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How to set SMART Goals - Ciara Cummins

Updated: May 20, 2019

At the beginning of the school year, we’re all optimistic that this will be THE year. The year you get all As in your assessments, the year you make the top team for netball or rugby, the year you get into the school play, the list is endless! Since the start of Term 2 is here, ask yourself, are you on track to achieving your goals?



One of the best ways to achieve your goals is to set a SMART goal. A SMART goal is a goal that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time bound.

Sound like its too much work already? Let’s break it down. Let’s say your goal is to do really well at school this year.


Specific

Your goal needs to be clear and well defined. Instead of setting your goal as “to do well in school” make it more defined. “My goal is to achieve a high average in all take home assignments and in-school exams in year 9”. By having a clearly defined goal, you’re making it easier to provide direction if you lose motivation.


Measurable

Your goal needs to include precise amounts so you can measure your success! It’s not enough to say your goal is to do really well in school, as what does ‘really well’ mean? Give your goal a precise amount so you know what you’re aiming for. E.g. “I want to achieve an average of 85% in all take home assignments and in-school exams in year 9”.


Attainable

You need to make sure that it is possible to achieve the goal that you set. If you set a goal that’s too overwhelming, you’ll lose motivation and confidence in your abilities. On the other hand, you should also make sure your goal isn’t too easy! The best type of goal is one that challenges you but doesn’t overwork you. If you want to improve your school marks, look at what you achieved last year as a guide for what you can realistically push yourself to achieve this year.


Relevant

This is one of the most important parts of goal setting. Make sure your goal is relevant to you! Don’t set a goal because your friends are setting the same goal, or because your parents or your teacher wants you to. If you don’t want to get into the school play, but your teacher thinks you should, then this isn’t the goal for you. Your goal should motivate you; so make sure you really want to achieve it!


Time bound

All goals must have a deadline. Perhaps you can start your goal as “To achieve an average of 85% in all assessments in Term 1 of Year 9.” By setting a succinct time frame, you can clearly measure if you achieved your goal by the end of Term 1. A little tip; make your time frames shorter so you can stay motivated!

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