A SMART Goal Setting System: A Guide for Self-Directed Learning #2
In our last article, we talked about how a goal can be broken into three different sections. They were Approach, Execution, and Feedback. Today we’ll be focusing on how you can execute your goals and thrive in your academics while you’re at it. Read the first edition of this series here.
Has anyone ever told you to work smart and not hard? Have you ever wondered what working smart is? Oftentimes our elders tell us to get “organized” and make a “timetable” for our studies, and we have tried to apply this in our lives too, but have we been successful? You could study science from 2 pm to 4 pm every alternate day, but are you getting any science done?
The question “How much have I accomplished?” is unspoken of when we talk about daily scheduling and goal setting, and it’s time we changed that.
The execution of numerous goals as a student is like a puzzle that needs to be solved. This puzzle has endless pieces like time management, work ethic, motivation, and so on, but two special pieces bring this puzzle together. The first is setting efficient goals, and the other is prioritizing goals. While the first ensures quantity, the latter increases quality.
Work S.M.A.R.T, not Hard.
The SMART goal setting system is a popularized system for goal setting that has displayed results that are quite contrary to each other. While it has its pros and cons, its USP is to increase productivity significantly without fail.
Let’s understand each letter of this acronym step-by-step:
As a career mentoring organization, we value being specific the most. It is essential that as a student you always focus your vision on the essence of a task and set goals accordingly. This helps you reach your endpoint earlier and guarantees that you leave no room for doubt for yourself once you’ve achieved a goal.
Do you want to finish a chapter? Or do you want to get through a set number of pages? Or do you want to achieve mastery in that one concept you’ve been struggling with for a while? The one reason why this type of Goal Setting System works so well is that it urges your brain to make a habit out of setting goals for yourself that are precise and clear.
While the first two steps gave you a bit of space to upsell yourself, this step takes it all away. You have to be honest with yourself to truly benefit from this system. In the second step, you might’ve said that my goal is to finish 10 chapters this week. This step gives you a reality check that given your schedule, you will only be able to finish three of those chapters. This isn’t to discourage you but to help you allot enough time to comprehensively attain your goal instead of just doing it for the sake of it.
Is studying history a week before the science test important? I understand that you love history but is it relevant? While setting goals for yourself it is important to acknowledge the fact that your vested interest in one particular goal does not limit the success of another goal.
The best for the last. To quote Benjamin Franklin, “Time is Money.” This is especially true for a student when the most valuable resource available for you is time. All the steps of this goal-setting system for students play a role in the last step. You need to allot deadlines to yourself. You can plan deadlines for a whole month at once and follow that schedule without fail if you have to. Deadlines are of the essence when it comes to excelling in our education system. The more deadlines you set for yourself, the faster you can finish your syllabus and the more revisions you can go through which helps you cover every concept of your syllabus without fail.
In our next article, we will be talking about how you can enhance the quality of your work by prioritizing the right things. Stay tuned!