Teachers and administrators set goals each school year. Mostly, the goals are professional and not personal. Somehow, as an educator, you rarely think about yourself. You are in the habit of setting goals to promote student growth or to meet district-wide data points. Perhaps, you want to do something fun, too. Maybe, you want to travel across the country or world. Your personal life is a priority, too. All work and no play equals no life! So, you need to set both professional and personal goals. Well this year, you will set SMARTER Goals and begin to focus on your well-being.
Teacher wellness must become a priority. Often educators are stressed and overwhelmed and feel that there’s never enough personal time. Is this your reality? It’s time to make some changes. Don’t feel guilty because you want to do things that can bring you joy and a sense of satisfaction. For a moment, let’s focus on you. Now, let’s look more into setting SMARTER goals.
What are SMARTER Goals? SMARTER is an acronym for a seven-step process of setting a goal. For your goals to be clear and reachable, each one should be Specific, Measurable or Meaningful, Achievable, Realistic, Timely, Evaluative, and Revisable. Let’s break it down further.
First, begin with the goal being specific. Think about five W’s: who, what, when, where, and why. If you set a goal that is too general or broad, you will be all over the place. Once you pull from too many directions, it’s a set up for failure. You set a goal to lose weight. Ask yourself and answer the five W’s. Plan in out for success.
Is the goal measurable? What metric or tool will you use to determine if you meet the goal? How will you track your progress and stay on course? Tracking your progress helps you to stay motivated and achieve timelines. When you think of the word measurable ask how much, how many or how will I know?
Goals must be achievable to be successful. Many will set a very high bar when setting a goal. You want to stretch your mind or abilities, but do not overextend yourself. Think about how you can accomplish your goal. Do you have the necessary resources and support to be successful?
Be realistic! Is the goal relevant to what matters to you? Does setting a particular goal make sense? Are you the right person to complete the tasks ahead of you? A realistic and relevant goal should be worthwhile. It should also be the right time in your life to pursue a new personal or professional journey.
Every goal needs a timeline. Set deadlines to complete action items. How much time will you give yourself to be successful? Do you have a week, six months, one year or 18 months? Be reasonable in determining what you can complete within your timeframe.
Evaluate your goals. Set-up a system to check in on your progress. You will have long and short-term goals. It can be easy to forget or ignore long-term goals. An evaluative process can produce better results in achieving your goals.
Make sure your goals are revisable. You didn’t write your goals in stone. By consistently evaluating the goals. You can see what’s working well. Consequently, you can also see what needs re-adjusting. Revising doesn’t mean throwing the baby out with the bath water. It means adjusting and trying a different approach.
Whether you want to change your life personally or professionally, creating SMARTER goals can help you to achieve hopes and dreams. Setting goals is a part of life. However, the journey to reach them isn’t always easy. As you prepare for the new year, set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely, Evaluative, and Revisable.
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