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Spring: the season of new beginnings and motivation

by Breonnah Colón - Lifestyles Editor
Tue, Feb 6th 2018 10:50 pm

Perhaps one of the hardest aspects of college life is maintaining motivation and fighting the innate urge to procrastinate. Students are constantly barraged by huge course loads of work. 

In addition, there are pressures to maintain their personal and family life, as well as juggle extracurricular activities, such as work and hobbies. 

With everything that goes on in a young adult’s life throughout these years of transition, it is very easy to feel overwhelmed and sometimes even a little lost. 

Occasionally, you lose sight of what you want or who you are and it can be difficult to remain focused and take proper initiative in order to progress. For this exact reason, it is  extremely important that we learn how to set proper goals and work to achieve them. 

The College at Brockport’s Student Leadership Program held a workshop on Tuesday, Jan. 30, to help students learn how to do just that.

S.M.A.R.T Goals is a workshop that is designed to help students and members of the community discern effective and realistic ways to maintain and meet set goals. The acronym “S.M.A.R.T.” stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. 

The idea behind this concept is if someone can set a specific, clear cut goal for themselves, then they can create a plan that would help bring them toward accomplishing their goal. While the process may seem simple, it can be difficult to hone an idea down, especially because most goals tend to be very general.

For example, one may have a goal to lose 10 pounds. Typically, that goal would be considered specific. The individual would have the idea to lose the weight by  working out and changing their diet to help attain that goal. 

However, there are some holes in this approach to achieving the goal: there is no set guideline or real criteria. Beyond the general goal to lose weight, the individual has no real course of action. 

The method introduced by S.M.A.R.T Goal takes the goal-making process several steps further by incorporating time frames, measurements of progress and a step-by-step plan that helps to not only simplify, but also give shape to how to go about actually meeting a set goal. 

This form of goal making can also be implemented on a larger scale, where the impact of accomplishing a goal can affect more than one person.

Daniel Kandris, a S.M.A.R.T. Goals presenter and mentor, explained the benefit of implementing S.M.A.R.T Goals in everyday life. Kandris explained the narrow scope offered by S.M.A.R.T Goals that allows an individual to maintain a realistic approach by transitioning from having a goal to working toward it.

“S.M.A.R.T. Goals is widely implemented in project management and community action/development, which often go hand-in-hand. They are used in order to propose solutions to specific occurrences or identified problems,” Kandris wrote in an email. “They carry a narrow focus, which is easily measured [and] because [they serve] as a blueprint to measure success and growth, both in the the participants and the the addressing of the situation.”

This exact idea was put to the test during the presentation when visitors were encouraged to identify an issue they felt should be addressed within the Brockport community and utilize S.M.A.R.T Goals to work on a solution to the issue. 

By carrying this exercise out, attendants were not only able to experience what it would would be like to integrate the S.M.A.R.T Goals ideology into their personal lives, but they also learned how the approach could serve as a way to impact a larger community group. 

Regardless of their initial intention prior to attending the presentation, visitors left with a new understanding of how they can approach  their goals as well as a tool that could be use to improve themselves.

Freshman Stevie Michele Rudak attended the event as part of the Leadership Development Program and found the information provided throughout the presentation useful to not only her goal of completing the program, but also how to become a more effective goal setter.

“The Leadership [Development Program] helps you identify the strengths in yourself [as well as] your weaknesses,” Rudak said. “Going through the program, I learned that everything I’m learning is [useful], I will be impleminting them for the rest of my life.”

Anyone interested in the concept of S.M.A.R.T Goals can look forward to another presentation, which will be hosted by Kandris later in March. 

Those interested in understanding more about the Leadership Development Program currently in place on campus can learn more by going to brockport.edu/life/leadership

Being in college is hard in and of itself, but there are ways to work on maintaining a healthy and happy experience. S.M.A.R.T Goals is just one.

 

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