When we’re younger, there is a lot of pressure put on us by school teachers, our parents and coming to terms with the fact we’re going to have to ‘grow up’.

Whilst this is inevitable (because these people care about you), there can also be certain distractions and actions that occur which can take us up the wrong path.

However, knowing your vision and goals as clear as day will certainly aid you in becoming more confident in your decisions moving forward and making unrivalled progress.

But, how do you set goals as a student in this day and age? How can you use effective goal-setting methods to increase your overall productivity? Keep reading along to learn more!


What is a SMART Goal?

During your time in secondary school or university – it is exceedingly important to build good habits and goal-setting skills for a successful future. Becoming independent and realising what your daily decisions are entailing in order to improve is vital for success.

For example, if you begin going to the gym regularly – whilst keeping a healthy clean diet, you will begin to formulate better habits. Also, you could analyse who you’re spending your time with and whether you feel they will serve you well for your destined future.

Nevertheless, goal-setting skills are extremely important for gathering all the thoughts and desires that you want to achieve. Although, how do you do this efficiently and effectively as a student? Here is a common method that we recommend for you to use – whether it be a short, mid or long-term goal.

A SMART goal is an acronym which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Bound. Having this acronym in mind and applying it to your everyday/ lifetime goals will be a huge booster in your chances of succeeding.

If you break down every part of this acronym and think about the meaning of each word – setting goals as a student becomes much clearer. Not only will it aid and guide you to where you want to go – but it allows you to track your progress, so you never lose sight of where you’re up to.

With a project or certain goal, many people will lose sight of their progress because they aren’t tracking it. Even if they’re making minimal progress, this is better than none. However, when the progress is not being tracked, it is hard to see the small wins.

In essence, this framework gives you the ability to have a specific goal that you think is physically possible, whilst adding a time frame that it needs to be completed. Giving yourself a deadline increases your chances of achieving the goal.

Whereas, if there is no deadline – you may feel as though it can be completed whenever you want (causing you to push it back if your motivation and discipline are lacking). Having this acronym to use as a student will give you daily purpose and improve motivation to reach certain milestones.

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Areas to Focus on When Using SMART Goals (As a Student)

A common question asked by the public is how to set goals for student achievement. Well, if you have never taken the time to research and set goals during school or university before – you may be confused as to what you want from your goals.

There is nothing wrong with being confused, but we’re here to guide you with some ideas of what you could aim for – whether it be regarding work, activities and many more.

Here are some of the examples of paths you can take when setting and tracking your student goal-setting plan:


Studying Goals

As a student, there is typically a lot of physical writing to do (on a worksheet, laptop or plain paper). Therefore, using the SMART goal action plan to set studying goals will aid the learner to increase the level and output of their work and the overall process of their research/ writing.

Having a good relationship with your studies can be difficult and overindulging in each area may completely wipe you out physically, mentally and emotionally.

Nonetheless, if you schedule your studying using SMART goals you will understand what a realistic amount of work you can complete within a certain time frame. This means that the pressure and tension will be lifted slightly – causing you to have more chance of achieving this goal.


Hobbies and Interests

Having hobbies and interests to focus on while you’re a student is vital to give yourself some rest bite from the everyday tasks you have to complete when studying. Not implementing these into your lifestyle can cause you to overthink your studies – causing you to stress more about what needs to be done.

Yet, when you have a hobby or interest that you attend to – it can completely detach you from your thoughts and allow you to focus on having fun. Learning a new language, playing football and spending time on the golf course are all examples of what you can do to take your mind away from your studies as a student.

Finding and tailoring what suits you most (whilst enjoying it thoroughly) is the next step. Once you’ve got something you enjoy – you will have the freedom to express yourself outside of your school or university time. This is precious to have and should be a goal of yours if you’re looking to start a new activity.


Family/ Community

Along with countless hours going past where you’ll be working – it becomes more and more strenuous to make time for your family or local community. Having these people close to you at all times and not forgetting that every second with them is valuable, is key.

Even if you share your thoughts on a topic, or engage in a few conversations with your family – each interaction is as important as the next. Family are everything and realising that you’re at your happiest when your family is around is heartwarming.

As for the local community, realising how lucky you are and being grateful for everything you have will be on display when working with the community.

Whether this is helping disadvantaged families and children – your goal can be to help as many people as possible. Not only will this goal make you feel proud, but you’ll also have a lot of experience under your belt for the future.