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Time Management: Goal Making

Be S.M.A.R.T. with your Goals

Say you want to lose some weight or do well on your next chemistry exam. Those are great goals, but right now they’re too vague and it will be challenging to hold yourself to them.

One way to improve on these goals is to make them S.M.A.R.T


Understanding S.M.A.R.T.



A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal.


Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward your goal. When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to reach your goal. To determine if your goal is measurable, ask questions like: How much? How many? How will I know when it is accomplished?


Outline the steps you will take to achieve your goal.


To be realistic, a goal must be an objective that you are both willing and able to work toward. A goal can be both challenging and realistic; you are the only one who can decide just how challenging your goal should be.


A goal should be grounded within a time frame. With no time frame tied to it there’s no sense of urgency.



General Goal:

I will lose weight.

S.M.A.R.T. Goal:

At the end of the semester, I will have lost 10 pounds by working out at the Student Recreation Center 3 days a week.