Write down a goal.

  1. If you want to achieve a goal in six months, is it short-term or long-term?
  2. Once you set your goal, what do you write to make sure you achieve it?
  3. List three steps you can take to increase your chances of achieving your goals

Give yourself one point if:

  • Your goal is specific. 
  • Your goal is measurable.
  • Your goal is achievable.
  • Your goal is relevant.
  • You have a timetable (such as, by this time I will...).
  • Your answer for question one is short-term.
  • Your answer for question two is action plan.
  • Your answer for question three is tell others about it.
  • Your answer for question three is write down your goal.
  • Your answer for question three is identify the "why" behind your goal. 


8-10 points: Advanced
4-7 points: Proficient
1-3 points: Developing


TED Talk, Why set life goals and achieve them 



  1. Short-term and long-term: Short-term goals are goals that you want to achieve within the next 12 months. Long-term goals are goals that take longer to achieve.
  2. SMART goals: All goals should be written in the SMART format to avoid being vague:
    1. S: Specific (I will run this specific marathon)
    2. M: Measureable (I will run it in this amount of time)
    3. A: Achievable (I know this is feasible for me)
    4. R: Relevant (This is relevant for my lifestyle)
    5. T: Timetable (I will do it by this date)
  3. Plan for action: Break your goal down into objectives so that you know how you will achieve it. In the SMART goal above, create a running plan, so you know how often you are training. For instance, you will run 3 miles a day on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and increase that distance by a mile per week.
  4. Increase your chances of achieving goals: Use known strategies of achieving your goal, such as writing down your goal, telling others about it, and writing it down.
  5. Aligning your goal with organization goals: If this is a career goal, you’ll want to make sure that it aligns with department and organization goals.


Plan for Application

Given what you’ve learned, consider the following questions:

  • What is your goal, in SMART format?
  • Is it a short-term goal, or a long-term goal?
  • What is your plan for action?
  • How will you increase your chances for achieving your goal?
  • How does it align with organization or department goals?

Action Items


  1. Reflect on the “why” behind your goal in order to decide that you have identified the correct goal.
  2. Refine your goal to ensure that it meets the SMART criteria.
  3. Refine your plan for action to ensure that it will help you meet your goal.
  4. Review the strategies you have identified for maximizing your chances for achieving your goal, and make any necessary changes.