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Goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely
Establishing goals creates a written plan for reasonable and measurable long-term and short-term objectives. Goals should support growth and achievement. By following the S.M.A.R.T. model for establishing goals, it allows you to track your progress. What gets measured gets done!
Specific - A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. Goals should be as specific and detailed as possible. To set a specific goal you must answer the six "W" questions:
Who: Who is involved?
What: What do I want to accomplish?
Where: Identify a location.
When: Establish a time frame.
Which: Identify requirements and constraints.
Why: Specific reasons or benefits of accomplishing the goal.
Measurable - Establish clear and concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to continued effort required to reach your goal.
To determine if your goal is measurable, ask questions such as......How much? How many? How will I know when it is accomplished?
When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop
abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. You begin seeing previously overlooked opportunities to bring yourself
closer to the
achievement of your goals. You can attain most any goal you set when you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame
that allows you to
carry out those steps.
Realistic - To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work. A goal can be both high and realistic; you are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be. Some of the hardest jobs you ever accomplished actually seem easy simply because they were a labor of love.
Your goal is probably realistic if you truly believe that it can be accomplished. Additional ways to know if your goal is realistic is to determine if you have accomplished anything similar in the past or ask yourself what conditions would have to exist to accomplish this goal.
Time Framed- A goal with a set completion date will give structure and allow you to monitor your progress. By adding a time frame to your goal, you have a better chance of making it specific and measurable and thus achievable.
Examples - Here are examples of goals to help demonstrate how S.M.A.R.T . goals are more detailed and address the “W” questions.
Goal = I want to get good grades.
S.M.A.R.T. Goal = In order to qualify for the Department scholarship next year, I want to improve my grades from the current 2.0 average to a GPA of 2.5 by the end of this semester (Fall 2010). To help me achieve this goal, I plan to visit the Learning Enhancement and Writing Centers for help when I have a big assignment. I also plan to reduce the number of hours I work during mid-terms and finals to five or less so I have more time to study. In addition, I will meet with each of my instructors near the middle of the semester to talk about my progress and grade.
Goal = I want to take better care of myself.
S.M.A.R.T. Goal = Over the next six months, I want to take better care of my physical self. I want to get more exercise in hopes of reducing my stress and improving my sleep quality. My goal is to increase my walks from two times a week to four times a week and keep the distance the same and I will add a set of ten basic stretches to the end of each walk. I will keep track of my walks in my journal. Using a scale of 1-5, I will also record how I feel, how much stress I sense and how I am sleeping each week.