Do. Or do not. There is no try. – Yoda

Rafael Hernandez
OC ESTEEM Scholar

Do. Or do not. There is no try. – Yoda

It is the season to set SMART goals.

Examine.

Think about how you did this past semester.Start with the successes. Think about why you were successful. Really. Grab a pencil. Write it down.

  1. How did you succeed?
  2. What did you do?
  3. Why do you think it worked?

Now, put the timer on. Really. Put the timer on for 3 minutes and promise you’ll stop when it rings. Make a list of where you fell short and the areas you need to improve. Done! Stop!

There is more to learn from what is working for you. Research shows that humans are natural problem solvers and sometimes we just become mesmerized by how things went sideways. You’ll make more progress doing more of what is working for you and transferring that success to crowd out the problem areas.

Take a picture of your future self.  

Make a clear statement about your career ambitions and your personal goals and study who you want to become. If you cannot find a role model in your current environment then find one virtually. Take on the habits of that STEM professional you admire such as Elon Musk. Work on passion projects. Attend conferences and network with STEM professionals. Apply yourself as if your final project will be a part of solving human intelligence.

Take a minute and make SMART goals.

SMART stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound.

I wanted to be able to bench press 225 pounds. Here’s what I did:

    1. Specific. Set a goal that is clearly described so you know exactly what you are working toward. Instead of saying “I want to have a stronger bench press”, I set a specific goal. Bench press 225 pounds for three repetitions.
    2. Measureable. I’m going progressively overload the amount of weight I am bench pressing and record every workout on my JEFIT mobile app.
    3. Attainable. I’ll have my workouts every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday morning at 9:00AM before work. I will reward myself with a protein shake after my morning workouts.
    4. Realistic. You will also see a huge drop in motivation if you’re not meeting your goals. Realistically, I would not be able jump from benching 200 pounds to 400 pounds. Therefore I made sure my goal was realistic and therefore attainable.
    5. Timely. All goals should have a set time in which you wish to achieve them. This will make sure you don’t start getting lazy and push your workouts until ‘tomorrow’. By setting a date in which you want to achieve your goals by you are making a way to hold yourself accountable. I wanted to reach my goal within a two month span.

Follow the SMART goals process and you’ll be on your way to becoming a jedi master in achieving your goals.