Smart Goals – S is for Specific

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You’re just in time for Smart Goal Setting Training! Today’s challenge – Set Specific Goals:

9 times out of 10, vague and generalized goals go completely underachieved. Why?

Because undefined goals don’t provide sufficient direction! Why do we even set goals, especially short term ones? They are stepping stones to the rest of our lives. Define your goals as precisely as possible to help you in the direction you want to go.  To set a specific goal you must answer the W’s.

Who  — Who all is involved?

What — What am I trying to accomplish?

Where — Location, Location, Location?

When — What is the time frame?

Which — Any requirements or constraints involved?

Why — Purpose of achieving goals?

Let’s look at mine.



Let’s look at a Strong one from my list –  Rock my GPA for my first year at UT.

Who — Well, Me!  But also my advisers and teachers who will help me decide which classes pair best so I don’t get overwhelmed with assignments.

What — I want to end my year with a good GPA

When — My first year, but in all actuality, I need to keep my GPA up for the entire length of my major. Gotta keep my eye on the long term goals!

Where  — University of Tennessee Knoxville!

Why — A high GPA means Scholarship money, and that means less student loans to worry about when I’m ready to start my real life


And a Weak one –  Go on a trip.

Wow Phoebz, you need to specify this whole thing!

Who — Me and Sam

What — Go on a trip of some sort – which we will narrow down to hiking or scuba diving.

When — Next Summer

Where — Outside the continental U.S., hopefully. Europe, Canada, Alaska, or Caribbean most definitely. Luckily, we have some flexibility.

Why — Because travel is the best education a person can get! We will have the time and the funds to take this adventure – which could be our last! You never know!


I already feel better now that I know exactly what my goals are! Now look at your goals and ask some W’s. See what you can tweak and redefine.

Need a Refresher?

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