Goal setting is a powerful process for envisioning your ideal future, habits, successes, and for motivating yourself to turn that vision of this future into reality. Student Success strives to help you create S.M.A.R.T. goals, meaning your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
Lets work through our ten steps to setting and achieving a personal goal using the example of raising our semester GPA by 0.5 points.
After a period of self-reflection, you've assessed your previous semester's performance and determine you want to do better this coming semester. However, setting the simple goal of "raising my GPA" isn't enough. You need to narrow your focus in order to trace your steps and keep track of your progress. By clarifying you want to raise your GPA by 0.5 points, you've given yourself a measurable goal to work towards and under a set time frame spanning around four months.
At this very first step, you've knocked out the "S," "M," and the "T" for your S.M.A.R.T goal!
Let's make it "R" or relevant. Ask yourself why this goal matters to you. What personal core value does this tap in to? If we align our goal with our personal life philosophy, we'll be more committed to pursuing it because it fulfills something fundamental.
Our goal of raising our semester GPA by 0.5 points can relate to personal values of growth, confidence, ongoing learning, skill acquisition and more.
It's harder to quit a goal when there's multiple people expecting a progress report or an end result. Text your goal to a friend or tell them over coffee. Call a family member, or two, or three and have them ask about this goal in your next few phone calls. Tell your TA or professor during office hours. These people are now your accountability partners and can remind you of your goals every time you see or hear from them.
Write a short, broad list of what you need to make this GPA raise happen. You'll narrow this list down in these next steps, making our goal "A" or actionable. Some examples include:
Rather than try and reinvent the wheel by making all sorts of new guides or processes, assess what's already available to you on and off campus. Some examples include
Because Netflix and outings with friends are all too tempting when you're in the thick of it. In your initial planning stages, brainstorm your personal distractions. Ask yourself how to can avoid these things all together or incorporate some moderation in your planning. Some examples include:
Rather than make drastic and sudden changes that will feel impossible to stick to, ask yourself what are some small things you can do each day that allign with your personal schedule and will add up into big changes. Some examples include:
Achieving goals is hard! You may need an uplifting talk or outside help to make it reality. Ask yourself who or what is available to support you. Some examples include:
Give yourself the extra incentive. What's something you can look forward to in addition to the satisfaction of seeing your final grades? Some examples include:
There's no end on your journey to personal success! What's the next goal you want to tackle? Self-reflect and decide what's most important to you at this point and rework the steps.
Click the button to download a fillable work guide.