The end of the summer holidays and my new goals

Dear all,

it is the middle of August – the last month of summer holidays and the last month before the start of the new school year. Some of you may have returned from vacation, the coast, visiting relatives or still enjoy hanging out with friends in the parks of your city.

Some of you may feel sad as the school holidays draw to a close, while some of you may be happy as the new school year approaches. On a positive note, we can see the summer holidays as a time meant for recharging the batteries so that we can be prepared for new beginnings and challenges ahead of us, such as the beginning of a new school year, returning to our normal activities or jobs. Think about it – what does the end of the holidays mean to you?

Most of us see new beginnings as a new opportunity to work on ourselves, become more successful, change something that bothered us and, so to speak, “turn over a new leaf”. Therefore, we encourage you to think about your goals that you would like to meet during the new school year. These goals can be related to any part of your life (school, society, work, sports, etc.) that is important to you.

In order to successfully set your desired goals, you can be guided by the following acronym when forming them: S M A R T!

This acronym actually provides us with characteristics or guidelines on how to successfully set goals.

A successfully set goal should be:

Specific: Do you know everything your goal consists of? It is recommended to list all of the potential steps that can help you achieve your goal. Also, these steps, and the goal itself should be clear and concretely set! A definite and precise goal is defined so that everyone can understand what they intend to achieve. Your goal should contain its details, the deadline, the activities and subgoals you should achieve along the way to reach your final goal. Thus if your goal is to excel in some subject, such as history, specific goal would go something like this: “I want to have an A in history next school year, and I will do so by carefully preparing for tests and reading the material with understanding every time after class”.

Measurable – It is important to set a goal whose achievement can be measured in some way. It is useful to have some measure of progress toward your goal, because if you can’t measure it, you can’t even manage it, and thus not adequately meet it. You will recognize a good measurable goal by the fact that even others around us, when the deadline for its achievement expires, can clearly determine according to these criteria whether you have achieved that goal or not. Thus, the goal that is not measurable would be “I want to be a better student”, and the measurable goal, for example, would be “I want to pass the next school year with a B grade”.

Achievable: Setting goals that are not achievable can be discouraging and can distract us from the goal itself. Remember to set high goals, but be realistic. Goals that are too easy do not allow us personal growth and development. Therefore, it is important to find a goal that is challenging but not extreme. Thus, the goal that was not achieved or set would be “I want to improve my final grade from C to an A”, and the goal that is achievable would be “I want to improve my final grade to a B this school year, carefully preparing for each test.”

Relevant: Think about whether your goal is relevant to what you really want. Is it in line with your other goals and capabilities? Try to form your goal as a challenge that will bring you a sense of satisfaction and success when you achieve it. Also, your goal should be just that – YOURS! As such, it should motivate you and it should primarily mean a lot to you. In this way, your efforts are dedicated to goals that are focused on your work and life values. So, for example, if we are a sports type and being active is very important to us, the relevant goal may be: “I want to enroll in athletics and go to training twice a week.”

Timed – What is the deadline for achieving your goal? Research has shown that best goals are those that are set with a specific deadline that is not so far in the future! This is an extremely important step, because if you set the bar too high and unrealistic, it will potentially demotivate you and be a cause of frustration, and can eventually lead to giving up trying to achieve a goal. Therefore, set your goals in a challenging but realistic time frame. Thus, the goal without a time limit would be, for example, “I will write an essay for school”, and the one with a time limit “I will write an essay for school by Friday, and so I will work on it on Thursday and Friday for two hours”.

Investing effort and time in setting your S M A R T goals can increase the likelihood of you achieving them successfully. When we achieve the goals we have set for ourselves, we can feel a great sense of proud, a sense of greater value and happiness, and thus we will be more motivated to set and meet the next goals that await us. Think about your goals and we hope that some of these guidelines will help you in setting them.

Center Luka Ritz

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