5 Simple Steps for Smarter IB Goals and IB Diploma Success
Why should I bother with Goals ?
OK- so why would you waste time making goals when you could just get started with the work? Nonsense. If you get started without a goal, then ten minutes later you’ll switch over to an easier subject, twenty minutes later you’ll FB messaging your friends when you should be working, and in half an hour you’ll be sitting in bed eating Cheetos and playing Call of Duty.
If you don’t make goals you’re like a spray can of paint – you spray everywhere, get nothing done and just make a mess. If you set goals you’re like a fire hose – blasting through coursework and making progress toward your goal.
But why SMART goals?
Good question, you must be an IB student!
A SMART goal is a goal that is not wishy washy because it is very specific and informed. You know exactly what you are trying to do and how long you have to get it done.
Here are 5 things your goals should be:Bad Example: "I want to do well in math".. that's pretty wishy washy. HOW will you do well in math? I dunno...
1) SPECIFIC (S): A Wishy washy goal tells you nothing about HOW you plan to achieve it. You want to be VERY specific.
Good examples: ‘I want to know all the of the equations for basic trigonometry by heart’ OR ‘I want to be able to draw a graph that shows how calculus and graphs are related’.
2) MEASURABLE (M): If you cannot measure it, how do you know you’re making progress?
Correct! – you don't!
So, pick something measurable: ‘I want to have written 5 Psychology abstracts by June 15th’
3) ACHIEVABLE (A): Don’t reach for the moon unless you want to be an astronaut.
Of course, you SHOULD push yourself! However, if you decide before you even begin your IB journey that you will only ever get 100% on everything, then you will fail. Instead, aim to achieve a little better every day. SET ACHIEVABLE GOALS!
ACHIEVABLE GOAL IDEA: "On the next HOE test, I will score 20% better than Test 1." There ya' go! That's a measurable goal that you can attain! When you reach that goal, it's a great feeling!
4) RELEVANT (R): Here's a quick recipe for failure in the IB: spend all your time ‘learning’ things you don’t need to know. Does that sound like what a successful high school or college student would do? Nope. Try this…
Make sure everything you learn directly contributes to either your final exam grade (check the syllabus) or your coursework (check the mark scheme). Make sure everything you learn is connected to your course standards!
5) TIME (T): You’re an IB rockstar student. Your time is valuable. So set a start and end date for your goal, otherwise you may never achieve it.
Here’s an example SMART goal to get you started as you begin your summer work:
I’m going to read an article on goals (specific), finish the whole thing (measurable) if it’s less than a thousand words (achievable). This is going to help me be more efficient (relevant) and I will finish it…NOW!! (time).Use SMART goals for everything you do! Be specific. Give yourself something to measure success by. Make sure it's achievable or you'll feel defeated before you start. Make sure it's relevant- your time is too precious for it not to be. Set end dates for each goal- this is how you plan to get everything done by the time it needs to be done.