Be Your Own Life Coach/Smart Goals

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SMART Goals!

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This topic will help you to:

  • find out about S.M.A.R.T. goals
  • brainstorm your passions and interests
  • set your own S.M.A.R.T. goals

Time: this module should take 3 hours to complete.

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Research activity - what does S.M.A.R.T. stand for?

What you need to do:

1. Use the internet to find out what the acronynm S.M.A.R.T. stands for, when you're talking about goals.

2. Create a graphic to display your findings.

3. Post your graphic to this Flickr group:

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Case Study

James' Story


James is sitting in his goal setting class. They've been asked to write down some of their goals, and everyone else is writing furiously. James is just sitting there. He's completely stuck, and has no idea what to write.

The teacher comes over and smiles at him. "Dream big," he says. "What do you mean?" asks James. "You've got nothing to lose," says the teacher. "What would you do if you knew you could not fail? What would you do if you had magical powers and would succeed at anything you tried? We can work on making your goals realistic and achievable later, but sometimes the best place to start is to dream big."

Suddenly James can think of lots of things to write. He's always wanted to learn to scuba dive, and if he could do anything he wanted he'd love to spend his life diving the great shipwrecks of the world. He'd live in an awesome home by the ocean, and catch his own fish for dinner every night, and play in a band with his mates...

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Dream BIG!

What you need to do:

1. Set a timer for 15 minutes. You can download one here:

2. Write a list of all the things you would do if you knew you could not fail. Write as many things as you can. The point of this list is to draw out the things you are passionate about. The list does not need to be sensible or realistic - it can be as crazy as you like. We will work on making your goals realistic and achievable later.

3. If you are stuck, take a look at John Goddard's life list or 43 things for inspiration.

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Case Study

Stella's Story


Stella's aunty phoned her the next day. "So, did you complete your 24 hour goal? Did you go for a run?" .

"I did, and I feel really good about it," said Stella. "I'm nowhere near as fit as I used to be, but I don't think it will take me long to get my fitness back as long as I keep at it. I feel a lot more positive about it now that I've finally made a start. So, what should I do now? Set another 24 hour goal?" .

"Sure," said her aunty, "if that works for you, use it. But you should also start to think about setting some longer term goals to work towards. The main thing with any goal that you set is that it should be a S.M.A.R.T. goal. You want to really think about this and take some time to get it right. Setting a goal that is unrealistic or not specific enough is going to hinder you rather than help you. Let's start with one goal for now: what is the main area that you want to work on?".

"My fitness I guess," said Stella. "I'd like to join a sports team at school. That would help with my fitness, and I guess I'd get to meet some people through that too." .

"OK," said her aunty, "you need to write it down. But make sure that you write your goal using the S.M.A.R.T. formula. If you make sure your goal meets the S.M.A.R.T. criteria, you'll give yourself a good chance of succeeding." .

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Real Life Goals

What you need to do:

1. Take a look at this list of three famous people, and their real life goals:

  • Victoria Beckham: "Right from the beginning, I said I wanted to be more famous than Persil Automatic."

  • Bruce Lee: "By 1980 I will be the best known oriental movie star in the United States wand will have secured $10 million dollars."

  • Miley Cyrus: "My goal in my music and my acting is always to make people happy."

2. For each goal, write down whether or not you think it is a S.M.A.R.T. goal. Make sure you explain your reasons why you think the goal is or isn't a S.M.A.R.T. goal.

3. Choose one of the people on the list. Write a paragraph on this question: do you think they achieved their goal? Why/why not?

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Write your own S.M.A.R.T. goal

What you need to do:

1. Work in groups of 3-4 for this task.

2. First, everyone should write down a S.M.A.R.T. goal they would like to achieve.

3. Next, everyone should share their goal with the group. Take 5 minutes to brainstorm each of the goals. Is it a S.M.A.R.T. goal? Can the wording of the goal be improved? Does anyone have any suggestions for achieving the goal? Has anyone achieved this goal, or do they know someone who has?

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Self Assessment

Think about what works best for you, and write a brief response to each of the following questions:

- Do you think writing down your goals in a S.M.A.R.T. way will help you achieve them? Why/why not?

- Does writing a life list inspire you? Do you think you will add to this list in the future? Why/Why not?