"SMART" goals

Only 3 percent of Americans ever write down any goals for their lives. But those 3 percent are generally much more successful in life than the 97 percent who don't write any goals.

Good goals should be "S-M-A-R-T':

1.     They should be Specific. Specific is the opposite of vague; specific means having a detailed goal. A vague goal is: "I will get more education." A specific goal is: "I will earn my G.E.D."

2.      They should be Measurable. This means having a guideline or standard that you can use to measure how well you're doing. "I will exercise three days a week" is not a very measurable goal. "I will walk fWO miles three days a week" is more measurable.

3.      They should be Attainable. Be realistic about what you can do. For example, if you're not in very good shape, "I will walk five miles every day" is probably not a very attainable goal-it's probably more than you can handle. "I will walk a half-mile every day" is probably something you can do.

4.     They should be Rewarded. Break a big goal down into smaller steps, and decide before you start how you will reward yourself as you complete each step, and when you finally reach your goal. Choose rewards that will really make you want to complete your goal.

5.      They should be Timely. Set yourself a date for completing your goal. "I will earn my G.E.D." is a good goal, but "I will earn my G.E.D. in the next 12 months" is an even better goal, because it is timely-there is a deadline for completing that goal.

Now, write down one goal for yourself that is "SMART':

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