If we had to name the secret to success, then we would have to say that goal-setting plays a major role in this respect. When you establish clear targets, you know what you’re working for. This enhances your focus and concentration. At the same time, goal-setting grants long-term vision and motivation.

If we had to define smart goals, we’d have to say that this is actually an acronym. It represents goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound. That is to say, students should be guided to establish attainable goals when it comes to learning, and not only.

Establishing Specific Goals

The reason why you should set specific goals is that this gives you direction. A vague target isn’t motivating; instead, it can be rather confusing. For example, if you want to improve your writing skills, simply saying that I want to perform better at my writing assignments won’t do. On the opposite side, you should establish a given target such as I’ll diversify my reading list, or I’ll put more time into my assignments. In this way, you’ll have direction.

Goals Should Be Measurable

Establishing goals for students can be rather challenging. That’s because measuring their progress is rather difficult. This, however, doesn’t make it less important. It is critical for students to assess their progress. When they realize how far they’ve come, they are motivated to keep working in that direction, as opposed to procrastinating.

For example, creating a simple chart for reading at least thirty minutes a day is a great way to monitor a student’s progress with reading.

Goals Should Be Challenging Yet Achievable

We wouldn’t find goals challenging if they would be easy to accomplish – would we? This is, in fact, the thing with goals – they must challenge us to become better, to improve our skills and aptitudes. Otherwise, we would remain stuck in a place forever.

Let’s take a moment to think about New Year’s Resolution. Why do most people give up on them? That’s because, for the most part, those goals are unattainable, which discourages us to work to accomplish them. In this view, reaching a balance is highly recommended. In plain English, goals shouldn’t be too easy so that they don’t motivate, nor too challenging so that they are discouraging.

Additionally, if a student doesn’t manage to reach a goal, this should be an indicator pointing that the goal should be adjusted.

Goals Should Be Realistic

When you set up a goal, you want to associate it with beneficial, visible results. Otherwise: why would we be willing to work hard in that direction, right? Realistic goals come with results. And a student should clearly state whether a goal has been reached or not.

Goals Should Be Time-Bound

There are many reasons why goals should come accompanied by deadlines. If there is no deadline linked to a goal, then, most students might not get the incentive to get started. Evidently, this depends on the student, but it applies in most cases. When you manage to get something done within a deadline, the sense of satisfaction is notable – this is something most teachers agree on.

On a final note, goals are, in fact, plans of action. They allow you to determine clearly what you want, and when you want that to happen. When you commit to your goals, and you stay focused on accomplishing them, you hold yourself accountable – whether things are easy or hard. Of course, reaching your goals isn’t easy. But most of the things worth fighting for in life are far from being easy – are you with us?