Setting SMART Goals in College and Beyond


In this course, students will learn how to set SMART goals.



This training takes students through the process of setting and achieving goals using the SMART framework. SMART goals, a concept widely recognized in both personal development and professional settings, are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. This evidence-based framework helps in creating clear, attainable, and meaningful goals, enhancing the likelihood of success. For instance, studies have found that providing employees with specific, measurable goals increased their performance by 15-25% compared to when they were given no goals or vague, non-quantifiable goals (Locke, 1990).

Sample skills
  • Developing performance and outcome measures
  • Developing an action plan
  • Common goal-setting errors


Locke, E. A. (1990). Toward a theory of task motivation and incentives. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 3(2), 157-189.

Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behavior. Plenum.

Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology. (Various Issues). British Psychological Society.