By Samantha Grigg
I have always been a list maker. I write out daily to do lists, consisting of small and large goals to achieve that day. Without knowing, part of my daily routine has been fulfilling a theory of motivation, goal setting theory. With this theory, I’ve been keeping myself motivated and organized, and this theory can also be applied to more overall goals that won’t fit into the list of a single day.
Right now, one of my big goals is to keep my GPA. I want to do this partially for myself, so that I know I have done well by my own standards, and partially to live up to external expectations. After learning about the details of goal setting theory, I can take this goal, and all of the specific goals I’ve made out of it and understand why my goals have been keeping me motivated. So, it this goal specific? Kind of. “Keep up” is more specific, as it implies that I have the same GPA at the end of this semester as I did last semester. The “GPA” part is broader, because a GPA is not one single thing, but a number comprised of grades from different classes, and with those grades coming from different assignments and exams. Measurable? Very. I can measure this goal with the number I see on my transcript, as well as through the grades I receive in each class throughout the semester. Achievable, Realistic, and Time Bound? Not so much, but this goal can be if I make it.
Since it’s a broader goal, I can break it down to satisfy all SMART requirements. Firstly, break it into grades needed for each class and then into assignments and tasks for each class. Very specific. Each assignment has deadlines, and all tasks are put on to do lists. Now it’s time bound. Another way I can make this goal time bound is with the bigger picture of my GPA, rather than specific tasks and assignment, by looking at the date semester grades are released of the final date for professors to submit final grades.
The breaking down of my larger goal into smaller, more manageable tasks makes it more Realistic and Achievable, satisfying the last two requirements of a SMART goal.After all of that, I now have a SMART goal.,Through goal setting theory I can understand why and how I make these goals, in order to keep me going and make sure I achieve them. The final question is will I actually keep my GPA? Fingers crossed.