Reddit Travel Communities or Facebook Groups for insider tips and travel stories
As we approach the new year, embracing midlife becomes an opportunity for redefining aspirations and setting impactful goals. Focusing on holistic well-being, career advancement, and meaningful connections, us midlife women can chart a transformative path.
I have personally experienced the power of creating goals and having a clear vision. Manifesting your dream life is just a few SMART goals away!
Do any of these goals speak to you? Any others you have that aren’t on the list? Let us know in the comments below!