Planning for anything is SMART

Kate Rehwinkel, Columnist

As college students, sometimes we forget why we are here. We go to college to eventually get a good-paying job or, hopefully, our dream job.

I was recently given a homework assignment that had to do with creating a goal. When coming up with our goal we had to determine if it was SMART. That stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely.

I have never done a goal sheet like this, and it was very in depth. It had a place to list potential obstacles in achieving this goal and the possible solutions to those obstacles. Also, it had specific actions between steps that are needed to reach that goal and when we expected to complete them.

There is no dream or goal too big to be planned far in advance. Planning is how we get things done effectively.

Many students plan how they are going to spend their breaks off from school or a vacation. Those who don’t plan ahead may end up wasting time on break because they can’t decide or agree on what they want to do, resulting in a disappointing trip.

At this point, it can be hard to think about the future and what we want to do for the rest of our lives. Some of us are just trying to get through this week, while others take it day by day and live in the moment. Some of us may not like it, but planning goals now is essential for our future dreams to be realized.

No goal is too unrealistic, as long as it has been carefully planned for using the SMART acronym. Your goal may be five years away, but the planning can begin now. Even retirement can be planned this far ahead. Any financial planner will tell you that planning for retirement sooner rather than later can make a huge difference in how much money one will have for retirement when that time comes.

A good idea, after a goal is written, is to hang it up on a wall or somewhere it can be seen every day. This helps us to continue to be motivated to achieve the goal within the time limit set. Otherwise, the goal might be forgotten and never accomplished.

When I have something I need or want to accomplish, nothing motivates me more than seeing a reminder of it every morning. As students, we need to start planning for our future instead of thinking about what party to go to this weekend.

College doesn’t last forever, and soon we will be out in the real world looking for a job and facing a pile of student loans. Wherever I wind up living after graduation, I know one thing is for sure. Somewhere in my home will be a dedicated space for my list of goals.

Kate Rehwinkel is a junior management major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].