Do you need help setting good SMART Goals for Teens in College and University? If you have a growth mindset you can use the SMART system to achieve academic success through effective goal setting.
New year, new start. It's a motto we all know too well. The start of the year is a fresh start for everyone to have a better year this year, than the one they had before.
The problem is when people set such a lofty goal, the most important thing after that is to determine exactly HOW they are going to achieve it.
For example, a common personal goal every new year is to lose weight. Weight loss is difficult to achieve if you have no clear definition of the goal (how much weight you want to lose) or a plan of how you're going to do it. This can lead you to give up on your goal before you've given it a real shot. Which in turn can lead to feelings of failure and low self-esteem.
If you are a student, then I bet one of your goals is to get better grades in your course.
Teen students at College or University have very busy schedules when it comes to their higher education, way more than they did when they were a high school student.
It can feel like you have so much hard work to do and not much time to get things done. This is why using the SMART goals framework and setting smart objectives is the best way to effectively achieve your goal.
As an ex-law student, I know what it takes to achieve your academic goals and I want to share my approach to SMART goal setting with you in this blog post.
This post is all about SMART Goals for Teens.
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SMART GOALS FOR TEENS IN COLLEGE/ UNIVERSITY
The acronym SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. This blog post walks you through all of the steps on how to create SMART goals, with examples of how all of them work.
SMART Goals Examples for Students
This list of 48 SMART Goals for Students, can give you a better understanding of a type of goal that young adults like you could set. You would need to personalise your individual goal, and set a great time to accomplish it. Basically, find an easy way to fit the right kind of goals into your lifestyle.
1. To get to classes early or on time every day.
2. Complete your seminar homework for every module this year.
3. Create a study schedule for all my classes and stick to it for the next 2 weeks.
4. Spend no more than 1 hour a day on social media platforms.
5. I will strengthen my friendships by planning and organising an activity/get-together once a month with my friends.
6. Get a 1:1 (First) grade/ mark in one of my modules this Semester.
7. Spend no less than 1 hour a week with a family member.
8. I will learn how to Swim this Summer by joining my local Sport Leasure Centre.
9. To read one chapter of a book every day till the end of the year.
10. Get more organised by cleaning your room/ space, once a week.
11. Create a Journal and write something in your Journal/ Planner every single day.
12. Wake up 30 minutes earlier every day for the next month.
13. For the next year, I will save 20% of my wages on Investing in Index Funds such as the FTSE 100 or the SMP500.
14. Eat 5 servings of fruit and vegetable every day for the next 3 months.
15. I will meditate for 15 minutes every morning for the next 12 weeks.
16. Study at the same time for 1 hour every day till the end of the semester.
17. Get 8 hours of sleep every night by going to bed every night at 10 pm.
18. Go to Church every Saturday or Sunday for the next year.
19. Eat less Junk food by cooking and maintaining a healthy diet.
20. I will spend at least 1 hour a day outside doing active things such as Exercising, Walking, and Jogging.
21. Drink 2 Litres of Water every day till the next of the year.
22. Study for each class for 30 minutes every day.
23. I will get a part-time job by the end of the month to earn some extra money.
24. Make one new friend this year.
25. For the next 12 weeks, I will exercise every morning for 1 hour at the Sports Centre.
26. Spend no more than 1 hour every day playing video games.
27. Apply for one new work experience placement every month.
28. Get my provisional driving licence by passing my theory test within the next 3 months.
29. I will be chosen to participate in a performance/ school play by practising 2 hours a day till the day of my audition.
31. Review class notes 20 minutes before my class every day for the next week.
32. I will create a budget of £1,000 every month and then keep track of every expense to make sure I'm living within my means.
33. I will learn how to do Oxford Style referencing this weekend by looking through my course handbook.
34. I will spend enough money to buy a real plant and keep it alive for the next month.
35. Donate money to charity every month for the next 12 months.
36. I will take my partner (boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, husband) out on a date once a week for the next 6 months.
37. Get an A in my weakest class by the end of the semester.
38. To gain or lose 2 stone by the end of the year.
39. To brush my teeth x2 times a day for the full 2 minutes till the end of the month.
40. I will spend 5 minutes every day before bed praying to God for the next year.
41. Meditate by sitting on my floor quietly with my legs crossed for 15 minutes every day for the next month.
42. I will learn to do Harvard Style referencing next weekend by looking through my course handbook reference guide.
43. I will take the first step to pay off my credit card debt of £1,500 to become debt free in the next 3 years.
44. Set a budget of spending no more than £30 a week on food.
45. Get my Full driving license by passing my practical exam before my 17th or 18th birthday.
46. Finish a major project/ assignment 2 days before the due date.
47. Exercise for 30 minutes every day for the next month.
48. I will take 10 minutes at the end of every day to write in my journal all the things that I've thankful for.
Now that we'vecovered the SMART example, let me answer the following questions you may have on the topic.
How many goals should I set?
I would recommend teen students only set 3 SMART goals per year. One academic goal, one personal goal and one general goal.
- Academic Goals- examples could be: to graduate with a First-class degree.
- Personal Goals- examples could be: spending only 1 hour a day playing video games or to spend less time on social media.
- General Goals- examples could be: to get a part-time job.
