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Achieve Your Goals the S.M.A.R.T. Way

Explore the five steps to creating a S.M.A.R.T. Goal

We all have goals we want to accomplish. Maybe you want to eat healthier, save money, or take a vacation. You may start strong, and then life happens, and your goals take a back seat to your daily responsibilities. Formulating your goals as a S.M.A.R.T. goal can help you shift your mindset to be more successful. Let’s explore the five steps to creating a S.M.A.R.T. goal.

The first step is to make your goal specific. You can accomplish this by answering the following questions:

  • What do you want to accomplish?
  • Why is this goal important?
  • Who is involved?

Next, think about how to make your goal measurable, so you can track your progress. Ask yourself:

  • How much?
  • How many?
  • How will I know when it is accomplished?

The third step is to ensure your goal is achievable, and you have access to the resources you need to be successful. Think about:

  • How can you accomplish your goal?
  • How realistic is your goal given your current situation?

Subsequently, your goal should be relevant. It should be important to you and align with other goals in your life. Consider if you can answer “yes” to questions such as:

  • Is your goal worthwhile?
  • Is this the right time to pursue this goal?
  • Does this goal match your needs?

Finally, it’s beneficial to make your goal time-based with a definitive timeframe in which you want to accomplish it, so you can stay on track. Consider:

  • When do you want to accomplish your goal by?
  • What can you do today?
  • What can you accomplish in one month?
  • What can you accomplish in six months?

Here is an example of a S.M.A.R.T. Goal that incorporates these elements:

I will obtain a job as a college English instructor within twelve months after graduating with my Bachelor of Arts by applying for 4-5 open positions each week and going on interviews.

Specific: Your clearly define your goal of becoming a college English instructor.
Measurable: You can measure your success by the number of applications, interviews, and potential job offers.
Achievable: You have the required education for the job you want.
Relevant: You plan to get a job in the education industry after getting an education degree.
Time-based: You have set a deadline to achieve your objective within twelve months of graduating.

Remember to celebrate your successes along the path to achieving your S.M.A.R.T. Goals to stay motivated. As Christopher Lloyd as Dr. Emmett Brown said in Back to the Future, “If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.”

Written by: Eric Freilich, Career Consultant, Disability Services

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