By now you have a taste of what this semester is all about. The text books are purchased and the syllabi are handed out.  Now is the time to really get a game plan going.  Before you know it your to-do list is as long as your actual assignments.  But where should we start!?  Set goals for the semester to have something to work towards. Remember to keep it “SMART!”

Smart goals are the stepping-stones that lead you down the path of success. Check out the definition of SMART goals below to get started today!

“SMART” Goals

S= Specific

  • Who? What? Where? When?
  • Vague- “Read biology after class”
  • Specific- “Read 2 chapters of biology after class for an hour in the library”

M= Measurable

  • How will you know when it is accomplished? How much? How many?
  • Not measurable- “Study math for a few hours.”
  • Measurable- “Work problems from 5 chapters for 45 minutes each with 10 minute breaks in between.”

*Short, measurable goals will help you stay on track


  • Is this goal realistic and possible to achieve?
  • Not attainable- “Study 40 hours a week outside of class.”
  • Attainable- “Study 20 hours every week and save some energy for finals.”

R= Relevant

  • Is it worthwhile and at the right time?
  • Irrelevant- “I will work on the final project before my paper that is due tomorrow.”
  • Relevant- “I will work on the assignment that is due soon then if I have time work on the final project.”


  • Target the time of completion and establish a sense of urgency
  • Not timely- “I’ll start my paper tomorrow…”
  • Timely- “Two weeks before the paper is due I will read the essay questions and pick my topic.”

Now that you know the guidelines toward making an effective goal, challenge yourself to make your own goals by using these SMART tips.

Get more tips on time management at the “Things piling up?” program where you will test your rebuilding skills with a GIANT game of Jenga, refreshments, and trivia!

University Hall on Wednesday, September 26th at 8:00 PM.

McCarthy Hall on Thursday, September 27th at 7:00 PM.

Written by Jennifer Ryan, Peer Educator