How do you teach students to set smart goals?

Students can have a tough time meeting their expectations and setting goals can keep them on track and allow them to meet their desired results. So, teachers need to take responsibility for their students and teach them how to set smart goals

How do you teach students to set smart goals?

The best way to teach students how to set smart goals is the discussion method or approach of teaching. The teacher must engage the students and make them know the importance of setting a SMART goal and how it can benefit them

Best teaching methods to teach students how to set smart goals

The best method to teach students how to set a SMART goal is the interview method/discussion method. This method makes the students feel relaxed to share their goals with their teacher. 

Step 1:  Enlighten the students on the importance of goal setting. In the process of enlightening them, certain questions are needed to be asked, 

  • What do you want to achieve at the end of this term/ semester?
  • Do you have expectations you are living up to?

Step 2: Tell them the importance of setting goals and how it can help them to accomplish their academic pursuit, and his goal-setting makes us a better person, and how it improves our character. 

Step 3: Pair them up in twos and trios and ask them to share their goal with their friends. Be strategic while pairing, don’t pair the unserious with unserious, and don’t pair the bright ones with the exceptionally brilliant chap

Step 4: Their goals must be SMART and make sure you review their progress, encourage them, advise them, motivate them and constantly remind them to believe in themselves.

Step 5: Allow them to see the difference between the term they set goals and the term they did not. They should also get to know how to meet the deadline.

Acronyms of SMART

S- Specific 

M- Measurable

A- Achievable

R- Relevant

T- Time-bound


Setting a specific goal means setting a clear and defined goal, you should be able to know what you want exactly. Your goal must be simple, direct, and unambiguous. 

  • What are my goals?
  • Why do I want to achieve it? because your “why” will keep you moving)

Example of a specific goal

At the end of this semester, I will have a total G.PA of 4.0. 


It’s not just about setting specific goals, but do you have the criteria that will make the goals be accomplished in the long run. Are you working towards your goal! These criteria are needed so you will be able to track your success.

So when setting a measurable goal, few questions to ask yourself;

  • Do I have the criteria to accomplish the goal?
  • What are the steps I am supposed to take to make the goals accomplished?


I will be studying for six hours daily. Four hours in the daytime and two hours at midnight. I will get additional materials online, buy courses, and wake up from 2 am till 4 am to study


Sometimes, setting a goal can be so overwhelming, and sometimes, you might go overboard because you feel you can achieve them at that moment all by yourself. So, when setting a goal, few questions you need to ask yourself:

  • Do I have the ability to accomplish this goal at this set time?
  • Do I have the resources that will aid me?
  • Is it something others have done, if yes, how did they do it?

Example of an achievable goal

I can write a GPA of 4.5 because last semester, I had a GPA of 3.7, and of which, I hardly study my notes, I don’t buy materials online and I hardly attend lectures. So, I can do exceptionally better if I study hard this semester


Setting goals sometimes can make one build fantasies that might seem to be far-fetched. But, you need to be realistic with yourself, your goal must align with your capability and the resources within your reach. 

When setting a realistic goal, here are a few questions you should ask yourself:

  • Is my goal realistic?
  • Is it achievable before the deadline?
  • Is it something you would be committed to always?

Example of a realistic goal 

Writing a GP of 4.5 will skyrocket my GP to a very strong second-class upper. So, by the next semester, I will write a GPA of 4.6, so by then, I will be in first class.


 A goal must have a deadline, there must be a deadline for every goal, and that is what makes a goal. It has to be time-constrained. So, you will be able to work towards it with a sense of urgency.

When setting a time-bound goal, ask yourself this question;

  • What time will I achieve my goal?


At the end of this semester, I will have a GPA of 4.5 or at the end of my academic pursuit, I want to become a professional surgeon with a high level of expertise.

Why you should set a smart goal

  • It keeps you on track on how to set your goal
  • It makes your goal succinct and straight to the point
  • It gives you a level of fulfillment when you achieve your goal
  • It makes your organized
  • It makes you know what you want and how to work towards your dream


 encourage your students to be goal-oriented because people who set goals are focused, they know what they want in life, what and want from life, and what they have to offer to the world 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q1 Why should students set SMART goals?

To make the students set clear goals that they can work towards

Q2. What is the best method to teach the student how to set SMART goals?

The interview/discussion method 

Q3. Why should I be actively involved in my students’ goals?

It gives you a sense of achievement when your students achieve their academic goals