Student with notebook

Do you feel like you’re constantly working your butt off but never making progress towards the things you want to achieve? Well, you aren’t the only person dealing with this. This feeling is very common for the average person. Many people spend their lives drifting from one job too another and usually accomplishing very little. This is where SMART goals come in! 

Setting SMART goals allows you to clarify your ideas, focus your efforts, use your time wisely, and increase your chances of achieving all that you want in life. 

What Makes it a SMART Goal?

This term was first used in 1981 and since then many people have used it in a variety of ways The most common way the acronym is described as follows: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-based.

How to use SMART


Goals need to be clear and specific otherwise you can’t properly focus all your energy to achieve it. Ask what you want to accomplish, why it’s important to you, and everything that’s involved with achieving the goal.


They need to be measurable so you can track your progress and keep yourself motivated throughout. If you have a finish line it allows you to feel excited when you get one step closer. This will fuel your motivation to continue. Answer the questions how much, how many, how will I know when I reach my goal.


It’s important that your goal is realistic and attainable. Remember to stretch outside your comfort zone but keep it possible. Ask yourself can I accomplish this and how realistic is this goal for me. 


Make sure your goals matter to you and that they align with your other goals. If you say yes to the questions does it seem worthwhile, is the timing right, does this match my other needs, then it might be a good goal for you.


Every good goal needs a target date. As you know from being a student, a deadline is necessary when wanting to complete something. This mart of the acronym helps to prevent everyday tasks from taking priority over your goals. Set a date and stick to it.  

SMART goals is a well-established tool that is proven to help you achieve those goals you have always wanted to. Use this acronym to create clear, attainable, and meaningful goals while continually developing motivation and support to achieve them. 

The IWC is handing out Wellness To-Go bags at the front desk that include a postcard to help remind and keep you on track of your SMART goals. 

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Amy Nelson

Amy Nelson graduated in 2020 with a degree in Art: I-Design. As a student, she worked with the University Marketing & Communications team as a writer and photographer. She was hired after graduation to support public health communications during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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