A new school year is the beginning of new challenges and adventures. What better time is there to talk to your students about setting goals for themselves? SMART goals Setting goals provides students with focus and direction, but the types of goals and how they are set makes a difference. Students may need help setting realistic goals and developing a plan of how to meet them. SMART goals are a great way to make goals more achievable.

First introduced in 1981 by George Doran, SMART is an acronym that often stands for goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. SMART goals are often employed in the business world and for personal use; however, SMART goals can also be used to improve academic achievement and character development.

How to Set Smart Goals for Students

There are five areas to focus on when setting SMART goals:

1. Specific: The goal should be clear and well defined. Answering the 5 “W” questions can help narrow down the goal. What do I want to accomplish? Why is this goal important? Who is involved? Where is it located? Which resources are involved?

2. Measurable: The goal should be measurable so progress can be tracked in order to stay motivated. This will help the student stay focused, meet deadlines, and builds excitement as they get closer to achieving their goal.

3. Achievable: The goal should be a stretch for the student but still be possible for them to accomplish.

4. Relevant: The goal must matter to the student and be in line with other goals. It needs to be a worthwhile goal that is important.

5. Time-Bound: This is the target date when the goal will be achieved. It is important to have a deadline to meet and work toward.

We hope these tools will give you a classroom full of SMART goal setters! By setting goals and measuring their achievements, your students will be able to see what they have done and what they are capable of. Seeing their results will give them the confidence to set and achieve higher goals. For more information on SMART goals and goal-setting forms for your students to use, check this out!