Goal setting is a phrase that is thrown around often. I am sure that if you’ve ever spent any time in the corporate world, gone to school, or just wanted to change something about your life, you probably have heard this phrase.

First, come up with a minimum of 5 goals you either have or would like to have and write them down as they come to your mind. Next, re-write each of your goals using the S.M.A.R.T. Goal format. Finally write a minimum of a 500 word summary of how re-writing your goals in S.M.A.R.T. Goal format changed the way you look at them: My goals are Graduate in 2 1/2 with my Master degree in Criminal Justices, Retire from military in 6 years, After retiring becoming Probation Officer, Travel the world, and final in 6 years my daughter graduate from high school.

Here’s the S.M.A.R.T. format:

During this lecture, we will discuss the development of SMART goals.

Goal setting is a phrase that is thrown around often. I am sure that if you’ve ever spent any time in the corporate world, gone to school, or just wanted to change something about your life, you probably have heard this phrase.

S.M.A.R.T goals have been around a long time but have just recently come into the spotlight. S.M.A.R.T is an acronym which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. We will discuss these in more detail in a moment. First it’s essential that you understand that a goal that is very specific has a greater chance of being achieved than a goal that is vague. The bottom line is that you should understand how to set S.M.A.R.T. goals if you are planning on making good decisions during your career.

Let’s discuss each word to have a better understanding of what this all means:

  • Specific– Your goal should be clear and specific, and answer the questions what are you going to do, why is it important to you, and how are you going to achieve it. An example would be: I am going to lose 10 pounds so I can fit back into my favorite jeans by walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes every day.
  • Measurable– Your goal should be able to be measured so you can actually see the changes that have happened. If your goal can’t be measured, how are you going to know if you’ve reached it? An example would be: I am going to read 3 books by my birthday in three months.
  • Attainable– Your goal should slightly stretch you out of your comfort zone but close enough that you believe you can reach it will truly commit to attaining it. If you set a goal that you know in your heart you won’t be able to attain, you probably will end up quitting. An example would be: I am going to lose 1 pound a week until I reach my goal weight.
  • Realistic– Your goal should be realistic for you to achieve with some effort. If you make your goals too challenging you may just be setting yourself up to fail before you even begin. It should push you out of your comfort zone but it should not break you. An example would be: Instead of drinking 2 cans of coke a day I am only to going drink one a day and have a glass of water when I would usually drink the other.
  • Timely– You need to set a clear timeframe for you to achieve your goal to give you something to work towards. Without a definite end date you might not begin because it is easy for you to think you can start next week, and then the next week, and so on. If there is no end date there is not sense of urgency to begin now. An example would be: I am going spend one hour a day each weekend for the next month cleaning my garage out.
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