S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Contributor: Shannon Malkovsky. Lesson ID: 10229

"If you aim at nothing, you are sure to hit it every time!" This is true about your path in life. If you don't set and plan for goals, you will most likely drift. Make this lesson your first goal!


Practical Life Skills

Life Skills
learning style
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Imagine that you just achieved one of your lifelong goals! You never thought you could achieve this goal, but you did! You feel so proud and accomplished! What steps did you take to achieve your goal? How did you make it happen? Today, learn what it takes to put a plan in place to achieve your goals. What are you waiting for? Get started now!

“A goal without a plan is just a dream” (Dave Ramsey).

Learning to set and work towards goals is an important life skill.

A goal is something you are aiming to get or have or do; it is a desired destination or result. Setting goals helps you stay motivated and provides direction, especially when things are stressful or difficult and you feel like giving up.

Long-term goals are goals for the future, that means you will need to focus for a long time, maybe a month or a year or even several years. Short-term goals are goals you have for the near future, or that you need to focus on for a short period of time, maybe a few hours, a day, or a week.

Both types of goals require effort, concentration, and commitment. It is often helpful to develop short-term goals that will help you achieve your long-term goals.

Let's start with establishing a clear definition. What is a goal? A goal is something you are aiming to get or have or do; it is a desired destination or result.

What are the benefits of setting goals? Why should you bother to establish goals for yourself?

  • Setting goals gets you to think about possibilities.

  • Goals give you a direction to follow.

  • Goals give you a clear picture of where you want to go.

  • Goals help you push yourself just that little bit more.

  • Goals help you have a more fun and fulfilled life.

  • Goals give you motivation and focus.

  • Setting goals helps you do all the things you want to do in life!

(Retrieved from www.enhanced-learning.net.)

How do you achieve your goals? You achieve your goals by putting a plan together and working to implement it effectively. The acronym S.M.A.R.T. will help you draft goals that are practical and manageable.

S.M.A.R.T. goals are:

  • Specific: What exactly will you do?
  • Measurable: How will you know if you meet your goal?
  • Attainable: Is the goal reasonable enough to be accomplished?
  • Realistic: What about your goal makes it important to you? Is accomplishing the goal within your abilities or something you can do with some support?
  • Timely: When do you want to complete your goal?

Please review this Goals Setting PowerPoint from Califormia Career Center to learn more about S.M.A.R.T. goals.


After reviewing the PowerPoint, please watch the Setting Goals video below:


Choose one of the quotations below and either draw a picture or cartoon, or write a short story or poem, that expands upon or shows the ideas in the quotation:

“Whoever wants to reach a distant goal must take small steps” (Helmut Schmidt).

“In life, as in football, you won't go far unless you know where the goalposts are” (Arnold H. Glasgow).

“Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination” (Fitzhugh Dodson).

(Retrieved from www.enhanced-learning.net.)

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We help prepare learners for a future that cannot yet be defined. They must be ready for change, willing to learn and able to think critically. Elephango is designed to create lifelong learners who are ready for that rapidly changing future.