The beginning of a new year often prompts us to think about what we want to achieve for the year ahead. Some people might focus on health, it might be as simple as drinking more water throughout the day or ambitious like running a half-marathon! Others might want to start a new hobby, read more books, or save a certain amount of money. We are at the end of January – have your “New Years Resolutions” held out for the first month of the year? Or have they fallen by the wayside?
Whatever your goal for the year is, ask yourself this question: What is the difference between a wish and a goal?
A wish is something often intangible, it’s something that hangs in the air waiting for something to happen. A goal on the other hand is an affirmative action, it has clear steps to achievement and you can measure your results at the end of it. So what kind of goals do you want to hit for the year?
Often we talk to students who want to be more diligent in their studies, they want to get their assignments in earlier, spend more time on their lecture notes, or read wider. How can you take steps to achieve more?
Setting SMART Goals are a great way for you to give yourself (and your goals) the best chance to succeed. So what are SMART Goals all about? Ask yourself.. are your goals:
- Specific: Be clear about what you want to achieve, ask yourself the who, what, where, when questions to help gain clarity.
- Measurable: Measuring progress makes your goal more tangible, set some specific milestones to see progress.
- Achievable: Be realistic about what you need to achieve your goals. Do you have the right tools and skills to help you get there?
- Relevant: If your goal is relevant then you have motivation to see it through, is it relevant in your personal or professional life?
- Time-bound: Providing a target-date for achieving your goals is imperative to planning and success!
So go ahead! Find a template for how to set SMART Goals online and map your goals for the year to it. Good luck!