What are examples of SMART goals for college students?
Do you wonder, what goals should I be setting while I’m a student?
We all have goals – there are always things that we wish for and want to happen.
As a college student, it’s savvy to prioritize your goals.
From getting good grades to maintaining a social life, there can be so many things you’d like to achieve. You have to look beyond the classroom when looking for smart goals examples for students.
But, for your goals to be achievable especially when you’re hard-pressed for time, you need to make sure they’re also S.M.A.R.T.
These goals are definitely worth having, and you’ll definitely feel great when they happen.
Get ahead. Be a winner. Stand out from the crowd.
It’s well and good to have goals, but you need to make sure you can achieve your goals. So, what you need is a proven way to get the results you want.
Make a SMART start to goal setting, and take the needed actions over a specified time period. This way you’ll ensure your goals can be reached. You may know that SMART typically stands for:
- S: Specific
- M: Measurable
- A: Achievable
- R: Relevant
- T: Time-bound
Let’s take a look at how setting a SMART list of goals for savvy college students works. Here are 5 examples of SMART goals for college students, and exactly how to achieve them.
Top 5 Super SMART Goals College Students Should Have
SMART College Student Goal #1:
“I want to be healthier and lose weight to look better”
Specific: I want to lose 15 lbs. this semester
- I’ll look up places like eBay and Craigslist, and buy a good quality used bicycle within 3 weeks.
- I will look online for simple and healthy meal recipes that I’ll use within a week.
- I’ll find an accountability partner to exercise with 3 times a week today.
- I will make a list of the healthiest foods for good nutrition by Friday.
- I’ll make an appointment today with the on-campus nutritionist.
- I’ll cycle the 6 km regularly between home and campus.
- I’ll always take the stairs and stop using the elevator.
- I will walk to class taking “the long way” every day.
- I’ll meal prep my own simple and healthy meals every weekend.
- I’ll have fast food only once a week (down from my usual 3 fast-food meals a week).
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Relevant: It’s smart to look after my own health. Being fitter means:
- I’ll be better able to successfully manage my busy college lifestyle.
- I’ll reduce my risk of falling ill by boosting my immune system.
- I will improve my mental health and reduce stress.
- I’ll develop positive long-term habits that will keep me fit and healthy.
- Then, I will look better and have a better quality of life.
- I’ll look better, which will be an asset in my job search.
- I will become a more confident person.
This will work since I’ll be continuing my active lifestyle and healthy eating habits.
SMART College Student Goal #2:
“I want to build up an emergency fund”
Specific: I want to build up an emergency fund of $1,000.
- I’ll take a close look at my finances today – my monthly income and expenses.
- Then, I will write down the areas where I can cut my spending and start saving.
- I’ll think of new side hustles to make more money part-time.
Achievable: Every Saturday I’ll record the amount of savings I make, and how much extra money I make from my side hustle.
Relevant: I really need to have an emergency fund, because there can be unexpected expenses like broken phones and auto repairs.
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Time-bound: I’ll have saved up my $1,000 emergency fund in 18 months’ time, as I have calculated that I can afford to put aside $56 each month for the purpose.
Once you’ve crushed your worthy goal of creating an emergency fund, you can use the same saving and side hustle skills to save for other goals like investing or taking a vacation (when that’s safe again). That’s how you have more money as a college student. 🙂
SMART College Student Goal #3:
“I want to get better grades in my courses”
Specific: I want to score at least an A- in each of my courses (I currently have an average grade of B).
- Over the next week, I will make appointments with my course instructors.
- I’ll ask them for advice on how I could earn an A- or a higher grade in each course.
- I will note down their advice and feedback, and start taking steps to do better in my studies.
- Reach out to fellow students to form a study group that meets every other week and shares notes for exams.
- On the day after tomorrow, I’ll create a weekly time schedule for term time.
- This schedule will detail my class times, part-time work hours, self-study times, breaks, and leisure times.
- I’ll allocate enough time each week to studying each course.
- I will add these dates and times to my digital calendar (Google Calendar or iCal).
- I’ll start using the Pomodoro technique to study.
- I’ll regularly apply improved learning strategies based on my instructors’ feedback.
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Relevant: I really want to reach my full potential as a student.
Getting good grades is a top priority for me, as doing better will jumpstart my career when I graduate. With better grades, I can so incense my odds of getting into grad school.
Time-bound: By the next major exams, I’ll be scoring more A- or higher grades in my courses.
In a year’s time, as a SMART and savvy college student, I’ll have my A- or better grades in my results.
SMART College Student Goal #4:
“I want to upgrade my phone or computer (or a vacation when it’s safe)”
Specific: I’d like to save $500 to upgrade my phone or computer (or a vacation when it’s safe).
