Set SMART Goals

Set SMART GoalsThere are five things to consider when setting goals.  They should be: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely; hence the acronym SMART.


Is your goal clearly written, easily understood, and straightforward?  A goal to simply “lose weight”  or “eat healthy” is not specific. Instead, clearly specify the outcome. “I will lose five pounds by May 15.” “I will eat five servings of fruits and vegetables daily.”  Being specific allows us to clearly focus on what we accomplish.


Choose a goal that you can clearly measure and see the change occur.  If you cannot measure the goal, you cannot manage the goal.  Being a “good” athlete, musician, or reader is not measurable.  However, if you choose to read four novels by your birthday, run an eight-minute mile in six months, or learn three new songs on the guitar by July, you’ve now made specific and measurable goals.


Do you have the attitude, ability, or skill to achieve the goal?  Your goal should stretch you slightly, but not feel so overwhelming that you cannot commit to it.  Setting small attainable goals will allow you to feel success, thus keeping you motivated to set another small goal, and keep you committed to the big picture outcome.


Realistic means do-able, but not necessarily easy!  If you set the bar too high, you’re likely to fail.  If you set it too low, your time is not worthwhile.  Find a happy medium to satisfy your ability to achieve and push forward.


Set a timeline for yourself.  Giving yourself an end point gives you a clear target to shoot for.  Whether it be tomorrow, next week, or two months from now, if you don’t set a time limit, you will not feel an urgency to take action.

Now, take a quick moment to jot down several goals you’d like to achieve.  Be sure each goal is SMART, stay positive, and you’ll be on your way to success!


Amy LaGrastaAmy LaGrasta, School Counseling Manager, helps students make informed decisions about courses, career and college options, and the study habits needed for online success. Prior to joining FLVS, she served as the guidance director at Estero High School in Lee County, FL where she was honored with the Teacher of Distinction award.

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