SMART Goal Setting

There is no one way to be ‘successful’ in grad school and it is important that we all define success based on our own unique values and goals. While one person’s primary goal may be publishing papers, another may instead focus their time on learning a new technical skill, engaging in community outreach, networking, teaching and mentoring, or taking time off for personal reasons.


Graphic - text reads SMART Goal Setting SMART goals are based on your own unique values, abilities and priorities! S, specific, M, measurable, A, attainable, R, realistic, T, time-bound. E.g. Grad assignment 2 lab reports before the end of the week and return to students on Friday by 3pm. All other text is in post (another examples and tips) are in post.

What is a SMART goal?

A SMART goal is one that has specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound components!


Instead of saying "write a thesis chapter", try "write a 15-page first-draft dissertation chapter in 1 month and send for review on May 7, 2021".


This gives a specific goal to work toward, that is measurable, attainable, & realistc to each persons' goals, with a deadline.


Some tips to achieve your goals:

1) Write them down and put them somewhere you are able to see them often

2) Assess your goals often. There is NO shame in modifying along the way!

3) Create weekly and monthly goals! Your original SMART goal might be a month-long time period, but making small goals within that month period to reach the ultimate goal is a good way to keep yourself on track.


What are your SMART goals?

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