Setting SMART Goals
We want to set ourselves up for success by creating the right type of goal.
Good goals are SMART:
S for specific. A goal should be linked to one activity, thought, or idea.
M for measurable. A goal should be something you can track and measure progress toward.
A for actionable. There should be clear tasks or actions you can take to make progress toward a goal.
R for realistic. A goal should be possible to achieve.
T for timely. A goal should fall within a specific time period.
Activity: Write your own SMART goal
Write a SMART goal for yourself for this semester or the next month. Here are some things to consider when writing your SMART goal. Make sure your goal is SMART:
Specific: Is the goal linked to one activity or one thought?
Measurable: Can I plot my progress on a graph? Can I say how much I’ve improved from the previous day or week?
Actionable: What task or action will I be doing? Can I draw a picture of someone doing that action?
Realistic: Are there examples of people who have achieved this level of success in this amount of time? What are some obstacles I might face along the way? Would any of those obstacles stop me in my tracks?
Timely: Did I include a set time period in which I want to achieve my goal? Days? Weeks? Months?
Activity: How can we supercharge our goals?
Take a moment to reflect.
Think about the goal you wrote in the previous activity. Write your goal down one more time.
Why do you want to achieve this goal?
I want to achieve my goal because __.
Increasing our chances.
We all encounter frustrations while trying to achieve our goals, but we can do a few things to increase our chances of success.
Take the SMART goal you wrote and follow the steps below:
Step 1: Visualize victory. Picturing what it will look like when you are successful often gives you more motivation to work toward your goal.
Draw a picture of success or write something you will say when you reach your goal.
If I achieve my goal, I will feel __.
Step 2: Name the obstacles. If you can name the obstacles, you can prepare for them. Even if there are unexpected obstacles that appear, you can start to develop a mindset that makes you feel strong in the face of these obstacles.
Examples include distractions such as video games, your cell phone, and social media.
Don’t forget to call out your fixed mindset voice when you make a mistake or get frustrated.
I want to achieve my goal, but I know I will have to be strong when __.
I want to achieve my goal, but I know __ will get in the way.
Step 3: Make a plan to conquer the obstacles. Draw out a chart with titles: “People I can talk to” and “Actions I can do to stay on track”. It also might be helpful to let the people on your list know that you may be turning to them for help reaching your goal, so they can support you and keep you accountable.
Examples include limiting—or eliminating!—time spent on the distractions you identified.
Include things you will say to yourself when:
- your fixed mindset voice appears,
- you make a mistake, or
- you get frustrated.
To conquer the obstacle, I will __.
Step 4: Name your goal. By naming your goal, you can easily remind yourself to work toward that goal. Some examples of goal names are “3 by 30”, “best goal ever”, or “supercharge goal”.