Watch this video on setting effective goals on the YouTube channel: 2 Minute Classroom on How to set SMART Goals | Goal Setting for Students.
An Example of a Long-Term SMART Goals for Teens in Collge/ University
- Graduating from College/ University with a First-Class Degree.
- Find a full-time job or paid internship for 3 months over the summer.
Smaller steps/ short-term goals to help you get to your long-term goal
- Spend an extra hour spent reviewing your notes every week.
- Work on your personal growth by developing better habits. For example: getting to your math class on time.
- Do weekly check-in of your study plan/ schedule.
- Keep a log of all your current grades/ marks in all your classes.
Let's use the example of teenage University/ College students who set the goal of graduating from their course with a First Class degree. Getting a straight A is not the only way to achieve a First-class degree. There are more than one ways to get the same results and smaller steps you need to take to achieve your goals.
How to set SMART Goals for Teens in College/ University
A specific goal in general requires setting a goal that is clear and easy to understand. Usually, specific goals answer the questions of who, what, where, when, which and why.
GOAL: Graduate with a First-class degree in their course.
- Who is involved?- You, your professors, a family member, your friends.
- What do you want to achieve?- Score an average of 70% or more to graduate from my course with a First-class degree.
- Where will you complete the goal?- At University doing exams and assignments.
- When do you want to do it?- By the time I graduate.
- Which requirements might prevent/ stop you from achieving it? Getting low/ bad grades, not taking on board feedback from your professors, missing your assignment submission due date and getting a zero on the assignment.
- Why are you doing it?- To get better potential job offers and more opportunities when I'm job hunting.
A measurable goal requires you to set goals that can be tracked or measured using units or some other form of measurement. You play an active role in tracking your goals, either way by keeping score you will know if you are on the right path or if you need to amend the action plan to achieve the goal. The whole thing is a learning process.
- Using the Uni example above, keep track of all the marks/ grades you've got so far in your course. Use a grade calculator to calculate your average grade, and this will tell you exactly what marks you need to achieve in order to get that First-class mark.
Remember that old saying - out of sight, out of mind.
An achievable goal pushes you further and usually requires you to overcome challenging obstacles.
- Look at how you are doing now on all the modules that make up your course and then set a stretch goal that's slightly more challenging and beyond your reach. This may require getting out of your comfort zone a bit.
- If you are currently getting a 2:1 (B) mark on your assignments, or in seminars, then your achievable goal should be to move up a grade level and get a 1:1(A) mark.
Realistic goals or relevant goals focus on the important things in your life that are in line with what you want to achieve.
- You're not gonna suddenly jump from failing (E/F student) to becoming an A student overnight, it doesn't work like that. However, you can set performance goals that are slightly more realistic to do.
- Moving up a grade level from a 2:2(C) mark to a 2:1(B) mark in a seminar or assignment. You do this by creating a study schedule and developing good study habits. Work on getting good grades by using the feedback that your professors give you. These are relevant to you achieving your overall goal of getting a First class degree.
Time-bound goals have a deadline/ target date. An end date to when you want to achieve the goals you set. When that date comes, you will know if you've achieved the goal you set.
- There is a due date for everything when it comes to mastering your goal-setting skills. It doesn't matter if you set short-term or long-term goals.
- Building on our own goals of graduating College/ University with a First Class degree. When results day arrives, you will get your final grade and know what degree classification you've achieved.
"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail"- Benjamin Franklin.
How successful you are at achieving your goals will depend on the type of goals you have or want to set for yourself. So let's look at some examples of SMART Goals for Teens Students.
Benefits of Setting SMART Goals for Teens/ Students
According to Hayley Smith who is a Councillor, setting SMART Goals can help you become more resilient. She declared that despite best efforts not everyone who set SMART Goals will achieve them.
It's that not achieving that will make you take stock of why you fell short to reach your goals and the failure will help you to re-evaluate the approach you take to setting SMART goals that is more realistic in the future.
The Article by American Psychological Association takes this further by going beyond goal setting to goal flourishing. The article pinpoints the 3 E's an individual should use for behavioural change:
1) Enlighten- gaining an accurate insight into yourself by identifying your strengths and weaknesses,
2) Encourage- motivating yourself, learning the skills needed to implement your goal, and
3) Enable- practice the plan to identify any potential prevention. failure and if you fail evaluate what went wrong and try again.
SMART goals can be an effective tool to help you be more intentional about the way you want to live your life. It fills you with self-esteem and self-confidence which are important skills to learn in your teenage years.
By intentionally setting meaningful goals, teens/ young adults are able to shape their lives the way they want by dreaming big, having big ideas and taking action to achieve them.
Your mindset plays an important part in setting effective smart goals. For the goals to be effective and for the sake of your mental health, make sure you have a good idea of the SMART goal method and how it can work for you and the types of goals you want to accomplish during the year.
"If you think you can, or think you can't, you're right" - Henry Ford
SMART Goals for Teens...Final Thoughts
You can see at the end of the year if your goals are working or not. Some students wait till the end of the month before they evaluate the goals they have set.
However, I would recommend depending on the kind of SMART goals that you've set, to give it enough time to see results.
This post was all about SMART Goals for Teens in College/ University.
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Featured Photo by Marcos Paulo Prado on Unsplash