February 12, 2013
Thomas P. Carras, MSEd
Setting goals should not be just for school assignments but should be part of one’s everyday life. Developing goals gives people something to strive toward and allows an individual to keep going forward in life. Without goals, it is very easy to give up when things get rough. According to Bishop, Carter and Kravitis (2011), “Setting goals involves defining what an individual is aiming for in both long-term and short-term time frames. Long-term goals are broader objective an individual wants to achieve over a long period, perhaps a year or more. Short-term goals are smaller steps that move an individual toward a long-term goal, making it manageable and achievable, piece by piece (p. 98). Smart Goals is a tool that helps to focus and create effective goals. Smart Goals is an acronym that consists of five steps: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time frame (Carter, Bishop, & Kravits, 2011). Examples of using these acronyms for writing this paper are Specific – by receiving a B grade in every nursing class, Measurable – by completing each class for a step closer to receiving a degree, Attainable – by commitment and many hours of study, Relevant – achieving a B grade is not unrealistic with commitment and determination; the goal is to think positive and know that I can achieve anything, and Time frame – every five weeks completing a class. The following are the specifics of my personal and professional short and long-term goals along with the challenges in achieving them. Short-Term Personal Goals
One of my short-term personal goals is to control my overspending. Most of my overspending is a result of depression, hence the compulsive purchases. The way I deal with depression is to go out and buy things. It makes me feel good for the moment but when I get the bill I become depressed and stressed. I believe in dealing with this issue will allow me a sense of peace. Since, I started back to school, there is no better time to start on this goal because attending school and studying is a tremendous distraction that will take up a majority of my time. My boyfriend manages his money very well and pays off all his credit cards every month and has no debt. I decided that I will have him help manage all my credit cards and bills to achieve my goal. The next step will be to cut up my credit cards and keep one for an emergency. Another strategy I am going to use, the days go out with my friends I will make them aware of my goal and solicit their help to keep me on track. When I am about to buy something, I will have them remind me about my goal of getting out of credit card debt. My milestone for this goal is one week to get the above strategies in effect. Long-Term Personal Goals
One of my long-term personal goals is to pay-off all my credit cards. The first thing I need to do is to create a picture of how much debt and recurring bills I have in a month. This involves adding up all my credit card debt to see how much I owe, adding the monthly minimum payments, and adding up all my monthly recurring expenses: i.e. car loan, car insurance (divided by six), gas Family Fitness fees, AT&T bill, and groceries. The next step is to add up all my income in a month. From here I can subtract the minimum amount due on all my credit cards and recurring bills from my income with an outcome of my maximum monthly income. With this result, I will decide how much more I want to contribute to paying down my highest interest rate credit card first, putting some away in my savings account for unexpected emergencies, and some for a little pleasure. The next step is to decide a realistic milestone to achieve this goal. I am giving myself one and a half years, my expected graduation date, so I have a clean slate to start paying off my school loan. To keep myself on track to my target date, I am...