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Setting Goals the "Smartway"

Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen. - Michael Jordon

Setting goals the “SMARTWAY” will help keep you on track for following through on your career choice and achieving success throughout your career. 

•    Specific:  Describe what your goal will look like when you achieve it, and be positive in stating what you want as opposed to what you do not want.  For example, instead of “Find an internship” a more specific goal would be “Identify the companies in my city who are rated as the best places to work and meet with the internship manager to get help in finding internships in those companies.”

•    Measurable:  Your goal should be worded so that you can measure your progress toward meeting it.  Progress can be measured in terms of time, quantity, or quality.  “Research 3 careers that came up as a result of my assessments”  and  “Download my resume on 2 new job posting boards this week” are examples of measurable goals.

•    Action-oriented:  Identify specific steps you will take to reach your goal.  An action step for completing your degree can be, “Meet with my academic advisor to review the course requirements for a degree in Engineering and register for the courses I will take next semester.” 

•    Realistic:  Don’t set goals that are too lofty.  Ask for input from others who know you well about whether they think the goal is realistic.  Also, include some flexibility so the goal can be modified if necessary, and identify barriers you might encounter and ways you can overcome them.

•    Time-based:  Set a deadline for achieving your goal. 

•    Written:  The act of writing your goals will help you focus on what you want.  Post your written goals in a place where you will see them on a regular basis.

•    Accountable:  Let important people in your life know your goals so they can encourage you and keep you accountable.  There’s nothing like knowing that other people will ask you how you are doing to keep you motivated!

•    Yours:  Most importantly, your goals need reflect your values, not those of others.  Having goals of personal importance will enable you to take ownership of them and provide the motivation for working toward achieving them.


My "Smartway" Goal for this week.

You may print this page for your records. 

Some of the ideas for this article were adapted from Committing to Your Goals, which appeared in the November/December 2007 issue of Jobpostings, and are used by permission of the authors, Kaitlin Eckler and Barbara Kofman.


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