Let's Talk About... SMART goals


Let’s Talk About…


Earning your diploma for higher education is a great feat for many people. The majority of the students that join ANU’s eLearning platform are working adults that have families. With so much going on, be that going to work, taking care of children, spouses, relatives, or pets, and going to school, it can be easy for students to lose focus. And if students don’t have clear goals, it can be a never-ending cycle of stress and even burnout. However, creating SMART goals for the tasks and accomplishments students want to achieve can get them to their success more effectively and with greater ease. The SMART goals strategy may be new to many, so let’s break it down.

What are SMART goals?

While these goals are smart, that is not all they are. SMART is an acronym that helps you develop your goals and serves as a guide to do so. For example, let’s imagine there is Jane Doe starting her business education at ANU. She wants to earn her higher education as fast as she can with our accelerated programs so that she can earn a management position on her marketing team at the company she works.

S – Specific: This is where you will start. Your goal should be specific, clear, and defined. Ask yourself these questions when you approach this step: Who will be involved? What is going to be accomplished? What will this goal achieve? Why do you want to achieve this goal?

Jane’s goal is to earn her Business Administration Management Bachelor’s degree to become a manager at her current company. This will be her education to provide her with the skills she specifically needs to move into a leadership role.

M – Measurable: You should be able to measure your goal so that you can assess your progress and achieve your goal. Ask yourself these questions when you approach this step: How many steps or how much will this goal have? Is there any way I can measure my success or failure on my way towards my goal? How will I know if I have achieved my goal or not?

Jane can measure her goal through the classes she takes at ANU. She will know how many courses she has to take in order to graduate. Along with that, passing or failing her classes will help her measure what steps she is taking in order to achieve her goal.

A – Actionable/Achievable: This step helps you in realizing if your goal is attainable and even worthy of doing. This helps you in developing the goals you should strive for and if the steps are within your control of accomplishing. Ask yourself these questions: Do you have the resources to achieve this goal? If not, are you able to obtain the resources needed to complete? Is it practical?

With ANU’s Business Partnership Grant, Jane’s education is achievable. The company who she works for believes in her earning her education to further her steps in their ranks, so they pay 2/3 of her tuition, and ANU admires that drive and matches 1/3. And since her books and materials are included in that tuition, she has all she needs to accomplish that goal. Not only that, but she chose evening classes so that she can attend her Zoom classes after her workday. Since she doesn’t have to drive to a campus to attend classes, she also doesn’t have to worry about who can watch her children while her husband works. All the resources afforded to her through ANU’s program make her goal achievable and actionable.

R – Relevant/Realistic: With so much already going on in your life, you should make your goals realistic to achieve. Along with that, they should be relevant to what you want out of life. Do not add unnecessary stress to your daily life with goals that won’t get you closer to where you want to be. Ask yourself these questions: Is your goal realistically achievable to your current circumstances and resources? Can you commit to it? Does your goal look relevant?

Jane knows her goal is realistic to what she wants out of life. She knows that most managers in her career field have gone to school. She wants to learn the education that will make her a better leader and better at her career. She can commit to ANU with how flexible the program and her professors are to her schedule.

T – Timebound: Setting a date or time to achieve your goal will make it better for you to stay on track to meeting it. Time also helps us motivate and challenge ourselves in achieving our goals. Ask yourself these questions: Do you have a date in mind? Do you have a start date? What is your time frame?

In order to get where she wants to be, Jane wants to earn her education as fast as possible. She knows with terms beginning every ten weeks, Jane can earn her bachelor’s degree in as soon as 3 years. Working with her advisors, she has a tentative graduation date to focus on to complete her goal.

Why Should I Use SMART Goals?

Creating SMART Goals provides you with clear, detailed plans. These goals are made to be achieved and create success. Not only that, but they give you a time limit to complete so that you actually accomplish what you want within the time you need it. They can help you prevent procrastinating your tasks, and you can better manage your time when you have a specific goal in mind. Jane is one step closer to stepping into the role she desires in her career because of the SMART goal she set to earn her education ANU. Because of the time she took to go through every SMART step, Jane has a roadmap of what it will take to accomplish what she wants.

American National University can help you set and maintain any goals you create and wish to achieve during your educational journey. From admissions to financial services, student services, career services, and your professors, you have support systems at every angle. Our teams are here for every student to provide you every resource you need to succeed – all from wherever you have an internet connection! To learn more about our eLearning platforms, go to an.edu/elearning.

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