Setting SMART Goals

19 Feb

Setting both long- and short-term goals can be beneficial. It helps keep track of your progress and it can keep you motivated. SMART goals are a great way to attain your goals and keep yourself accountable. I used SMART goals to accomplish my goal of getting straight A’s one semester. Here is how:

Specific: When setting a goal, you must make sure that it is specific. When setting a goal, a common mistake is to set a goal that is too broad. The more specific a goal is, the more likely it will be for you to reach it. An example of a specific goal that I set for myself was to have a 3.75 GPA by the end of the semester. A broad goal would be to say “I want good grades this semester.”

Measurable: Another important part of goal setting is to be able to measure your progress. This will keep you motivated and it will hold you accountable. A good way to know when a goal is measurable is to ask yourself if you will know when you have reached your goal. If there is a way to determine when you have reached your goal, then your goal is measurable. An example would be: “I will have a 3.75 GPA by the end of this semester.”  The goal is measurable because by the end of the semester you can see whether you reached your goal or not.

Attainable: One common mistake that many of us make while setting goals is that we raise the bar a little too high. Don’t get me wrong, it is wonderful to challenge yourself but also realize what your limits are and the time that you have to accomplish your goal. There is nothing wrong with working up to something before you go on full blast. I set an attainable goal of a 3.75 GPA because I believe that with my current grades it can happen. Something unattainable would be to expect a 4.0 GPA.

Realistic: Having realistic goals are important in order to achieve them. If a goal is not realistic, then it is likely you will not attain that goal. An example of an unrealistic goal would be: “I am going to get 100% on all of my assignments” This goal is not only unrealistic, but unreasonable. A realistic goal can make all the difference between succeeding and failing.

Timely: The last part of a SMART goal is to give yourself enough time to achieve it. Make sure to understand what your goal entails so that you can come up with a good deadline. It’s important to give yourself enough time to reach a goal, but you also don’t want a goal without a time limit. If I were to decide that I wanted a 3.75 GPA in the middle of the semester, I would not have enough time to make it happen. Give yourself time and achieve your goal!!


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