Teacher’s Corner: Setting Goals with Tyler Lymburner

Do you have goals? Are they for your education/career, or another aspect of your life? How do you plan to achieve your goals?

For some, goal setting can mean trying to get a specific grade in school, making a sport team, or landing the perfect job. For others, goals can mean building relationships or climbing mountains. Either way, it’s reasonable to suggest that most people will set some goals throughout their lifetime.

Sometimes students come to iLearn without any goals for themselves and appear to be lost in their ambitions. These students clearly have distinct interests, but they have never pushed themselves to accomplish something entirely for themselves. Then when grade 12 comes around, students will start to set education/career goals, without much consideration for any personal goals, like learning how to play the guitar or creating and maintaining a self-care plan.

For a goal to have its maximum impact, it should be a SMART goal. SMART is an acronym:

S = Specific, M = Measurable, A = Attainable, R = Realistic, T = Time-bound

The process of goal setting aligns your ambitions into an organized structure that you can follow. Try creating a goal by following the SMART goal structure below:


What do I want to accomplish? Why is this goal important? Who is involved? Which resources are needed?


How much? How many? When is it accomplished?


Can I accomplish this goal? Is my goal realistic? Are there any impediments (financial or otherwise)?


Is it worth it? Is now the right time? Am I the right person for this goal? Is it applicable in today’s setting?


When does this need to be accomplished by? When do I have to hit key milestones? Can I do this within my expected time frame?

Believe it or not, those who write their goals down have a much higher chance achieving them. Goal setting individuals also report being happier compared to their peers who do not set goals. This is especially true if you have goals that involve helping others.

Creating a SMART goal will help guide and push you to accomplish your goal, and accomplishing your goals creates a positive feedback loop that will help you achieve even more goals. Try to remember to set personal goals for yourself related to your emotional well-being and mental health, because when we self-care we are able to perform at our best and achieve anything that we set our mind on.