Wednesday, March 16, 2016

S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Did your New Year’s resolutions fizzle out like New Year's Eve fireworks? Do you find yourself frustrated that there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish everything on your to-do list? Are you crunched for time when an important deadline is looming? 

To stay on track, maybe some reflection is in order. What exactly is your plan?

Perhaps you should try setting S.M.A.R.T. goals.

S.M.A.R.T. goals criteria:

·         Specific—This can be a broad statement of your ultimate goal. What is it you are hoping to achieve? For example, “Start a career in Business Management.”

·         Measureable—Your goal should have quantifiable steps that indicate progress, such as “Complete my Associate’s degree by 2016.”

·         Attainable—This criterion answers the question “How?” Is this goal realistic and achievable given your resources?

·         Relevant—Make sure your goal is worthwhile and rewarding.

·         Time-bound—Set target dates for every step in achieving your goal.

S.M.A.R.T. goals help you to stay focused on your efforts and help you plan your activities to aim for outcomes, not individual tasks. Making them measurable helps you stay on track and meet your target dates and benchmarks. You should evaluate your progress periodically and adjust as necessary.

For more information on S.M.A.R.T goals and other goal-setting strategies, check out The Freelance Cat or Cengage Learning's Engaging Minds blog, geared to college students.

Good luck with setting and achieving your goals!

Image from The Freelance Cat used under a Creative Commons license.

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