The Importance of Setting Goals

Martin Luther King Junior is notable one of the most notable figures in U.S. history. His “I Have a Dream” speech was a defining moment that was pivotal for the progression of the Civil Rights Movement. Now how, you may ask, did his dream get translated into realization? It all began in setting goals.

Setting goals and writing them down is an important life skill to learn. Having written out clearly defined goals will help bring your dreams to reality.  Defining goals from the small aspects of your life to the big aspects of your life will allow you to organize your time wisely and live your life to the fullest. Top achievers across the board from academics, businessmen, to athletes all set goals to reach their dreams.

Here at Oxford College, the physical education department does a great job of presenting a viable model for goal setting in its classes. They present the S.M.A.R.T. model of goal setting to help students create smart goals. Looking for a way to organize your life and actually achieve your dreams? Want to get more fit? Want to get higher grades? Want to try something new? Try using the S.M.A.R.T. model for goal setting to see if it helps you achieve your goals.

S.M.A.R.T. stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. For a goal to be smart, it must fulfill all of these categories. Specific is the what, why, and how of your goal that clearly defines what you are planning to do. Measurable is the component of setting your goal that allows you to measure and therefore track the progress of achieving your goal. Without a measurable goal, you will not know whether you have achieved your goal. Goals should be achievable, this means that they should be attainable following a plan, but they should still stretch you. Relevant means that your goal should be appropriate for the circumstances and time you are in. And time-bound means that you should put a time limit on when you plan to achieve your goal so that you can accomplish your goal.

I have used S.M.A.R.T. goals in the past both for maintaining my health and for doing well in my classes. Need some motivation to stop procrastinating on your dreams? Make yourself a chart outlining each of the letters in the acronym S.M.A.R.T.!