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 starting an expense log that will allow me to monitor exactly where my money is going. By doing this I should be able to adjust my numbers to meet my goal. Another way to achieve this goal is by staying in school believe it or not. If I am in school and studying a majority of my time, I will have less time to go out and spend money. By doing and implementing all the above, I will be on my way to being debt free by the time I graduate.
Short-Term Professional Goal
One of my short-term professional goals is to complete the HCS/301 class with at least a B grade. My milestone achievement date is set for two weeks. To reach this goal I am taking several courses of action. The first is to manage my time. Managing my time will be challenging to say the least. I will be juggling my time between work, school, keeping up my home and spending a little time with my longtime boyfriend and dog. Oh wait, I forgot to list time to sleep. To do this, I will write down how many hours of work and commuting time I do each week (average 56 hours), time for boyfriend, dog, and home management (17 hours), and. time for school (39 hours). With my learning challenges, 39 hours per week is enough time for school.
Another course of action is to form a study/support group. This group will help in discussions on schoolwork, to reinforce the in class material, and to discover different ways of doing and thinking regarding school assignments. A third way to achieve this goal is to take advantage of all the resources available at University of Phoenix. This would include using the university library, disability services, technical services, and taking workshops just to name a few. By consuming all these resources, I am sure it will reduce the amount of time and stress it takes me to complete each assignment.
Long-Term Professional Goals
One of my long-term professional goals is to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Working as a Registered Nurse (RN), I have experienced many roadblocks in obtaining another job and have fought going back to school for the past year. I finally have come to the realization that to make myself more employable in todays job market that a RN with a BSN degree has a distinct advantage over a candidate with only an AA degree. According to Williams (n.d., p. 1), a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, and reported by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, surgical patients treated by greater percentage of nurses holding Bachelors Degrees had a survival advantage over those patients who did not have nurses with BSN.
It was also reported that there has been a 10% increase in nurses with BSN degrees, and this increase in BSN-prepared RNs has decreased the risk of patient death by approximately five percent. a BSN will give me more credibility, put me in a position of higher demand, increase my opportunities, and in a position to obtain higher pay. I have already started toward this goal by enrolling at University of in their BSN program will take one and a half years to complete the curriculum. As mention previously, I plan to succeed academically by continuing with my study/support groups, staying organized, continuing using resources at University of Phoenix, and completing each course in a the curriculum with at least a B grade.
Everyone will face challenges and roadblocks throughout their lifetime. What sets up apart is how deal with them. If one allows it, challenges can stop us from achieving our goals. The major challenge I am facing at this time starting University of Phoenix is my negative thinking. I do not want to go back to school but have to out of necessity to keep my job. My negative thinking is due to my learning disabilities some of which are a lack of skills in reading and writing that seem to be a requirement in obtaining a BSN degree. Adding all these challenges together greatly contributes to my lack of confidence. A good support group at school and home is easing my negativity.
In conclusion, this paper was about personal and professional short and long-term goals. With each one, I discussed strategies on low to achieve each goal and the expected milestone for each. Reaching each milestone is empowering, to know that we are one step closer to achieving the next goal (Morisano, 2008). From researching on the subject of goals, when settling on goals, one should have positive outcome expectations regarding their ability to actually achieve these goals or they are unlikely to be highly motivated in following through with goal-relevant behavior (Williams, n.d., para 1). The importance of setting goals is that it gives me something I to have. When a goal is achieved, it gives me a little self- satisfaction and more confidence that I can achieve anything that I put my mind to if I have a clear vision of what I want.
Bishop, J., Carter, C., & Kravits, S.L. (2011). Keys to Effective Learning. Study Skills and Habits for Success (6th ed.). Morisano, D. (2008). Personal goal setting in university students: Effects on academic achievement, executive functioning, personality, and mood. McGill University
(Canada)). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 235. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/762858991?accountid=35812. (762858991). Williams, M. (n.d.). Is a BSN important? Nurses Speak Out. Retrieved from