Keys to Success: Setting SMART Goals


Madison Conner, Contributor

Here at Calvert High School, students are constantly finding success and conquering obstacles. As the school year is beginning, the Courier is featuring a series on how to find success. In this edition, five tips for accomplishing and successfully setting goals will be explored. 

Not all goals are worth the same amount of commitment or effort. The way in which goals are set is a big part of whether or not one will be successful. In order to reach the goals that are most important, there are five specific steps that make a goal SMART.  

Specific: Your goal must be clear and well-defined. When there is an accomplishment, say it out loud to label what you want to achieve. Take your idea from theoretical to practical.  

Using a reminder system to remind you of your goals is a practical way to keep you on track. Some good examples are putting something you need to accomplish in your notes and setting it as your phone lock screen, a visual like a white board in your house, or a human that will remind you that you need to improve. This method keeps you focused on the right track, making your goals easier to reach. The way your mind is set is the way you need to work.  

Author and radio icon, Bobby Bones said, “Words work. Words turn into thoughts. Thoughts turn into action. It’s math. Sort of. It’s at least logic.” 

Measurable: Include precise dates so your degree of success can be measured.  Tracking your success is a good way to keep you on task. Having a calendar or planner that to mark your accomplishments will help motivate you to continue. Marking your progress throughout your journey will motivate and hold you accountable.  

Attainable: Make sure your goals are realistic. Making a plan of action is an important part of accomplishment. The focus on the outcome is not as important as how you are going to get there. The steps you need to accomplish your goals have to fit into your lifestyle. Setting goals that are not possible or will ruin your life to accomplish are not worth setting. Be practical.   

Relevant: Goals should take you in the direction you want to go. Make it something that you are motivated to accomplish. Setting goals that are important to you, increases your ability to see value. 

Time Bound: They must have a deadline. Without a time by which you want to accomplish a goal, it will go on forever. A goal is neither measurable, nor attainable without a deadline. This will also make you work harder to reach your goal in a short about of time.  

Knowing the steps you will take to make progress and crossing them off as you go will increase motivation and bring your closer to your accomplishment faster.  

Building reminders into goals can make them more achievable. Make small goals to achieve in a short amount of time that are simple to accomplish. This will make the long-term goals easier to reach. It may be difficult in the beginning, but it’s worth it once you find a routine. 

 A key step to work for an achievement is the hard work that goes into what you want. By using the SMART Goal outline, your goals will be more achievable, making your life what you want it to be.