Creating a SMART Goal to Achieve Your Goals

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by: Shelby kennedy, district vi president

Setting goals may seem easy, however, achieving them may not always be the easiest. This is why setting a SMART goal is the best way to help you achieve these goals! You are probably wondering, “What does a SMART goal even mean?” SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Let us break down each category of a SMART goal to help better understand what they mean. 

Setting a specific goal is the first step in planning out your SMART goal. What is the specific thing that you would like to achieve? Make your goal as specific as possible and express it positively. A specific goal should include who, what, when, where, why, and how. Who is involved? What will I be trying to accomplish? When will I be accomplishing this? Where will I be doing this at? Why am I doing this? How am I going to do this? 

Once you pick your specific goal, you’ll need to measure it. Measuring your success is crucial as it will give you a clear look as to how far you have come along with your goal. Measuring your goal is also important because you will need data to evaluate your progress to see if you are working towards your goal. 

Next, you need to make sure that your goal is achievable. Consider whether or not you have the resources to continue working towards your goal. If not, you need to think about if you can gather all materials needed for your goal in time. If your goal is achievable, then it is most likely a realistic goal. Take the time to evaluate whether or not your goal is realistic and achievable within a certain time period. 

Finally, make your goal timely by setting out specific dates. Always have a starting point and an ending point with checkpoint dates in between! This also includes listing out the steps it takes to achieve your goal within the allotted time. 

Always use your resources! Ask your teacher or advisor for help if you are having trouble putting your SMART goal to paper. I recommend using a table or online spreadsheet to organize your thoughts and keep your SMART goal in a place that is easily accessible.
Make sure the goal you choose is something you are passionate about! You will always have a much easier and enjoyable time if you are working towards something you are passionate about. Make sure that you try to accomplish at least one of your goals every few days and reward yourself along the way for your hard work! Creating a SMART goal has personally helped me in any of my ventures in and out of DECA and I recommend creating a SMART goal to anyone who wants to achieve a goal they are passionate about!