87 Action Verbs for SMART Goals

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Growing up, one of the things that greatly upset mom was when she instructed my siblings or me to do something, and later, it wasn’t completed.  When she confronted us about it, we’d say, “Mom, I’m fixing to do it. 

She only wanted to hear that we were doing what she told us to do or to see that it was completed.  As I got older, I hated how we let her down when we weren’t focused on accomplishing tasks and how we gave her a hard time at times.

As an adult, I realize that I let myself and others down when I don’t put action behind my plans, dreams, goals, etc.  But instead, say “I’m fixing to” and have no real strategy to complete things.

When we speak of “action verbs and SMART goals,” we describe the course of action we will take to complete those goals.  A goal is just a wish without a plan of action.

In this article, we will discuss the benefits of SMART goals, smart goals verbs, the importance of writing and mapping out a SMART goal, and give you 87 Action Verbs for SMART goals.  These words can be used in a statement and will help keep you going in your pursuit to achieve great things.

(Side note: One of the best ways to get what you want from life is to create and set SMART goals. To get started, check out this FREE printable worksheet and a step-by-step process that will help you set effective SMART goals.)

What You Will Learn

The Benefits of Setting SMART Goals

When setting SMART goals, it helps you reach milestones in a specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound way.  Moreover, these goals are clear and fixed goals.   

Many desire to accomplish great things but don’t have a strategy.  As the saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”  Others set goals, but they are impossible goals that may not be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant or time-bound. 

It’s like a person who needs to lose 100 pounds and says they will lose it in 2 months.  The goal may be specific and even measurable.  But it’s not very attainable because it’s a nearly impossible goal to reach in such a short time.  Therefore, it fails to be time-bound as well.  Causing this line of planning to fall short of a SMART goal but be more of a stretch goal.  And it is not very beneficial.  

However, if we said we are setting a goal for our health and will work to lose 100 pounds in 2 years, or a pound a week.  That goal would be specific, measurable, and attainable.  Then we plan to accomplish it by immediately beginning to incorporate fruits and vegetables into every meal and eliminating soft drinks. 

With everything in place, the goal would be relevant and time-bound. It may also be helpful to break down that two-year goal into 3-, 6-, or 12-month objectives.

Why is it Important to Use Action Verbs When Writing and Mapping Out SMART Goals? 

Smart goals verbs are the fuel in the tank of the vehicle we are taking to follow and reach the destination of our mapped-out goals.

We aren’t simply saying we want or desire to do a thing.  But that we are “going to” build, create, fix, etc.  Smart goals verbs give legs to our goals. 

When writing out your goals, smart goal verbs also determine the process of how you are going to get the desired results you seek.  If you are making plans for small goals, making such detailed plans may not be necessary.  However, when making SMART financial, spiritual, or career goals, for example, that are larger and take more time to achieve, smart goals help you create a roadmap to your desired success.

87 Action Verbs for SMART Goals

  1. Act 
  2. Admit
  3. Advance
  4. Advise
  5. Arrange
  6. Brainstorm 
  7. Break
  8. Budget
  9. Build
  10. Catch
  11. Check
  12. Choose
  13. Climb
  14. Cook
  15. Dance
  16. Determine
  17. Devote
  18. Discuss
  19. Dive
  20. Drive
  21. Eat
  22. Eliminate
  23. Enforce
  24. Execute
  25. Exercise
  26. Fix
  27. Focus
  28. Form
  29. Gave
  30. Guarantee 
  31. Guide
  32. Handle
  33. Help
  34. Improve
  35. Incorporate
  36. Instill
  37. Invent
  38. Invest
  39. Join
  40. Jump
  41. Launch
  42. Lead
  43. Listen
  44. Lobby
  45. Locate
  46. Meditate
  47. Modify
  48. Move
  49. Negotiate
  50. Network
  51. Orchestrated
  52. Planned
  53. Qualify
  54. Question
  55. Receive
  56. Reject
  57. Resolve
  58. Respond
  59. Restore
  60. Reward
  61. Set goals
  62. Show 
  63. Stabilize 
  64. Stage
  65. Steer
  66. Supervise
  67. Tailor
  68. Take
  69. Target
  70. Train
  71. Transform
  72. Travel
  73. Uncover
  74. Unite
  75. Update
  76. Utilize
  77. Validate
  78. Value
  79. Visit
  80. Visualize
  81. Weigh
  82. Welcome
  83. Work
  84. Write
  85. X- Out
  86. Yank
  87. Zip
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Final thoughts on 87 Action Verbs for SMART Goals

When making SMART goals, these 87 words listed are all words that can be incorporated as smart goal verbs when looking to move forward to achieve your career, finance, health, leisure, personal growth, relationship, and spiritual goals. 

These words give your SMART Goals momentum, drive, purpose and urgency. You will find conviction in your goals, which will help you succeed. For more on SMART goals and the process of creating smart goals, see our article on 13 Steps to Write & Set SMART Goals.

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.

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