Firstly, I would like to say welcome back to all of you! I hope you all had a wonderful winter break filled with laughter, great memories, good food and lots of sleep!
January personally is not one of my favourite months as it tends to be freezing and of course it means that the holidays are over! However, it is one of the best times to set goals, not just because of the whole New Year’s resolutions ritual, but because January offers a fresh start! A New Year and a new term! However, I tend to stray away from making New Year’s resolutions but rather make goals that I know I will be able to attain. So, I thought this would be the perfect time to share some tips with you about how to make sure you set goals that you can actually reach!
As we are currently beginning the new term and have had a few weeks to relax and reflect on the fall term that we just completed it is perfect to see what we want to improve on or continue to do in the year to come. That being said, if you haven’t had a chance to reflect, I recommend that you do that before you set any new goals.
Now I know what your thinking, why is this girl trying to teach me how to set goals – it’s easy! You’re right setting goals is easy for most of us, however, most people tend to set goals that they tend to forget about or get side tracked from… well at least this has happened to me in the past. Personally, I believe this always happened to me when I tried to set goals that were too extravagant or dreamy to actually accomplish. Once I realized this was the problem it came to me… I wasn’t being SMART! As a business students, we learn about setting objectives for our plans or businesses that are SMART to be effective and successful- so why not apply this to our personal lives?
The method of SMART goals stands for 5 steps – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely goals. So if you want to learn more keep reading!
The first step is making sure that your goal is specific. For example, if your goal is to get better grades or become healthier. Instead, try to make your goal more specific such as “ I will join a gym and workout three times a week” or “ I will participate more during lectures and complete my readings”. Be as specific as possible! Also try thinking about the 6 W’s– who, what, where, when, which and why!
The next step is to make sure you can measure your goals. This will allow you to see how close you are to accomplishing your goal or when you finally accomplished it. Ask yourself… How much? How many? In my last example, I specified how I would workout three times a week- this means it’s measurable or you could even set a time frame and what you want to accomplish by the end of it such as lose 5 pounds in a month.
The third step is to make sure your goals are attainable. Sit down and ask yourself- Can I accomplish this? To continue with my last example- Will I be able to make it to the gym three times a week while doing everything else? If so, then great! If you don’t think this is attainable try to rework it or start off slowly. For example, if you want to participate more in class but you are shy – maybe set a goal to participate at least once during the class and slowly increase it.
The key to setting a realistic goal is to make sure that you can actually accomplish it. As I said before, I always tended to make goals that were too dreamy or big to accomplish. If you have the same problem try to break up your main goal into smaller goals to help achieve it. For example, if you want to raise your GPA– try to set goals for each specific course such as completing readings, handing in assignments on time, etc.
Last but not least, you want to make sure your goals are timely! I know I mentioned this before but try to set a realistic time line to achieve your goal. This will allow you to know what you working towards and keep you on track! The trick here is to make sure you pick a realistic timeline for your goal that is attainable for you.
… and there you have it! My little tip for setting goals that are actually attainable! Now that you know how to be SMART with your goals, comment below and share with me what your goals are for this upcoming school term or year! I would love to hear them!