Study Skills

Setting Goals

Why Set Goals?

Setting goals for yourself is a great way to achieve what you want.  These can be big, long-term goals like what you’d like for your future or smaller short-term goals like completing a project at school or to finish a book you are struggling with.

Setting goals gives you the long-term plan and short-term motivation to achieve stuff and will help you to organise your time and resources. Most people who are successful have set goals to achieve their dreams; this includes world leaders, athletes, business people, scientists and a lot of amazing people. 

Remember, not a lot of success happens by accident.  Have your dreams and start to plan and work towards them.  



First consider what you want to achieve, and then commit to it. SMART is a great way of achieving a goal because it helps lay out all the steps and makes it clearer. SMART is what’s called an acronym, the letters stand for something and that’s Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.



What exactly do I want to achieve? 

Good goals are clearly defined: 




With whom?

Why do I want to reach this goal?



How will you know when you’ve achieved it?

You’ll need to be able to track your progress.



How will your goal be achieved?

List the individual steps or tasks you need to take.



Why is it important to you?



When do you want to achieve your goal?

Set your target date and work towards it


A good SMART goal will answer all these questions:

Specific: What is it I want to accomplish?

Measurable: How do I know I achieved my goal?

Achievable: Is it realistic?

Relevant: Why is it important to me?

Time-bound: What is the deadline?


Getting good at setting SMART goals can take a bit of practice so stick with it and you’ll find it works!

Watch an amazing video on goal-setting below (or click here to watch it later – “How to achieve your most ambitious goals”).  Another video to check out sometime is “A complete guide to goal setting”.

Download a good SMART worksheet example you can use below.