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How to write a SMART goal

SMART goalsWe want to set ourselves up for success by creating the right type of goal.

Good goals are SMART:

S for specific. A goal should be linked to one activity, thought, or idea.

M for measurable. A goal should be something you can track and measure progress toward.

A for actionable. There should be clear tasks or actions you can take to make progress toward a goal.

R for realistic. A goal should be possible to achieve.

T for timely. A goal should fall within a specific time period.


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Video transcript

- [Narrator] Welcome back. So we've learned that it's important to keep working through your frustrations by using the right learning strategies. The more you work through your frustration, the more your brain grows, right. But it can be difficult to work through that frustration without a clear direction. That's why it's important to make smart goals. It's an acronym. It goes like this. Specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, timely. Because look, you can wish all you want and say one day I'm gonna go to the moon. And you can want that like your life depended on it. But a wish is not a goal. An example of a moon plan that consists of smart goals would go something like this. In 20 years, I will have studied enough physics and chemistry, flown jet planes in the Air Force, worked out four times a week, and gotten a job as a astronaut for NASA. And this will enable me to fly a spacecraft to the moon and put my feet on it for science reasons. Specific. Put your feet on the moon. Measurable. Are your feet touching the surface of the moon? Actionable. It is actionable, that is to say doable, to study physics and chemistry, enlist in the Air Force, and go to the gym. Realistic. It's hard, but it's not impossible to become an astronaut. Timely, here's where more realism kicks in. You won't be able to go to the moon as an astronaut overnight. 20 years seems a little more reasonable. But let's take this back to a more sensible time scale and look at our friend, Thinky Pinky. Hey buddy. TP here is interested in pull ups, wants to be able to lift their entire mass with just the arms, this one. But pull ups are hard. So let's take a look at Thinky Pinky's reflection journal. Quote, I want to be able to do two consecutive pull ups by the end of the year by practicing pull ups at the gym three times per week. Why is this a smart goal? S is for specific. TP wants to work on pull ups. And they're not interested in biking or weight training. There's one skill that Thinky Pinky wants to work on and that's pull ups. M is for measurable. What's the metric for TP's success? Two in a row. Two pull ups, one right after the other. You've either done it or you haven't. Measurable. A is for actionable. Can it be broken down into individual tasks. Yeah. Go into the gym three times a week to practice feels very actionable indeed. R is for realistic. TP's not training to lift a car. Just some pull ups. T is for timely. There's a time limit on this. Thinky Pinky wants to do this in a year's time. All together, that's smart goal you got there, TP. With the power of persistence, smart goals, and the right kind of help, you can do anything you set your mind to. You can learn anything. Happy goal setting.