Hey Teens – Are You Setting SMART Goals?

Virtually every teenager has a goal of some sort, especially at the beginning of each school year. But simply having a stated goal won’t get you anywhere unless you approach it in an effective way. Here’s how teens can set and achieve SMART goals:

S = Specific and Simple  
Many goals fail because they’re too vague or too complicated. Make sure yours are specific and simple.

M = Measurable  
Being able to measure not just your goal, but the milestones of progress toward it can make it easier and more enjoyable, especially if you have a starting benchmark.

A = Action-Oriented  
A goal that can’t be reached without specific action on your part isn’t a goal. It’s a fantasy.

R = Realistic  
Setting unrealistic goals is a sure way to fail, and worse – to make you feel like simply giving up. Don’t! Set goals you know you can achieve. If you’re thinking big, you may need to set a series of progressively larger goals that will get you to your major objective.

T = Time-Bound 
Set a target time for reaching your goal, particularly if it’s a goal that will include multiple milestones.  Keeping that deadline in mind will help you stay on track and motivated.

Here’s an example:

Original Goal: To get better grades in science. 

SMART Goal: To raise my science grade from last year’s C to a B on the first semester report card, and an A on the second semester report card by attending tutoring sessions and studying an extra two hours each week.

If you falter along the way, don’t beat yourself up. Instead, identify why you faltered, and how you’ll avoid making the same mistake again and move on. Also, be sure to celebrate your progress along the way. Enjoy a day out with friends or buy yourself an affordable gift. Then, keep marching forward.


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