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Center for the First-YearExperience

Goal Setting

A habit of successful students is the ability to visualize yourself reaching your goals. In order to create that visual, you must have goals, right? Goals that are realized and achieved are SMART goals.

S – SPECIFIC. Your goals must to have direct purpose and direction. They should state: what, when, where and why.

M – MEASUREABLE. Your goals need to be measureable in some way. Avoid vague language like “lose a lot of weight.” Instead “lose 20 pounds” is more effective.

A – ACHIEVEABLE. Your goal should be challenging, however consider your abilities and what you know you can accomplish.

R – RELEVANT. Your goals should be relevant to YOU; they should never be someone else’s goals for you. Those who achieve their goals want them badly, which means they believe they are within their capacity to attain them.

T – TIME-BOUND. Your goals should have a realistic deadline, however they should be flexible enough to adapt to changes in your life.

Try this. Write a goal statement for something you want accomplish your first semester.

This statement should include:


Goal Statement: I will complete my English final paper the Friday before it is due, giving me more time to study for my other finals.

Action Steps:

I will determine my topic by the fourth week of class.

I will find five outside sources by the sixth week of class.

I will complete an outline by the eighth week of class.

I will write my rough draft by the 10th week of class.

I will visit the writing lab at least once for help during the process.

I will have my rough draft peer reviewed by the 11th week of class.

I will complete my second draft  by the 12th week of class.

I will have my second draft peer reviewed by the 13th week of class, leaving me two weeks for final edits.

Narrative Statement:

If I complete my English final paper by the Friday before it is due, I will feel less stressed when I study for my other final exams. I will have more time to focus on the subjects that are more challenging, specifically, math. By not waiting until the last minute, I will feel better about the quality of my work.

I deserve to accomplish my goal because I have made a commitment to myself and determined action steps to become a better manager of my time.

Once you’ve written your goal statement, sign it and put it somewhere that you will see it every day to further your commitment to yourself!

“Do or do not, there is no try.”
Yoda, Jedi master

Goal Statement Worksheet