Setting SMART Goals to Reach Your Milestones

Taking a proactive approach to your life can reap benefits

Do you find that life is passing you by? Are you failing to make the accomplishments that you thought you would have made by now? If so, it may be time to take life by the reins. By being proactive, you can start reaching the milestones you want to reach and achieving the dreams you want to achieve.

The first place to start is to identify your goals. What is it that you want to achieve? What goals will take you toward your dreams? One great method for setting goals and attaining them is the SMART method. Try the SMART method, and see if you start to see a positive change in your life.

S: Specific
M: Measurable
A: Achievable
R: Rewarding
T: Time-bound

Step 1: “S” is for Specific
The first rule to goal-setting is to set a specific goal. If your goal is too broad and general, it will be hard to stay focused enough to know whether you are making progress. For example, if you say, “I want to be a better student,” you might find this goal is not specific enough. Instead, be more specific, such as, “I am going to make a B or better in anatomy next semester.” See how this is more specific? You will know the minute you get your report card whether you have achieved your goal!

Step 2: “M” is for measurable
A goal needs to be something that you can measure. Again, if you can’t measure it, how will you know if you’ve made it? Here’s a goal that is not measurable: “I’m going to study really hard this year.” Instead, make it measurable by saying, “This semester, I’m going to improve my study habits by studying for two hours every Monday through Friday from 3pm to 5pm.”

Step 3: “A” is for achievable
Some people shoot for the moon when they set their goals, and then are disappointed when they fail at reaching their goals. Instead of setting enormous goals that are impossible to meet, set smaller, achievable goals. As you achieve one small goal after another, you will get closer and closer to the big, meaningful accomplishments in your life.

Step 4: “R” is for rewarding
Reaching a goal needs to be rewarding for you. If you set a goal that doesn’t matter to you, it’s less likely that you will accomplish it. Make sure your goal is important to you. That way, when you achieve it, you will feel a sense of reward and pride.

Step 5: “T” is for time-bound
Timelines are important when it comes to goal-setting. You want your goal to be time-bound with a specific end date. That way you are striving for a certain date, and you know whether or not you’ve achieved your goal when that date arrives. So instead of saying, “I need more education, so I’m going to go to career school some day,” you can make it time-bound by saying, “I am going to research career options and get an appointment at a career school by the end of this month.”

As you can see, SMART goals are not that complicated. Setting a SMART goal is simply a way to state your goals in clear, achievable, and attainable ways so that you are likely to find success, one step at a time. Successes make you feel good about yourself, and they prepare you for the next success. Before you know it, you will have achieved one SMART goal after another, and you will be back in the driver’s seat of your life!


This blog post is courtesy of the American College for Medical Careers in Orlando, Florida. ACMC offers career-focused programs in cardiovascular sonography, diagnostic medical sonography, medical assisting, and more. Find out more about our school by reaching out to us online.