Goals are a fundamental part of success in collage and beyond. Some of the most effective goals are SMART goals. This mnemonic device stands for Specific, Meaningful (Measureable), Actionable, Realistic, and Timed. I have noted the importance of these types of goals and have decided to apply it to a goal of my own. My goal is to “Remain on the dean’s list(or academic merit for co-op semesters) for the entirety of my college career by completing all course work early and an additional 10 hours per week studying.
As outlined in the following text I will demonstrate how this goal is a SMART goal. My goal is specific for a few reasons. The desired outcome is specific by nature; “Remain on the Dean’s list…” while it implies other goals, it is far more specific than saying “I want good grades. ” In order to be on the Dean’s list a student must maintain a course load of twelve or more credit hours, a GPA of 3. 5 or higher, and no grades of I, F, or U per semester. Most of the same is true for academic merit except that it is for between six and eleven credit hours per semester.
Additionally, this goal is specific because it requires me to spend a determined amount of time studying, not to include time spent on course work. The measure of this goal could not be simpler; monitor my grades and conceptual understanding of the subjects. Monitoring my own understanding of a subject should just about ensure adequate grades to achieve my goal. However, should my grades begin to slip I will take further steps and seek help from my support group in my personal life and at school. This goal meaningfully resonates with me on many levels.
The main reason I went to this level of planning is to prove to myself my ability to overcome adversity. This is supported by a desire to surpass my wife’s achievements in academia, which set the bar high at a 3. 96 GPA for her Associate of Arts degree. No goal, SMART or otherwise, is ever achieved by planning alone. As such, actions are required to make a goal a reality. As stated in my goal, I will “complete all course work early” this is to be at a minimum a whole 24 hour period prior to due date.
This action allows for “life to happen” as inevitably it will; hence providing a buffer of time should something come up. Another action I plan to incorporate into my goal is to spend additional time studying. This is intended to support my measurement of conceptual understanding. While measurement support is the main purpose of this action other positive side effects come from this; it will provide a solid knowledge base for future classes and make me more effective in the work place. While well intentioned, any goal that is not realistically achievable is doomed to fail.
My goal reflects this in that I have made my additional study time relatively small. At a level of ten hours per week that makes it two hours per week day. My weekends are typically really busy as that is when my kids and wife are and my familial responsibilities are greatly increased. The action of ten extra study hours is not men to act as a limit but a minimum and should be monitored and adjusted upwards if deemed beneficial or necessary. In terms of the time frame component of a smart goal it is intrinsic to the goal itself.
Simply put, this goal is not accomplished until I graduate. My anticipation is that I will graduate in January 2017. Goals are valueless if there are no obstacles to achieving it. In the case of my goal the biggest problem I anticipate is my tendency to procrastinate. A method of control I plan to use is to break daunting projects into smaller more manageable tasks; by making a large intimidating task a series of smaller simple tasks the anxiety of starting the project is greatly reduced. Should I stumble along the way, I plan to utilize the school and social resources available to me.
These are to include my instructor’s office hours, tutoring available at the success center, and planning study sessions with classmates to help me when I encounter a difficult subject. As you can now clearly see my goal is a SMART goal. The goal is detailed leaving little to no room for interpretation, making it specific. It is also easily measurable, by monitoring grades and my understanding. This action oriented goal provides tasks I can realistically do to further my progress towards my goal in a clearly defined span of time.