Goals are about more than scoring points on the field. A goal is also a result you want to achieve. Chances are you already have some goals! But there are ways to improve your goals ― and to make sure you achieve them.

The basics Choosing a goal means deciding how you want to spend your time and energy. Start by asking yourself what you want to achieve. Then decide if you want that something at a certain place or time. It’s also important to know why you want this particular goal — be sure it’s something you really want and aren’t afraid to work toward! Keep in mind you may need help from other people.

Be SMART about it Keep these SMART tips in mind when setting goals. Each goal should be:

  • Specific. You have a better chance reaching a specific goal than a general one.
  • Measurable: Pick a goal that’s measurable, so you can track your progress.
  • Attainable: Setting a goal too far out of reach could be discouraging.
  • Realistic: You must be willing to work toward the goal.
  • Timely: Creating a timeframe increases the chances your goal will be reached.

How many goals should I have? Start with three: one short-term goal that you can achieve in the next few weeks; a medium-term goal that you can finish within a year; and a long-term goal that you work on for more than a year. When one goal is complete, you can come up with a new one for that category.

Long-term goals might be:

  • Starting a savings account for a car or college.
  • Having the highest GPA in my class when I start high school.
  • Finishing swim lessons and becoming a lifeguard.

Medium-term goals might include:

  • Learning how to cook a particular food and making dinner for your family.
  • Achieving perfect attendance at school.
  • Saving money to buy your parents a Christmas present.

Short-term goals might include:

  • Saving enough money for a toy or video game you want.
  • Turning in all of your school assignments this month.
  • Trying a new food each day next week.