One easy system to setting up goals is the SMART goal setting approach.

The S in SMART stands for specific.  

Goals need to be as clearly defined as possible.  Let's say your goal is to get a degree.  By making it more specific, we can more easily define the action steps needed to accomplish it. Therefore having the goal be: To graduate with a cybersecurity degree with a GPA of at least 3.0 for transfer potential from MVCC in two years.  Now we can more easily determine actions steps or to do list. An example of the some of the action steps needed would be: (1)Apply to MVCC and declare Cybersecurity my major; (2) Learn the program requirements and review my educational plan; (3) Register for classes.

The M in SMART stands for measurable.

How will you know if you are achieving your goals if you don’t make it measurable? It could be a goal to ‘do well’ in college, but making it more easily measured can help you determine if you are reaching your goal. By stating you want a B, or a 3.0 average, you know that if you are getting C’s you are not meeting your goal and may need to reset your goal, or review your action steps.

A - is your goal attainable?

Are you able to achieve the goals you have determined or do you need to readjust based on other considerations? For example, the RN program is a two year nursing program once you have been accepted. If you need to complete program requirements and then apply, it is not possible to complete in 2 years, and your goal would have to be changed to reflect your educational timeline.

R - relevant

This is where we each determine if this is a relevant goal to us. It is hard to meet a goal for which you have little or no passion for completing, so look back at your goals periodically to check in and see if they are still important to you!

T - timely

Can you determine when you plan to complete this goal? Once you have your completion date, work backward to plan when you will need to complete each action step in order to make your deadline.

Keep track of your goals

It can be hard to set your goals, but it is so important. Once you have your goal crafted, write it down and keep it somewhere you will look at often, like in your phone or your wallet, a sticky note on your mirror or some artwork on your wall. Or maybe you are the type of person who is motivated by other people cheering you on? If so then share it on social media. Ask a college staff member, friends and/or family to check in on your progress so you feel supported on your goal journey.

Completion coaches can help

Perhaps you want someone to help you write your goals, or would like someone to take a look at the ones you have set. You’re in luck! You have a completion coach who would be happy to look at your goals and make suggestions. Find your MVCC completion coach.

Goal setting apps

Want to use some goal setting technology? Here is a compilation of goal apps for you to consider.

Make your goals a reality