Set SMART goals with your child in the new year​

You may have heard of SMART goals in the workplace, but have you ever considered setting SMART goals with your child?


SMART goals are:

S = Specific

M = Measurable

A = Attainable

R = Relevant, Rigorous, Realistic, and Results Focused

T = Timely


Let’s say your child wants her grades to improve. Here is how you would create a SMART goal based on that outcome.


1. Specific: write down the most specific goal you can. For instance, rather than “I want to improve my grades,” write “I want my grade in Biology to go from a C- to a B.”


2. Measurable: Here you can get really detailed. “I will get a B- or better on all my quizzes, turn in my homework when it is due, and get a B on the next test. I will create a study plan for the next test and ask my teacher for help when I do not understand the material.”


3. Attainable: Don‘t ask your child to leap from a C to an A. Instead, think of reasonable steps and goals that you know she can be successful with. This will help her see that she can accomplish her goals and then set her sights higher once the initial goal is met.


4. The Rs: Set goals that are relevant to your child‘s life. Get her involved. Don‘t choose goals that are too lofty, but do not softball them either; make them rigorous. Make sure the goal is realistic (similar to attainable). And finally, make sure you can track the results. If her goal is to raise her grade, this is easily tracked if your school has an online portal. Otherwise, create a spreadsheet or poster you can hang on the wall and record grades as they come back. If a course correction is needed, re-evaluate the goal and start over.


5. Timely: Choose something that is up now. If there is a really big goal, like researching colleges and applying in the summer and fall, break that into smaller tasks and make SMART goals for each of them.


If you set some SMART goals before school is back in session and you would like me to help reinforce them, please let me know.​