Setting Goals

The annual plan has been complete since August, but with the new year comes new goals and dreams of what 2008 can be.
Goals are great, because often times they are personal. Each Scout should set a personal goal this year. Earn a certain merit badge, or a certain amount of merit badges, develop a new skill or get better at one that is lacking. Live the oath and law more consistently, or find ways to be more helpful, even if it is just to a little sister.

When setting goals, even personal goals, remember the SMART tool. This will help you stay focused on the goal and achieve success. After all, the reason we set goals is to be successful.

S- Specific. Make the goal specific. Focus on one thing, not many things. Try to limit the cause to something that will do the most good.
M- Measurable. Know where you are on the subject, and measure the change. For example…If my goal is to be able to run 5 miles by June and I know that I can only run 3 now, I can measure the success when I reach the 5 mile mark.
A- Attainable. Make you goal something that you can actually attain. That is not to say do not dream big, but dream big in small steps. This year may not be the year that you become an Astronaut. Especially if you are 14. But learning about Rocket engines may be something you can do this year to get there.
R- Relevant. Make your goal relevant to what you want out of life. For me I have no desire to climb Mt. Everest. So saving up for a Trip to Tibet would not be a relevant goal for me. Keep it to something that you really need to change, get better at, or want. Something that will make you better, or make your family, Troop, or friends better.
T- Timely. Make your goal timely. Allow yourself plenty of time to be successful, but try not to drag it out to long. The longer you drag out anything, the less interested you will be in it. The longer it seems to go, the less successful you will feel in accomplishing the goal in that you will think that it will never end. It will… you may need to be patient, but set a time line to completing the goal and stick to it.

Goal setting is important. It is the map that guides you on the path to change and success.
Set SMART goals this year and see yourself and those around you getting better.

Happy Scouting!

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