• Something you set out to do, something you work to make happen
  • Example: Becoming a student body representative


  • Something that keeps people from getting what they want
  • Example: Wanting to succeed in math class, but not knowing how


  • A detailed set of steps for doing or achieving something
  • Example: Reading 10 minutes of a book each day to work on reading


  • Looking at what you have done and determining if you achieved what you set out to do
  • Example: Looking at Biology quiz scores and determining if your plan to improve your grade worked

Types of goals

Short-term goals are goals you want to achieve in the next 12 months. This could be in the next few days, weeks, months, or within the year. 


My goal is to apply for the management program at Mount Royal University by the end of the month. 

Long-term goals are goals you want to achieve in the next year or longer. Long-term goals typically are a year or several years from now.


My goal is to become an assistant manager at work within the next 2 years. 

When making a goal you may need to make short-term goals within a long-term goal. 

It is best to set goals that are SMART. 

SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.


S- Specific: Make a goal that is specific, what the goal is, where the goal is taking place, and why (what is the motivation for setting the goal.)

M – Measurable: How are you going to measure the goal to know it was successful?  This will let you know when you have achieved your goal. This could be measured by time, metrics, or concrete feedback. 

A- Achievable:  how will I achieve this goal? What supports will be put in place when making a plan? Is there someone that is going to help me with my goal?

R- Relevant: Does this goal align with my long-term goal? Is it something you believe you can achieve? Do you have the time and motivation for your goal? 

T- Timely: Make a deadline date to reach the goal 

Example: My goal is to get a job at a restaurant this Summer.

S: Apply for 3 restaurant server jobs this month on indeed 

M: Upload and submit my resume on my indeed profile and receive 3 submissions. 

A: Review my resume with my Job coach each week before sending it 

R: Apply to jobs to increase the likelihood of getting an interview 

T: Send out 1 resume every Friday for the next 3 weeks 


Who, what, where, when, why, which.

Define the goal as much as possible with no ambiguous language.

Who is involved? WHAT do I want to accomplish? WHERE will it be done? WHY am I doing this (reasons, purpose), WHICH constraints/requirements do I have?


From and To.

Can you track the progress and measure the outcome? How much, how many, how will I know when my goal is accomplished?



Is the goal reasonable enough to be accomplished? How so? Make sure the goal is not out of the or below standard performance.



Is the goal worthwhile and will it meet your needs? Is each goal consistent with other goals you have established and fits your immediate and long-term plans?



Your objective should include a time limit. “I will complete this step by month/day/year”. It will establish a sense of urgency and prompt you to have better time management.