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Managing Time

Goal Setting 

When you link your day-to-day tasks to goals, you see the purpose behind your work. This helps you stay motivated. Think about both short-term and long-term goals to gain perspective. 

Define long-term goals by answering the question, “What do I want to accomplish?” 

  • You need a long-term goal to stay motivated!  

Example: I want to finish my major paper a week before it’s due.  

Define short-term goals by answering the question, “How will I accomplish my long-term goal?” 

  • Success in a larger project is the result of completing daily and weekly goals 
  • These goals should be concrete and manageable tasks that help you develop skills 
  • Simple and well-defined short-term goals can keep you from getting overwhelmed 

Example: To get my paper done early, I’m going to spend 2 hours looking for sources on the Library databases tonight.  


SMART Goals are detailed and manageable goals that are accompanied by a plan of action. 

SMART Goal Step

Guiding Questions


6-Month Update


Who? What? Where? When? Which? Why?


How much/many? How will I know when I’ve achieved my goal?


What skills do I need? What is my timeframe? What steps will I follow?


Do I believe I can accomplish this goal? Have I achieved similar goals? Is this related to my long-term plans?


What is my deadline? When will I begin? Am I being realistic? In what concrete ways will I know I’ve achieved my goal?



Improve your writing and study skills! Book an appointment with a writing advisor and/or academic coach on OSCARplus.  Questions? Email


UMass Dartmouth. (2020). Creating S.M.A.R.T. goals. 

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