- I’ll take a close look at my current monthly budget, including income, expenses, and savings.
- I’ll write down the ways I can potentially save more money (like reducing monthly subscriptions).
- I will make a list of items I can sell online or trade in to cut the cost of my upgrade.
- I will look up online jobs for college students I can apply for.
Achievable: Every Saturday, I’ll record the amount of savings I make, and how much extra money I’ll make from my side hustle.
Relevant: My current computer is slow and struggling with the programs required for my courses. A faster computer will help me save time on my school work, as well as earn extra money from a side job.
If saving for a future trip: I would love to go away on a vacation with my friends during the next summer break. It would help me to unwind after my exams and a stressful 2020 year.
This will help me sustain my efforts towards doing better in my courses.
Time-bound: I’ll have saved up $500 in 9 months – I’ve calculated that I can put aside $56 every month for the purpose.Are you clueless about what goals you should set in college? Here are 5 examples of SMART goals for college students, including saving an emergency fund. #lifehack #millennial #studentlifeClick To Tweet
SMART College Student Goal #5:
“I want to improve my job interview skills”
Specific: I want to become confident and effective at job interviews.
- Tomorrow I’ll begin searching for tips on interview skills.
- I’ll look for books and online info, and visit the career center to learn more about job interview skills.
- I will go through the tips and take notes on interview skills like anticipating possible questions and preparing well-considered answers to them.
- I’ll look into other skills like CV writing.
- I’ll practice my speaking skills by asking questions and volunteering answers in class.
- I’ll also practice answering possible interview questions, video record myself and playback to take note of my strengths and weaknesses.
- Getting a friend to ask me sample interview questions will help me fine-tune my answers.
- I’ll work on improving my weak areas.
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Relevant: Becoming a better speaker, listener and questioner will boost my self-confidence.
Time-bound: In 2 months’ time, I’ll become more confident and effective at job interviews.
Get Your SMART Goals Worksheet
Ready to set these S.M.A.R.T. Goals examples to help you succeed in college?
Whether you’re pushing for better grades, or to save up a new computer (or spring break holiday), you need to make it Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound.
Sign up below to get your FREE SMART Goals Worksheet, form-fillable, and printable and includes more examples to help you.
From these smart goal examples for students, you can see that setting your goals the SMART way makes your goals more than just wishes or dreams. SMART goal setting sharpens your focus, as you need to be clear about these things:
- What exactly do you want to achieve? (Specific)
- What exactly do you need to do, by when? (Measurable)
- Is this achievable, can you get it done? (Achievable)
- Why and how are your goals important to you? (Relevant)
- When can you reasonably expect to crush your goals? (Time-bound)
How to Achieve Your SMART College Goals
Get crystal clear about why and how your goals are important to you.
Clarity is KEY to motivating yourself to stick to your SMART and savvy goals till you crush them.
How do you stay on track? There are different ways to stay the course. Some examples are:
- Vision: Create a vision board or vision screen – look for attractive pictures, whether hard copy or online.
Display in prominent places the pictures of your goals e.g. photos of the places you plan to vacation at. Make the pictures a part of your phone or computer home screen.
- Reminders: Give yourself reminders – you can use phone apps or a digital/hard copy organizer to post reminders for yourself.
- Rewards: Reward yourself for the milestones achieved – always give yourself treats or other rewards to sustain your momentum towards reaching your goals.
Treat yourself to a special meal or a present to celebrate your SMART milestones.
Now, if you need something even stronger to keep yourself powering towards your set goals . . .
Yes. Scare yourself into staying the course – this is the ultimate way!
Imagine not cutting it at job interviews. Think about having to write and send countless cover letters over many long months, trying to get a job after graduation.
Imagine not having an emergency fund, and desperately having to borrow money to fix your car.
Do you want these unpleasant situations to happen? No?
You know the SMART and savvy things you need to do to avoid the real nightmares.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: Examples of SMART Goals and How to Make Them
- Step 1: Write up your SMART goals.
- Step 2: Keep yourself rewarded and motivated. Stay savvy.
- Step 3: Stay the course and walk the talk.
- Step 4: Relish crushing your goals. Rejoice!
Start making and carrying out SMART goals as a way to succeed.
All the best and good luck!
Make all your SMART goals come true 🙂
What SMART goal example for students will you set in college?
More About Guest Contributor
Jo of More Money Tips enjoys sharing helpful ideas and money saving/making tips with her readers. Her passion is looking into the many areas of life and coming up with how to have a better life and have extra money in the pocket. Helping all folks to reach their full potential and their goals give her a great feeling.
Last Updated on January 10, 2021