Smart Goal Setting
Ask students to pick a goal—either short-term or long-term—and ask them to use the SMART template (see later) to make their goal even more attainable. Students who are skilled at setting and attaining goals are more likely to persist in college.
Give the following instructions: Write a short-term or long-term personal goal that is related to your college experience. Use the SMART method to further develop your goal.
S How can you make this goal more Specific?
M How will you Measure whether you have attained this goal at a high level?
A How do you know that there is a reasonable chance you can Attain this goal?
R How is this goal Relevant to your interests and broader sense of life purpose?
T What is your Time period for achieving this goal?
Then, have students pick a partner in the class to discuss each other's goals. Students should exchange lists of what they plan to do on a weekly basis to move toward accomplishing their goal by the end of the term. Advise them to make plans to meet once or twice a month to discuss how they are progressing; the point is for each student to encourage and help motivate his or her partner to achieve his or her goal. Make plans for an end-of-term celebration if students meet their goals or to discuss and further motivate each other not to give up.
This class activity can be found in the Instructor's Manual for Step by Step 8th edition, by John Gardner and Betsy Barefoot. Check out the new edition this October for more class activities and resources!