There is a great ‘smart’ way of achieving your goals and making your dreams become real…
What are SMART goals?
- Relevant – What need does your goal meet?
- Time-bound – A goal needs a deadline to be effective.
S – specific
What do you want to accomplish? Think of it in terms of the five Ws:
Who? What? Where? When? Why?
You should know exactly what you want, not kind of, but almost exactly meaning you need to define the goals as clearly as you can. In this way, you will know what you need to do in order to get what you want for eg instead of saying, ‘I want to do well in Mathematics,’ make it specific ‘I want to get a minimum of 17/20 on my test next week’.
M – measurable
How will you know you’ve accomplished your goal? You have to have a way to measure progress. In the case of getting better grades, you’ll know if you’ve succeeded when the next grading period ends and you can see the results of your efforts.
For example the next report will show you if you have achieved it
A – Attainable
A SMART goal must be achievable and attainable. This will help you figure out ways you can realize that goal and work towards it. The achievability of the goal make you feel challenged, but defined well enough that you can actually achieve it. Ask yourself:
- Do I have the skills or tools to achieve the goal? If not, what am I missing?
- Is there anything that could stop you from reaching your goal?
- Have you set enough time to achieve this?
Break your goals into small one so you can know whenever you accomplish something. Think about your current situation, and set goals from there. For example, if your grades are currently all Cs, don’t set a goal to score all A’s the next semester. Aim for incremental progress, higher than a C, but don’t set yourself up to miss your goals by placing them too far out of reach
Don’t say, “I will make all straight A’s on my next report card.”
Instead, do say, “I will raise all my grades by one letter by the end of the next grading period’.
And then once you achieve that you aim for the next goal post.
R – relevant /realistic
A SMART goal must be realistic in that the goal can be realistically achieved given the available resources and time. Know why you want, what you want. What will achieving that goal bring you.
A SMART goal is likely realistic if you believe that it can be accomplished. Ask yourself:
- Is the goal realistic and within reach?
- Is the goal reachable given the time and resources?
- Are you able to commit to achieving the goal?
Know the answers to why you want, what you want and think of the steps you can take that are relevant and really push you forward
T for time round
Establish realistic timelines, and set goals for various time periods: next week, next month, next year. Deadlines are vital, otherwise you can put off reaching your goals indefinitely. Manage your time wisely, get organized, and always account for your strengths and weaknesses when setting goals.
If you don’t set deadlines to achieve your goals – you lose focus. Once you set a schedule or deadline you become committed that’s why many people become super productive or finish their tasks when they have a deadline.
The difference between SMART goals and general goals is that SMART goals clearly lay out a plan and way forward and they give you a complete picture of what you are aiming for:
Goal: Earn good grades.
|SMART Goal:||Vague Goal|
|Study during the week between 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. until the end of the first semester.
|Get good grade|
|Begin each school day by writing a list of what I need to do. Organize class assignments and notes in a special notebook. Do assignments according to due dates, completing each at least one day ahead of schedule.
|Get more organized in school.|
|Practice math problems every day and do 5 problems in a given||Get Good in Mathematics|
Making these goals gives you a clear picture and strategy of where you see yourself and what you need to do to get there.