Apendix a

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Appendix B

Sample Essay

Using the S.M.A.R.T. Plan for Goal-Setting

Larry Elder, a popular author and host of a talk-radio program in Southern California, believes “a goal without a plan is just a wish” (Goals, 2008, para. 2). Whether you have personal, educational, or professional goals, having a well-developed plan increases the likelihood you will actually achieve those goals. One effective goal-setting plan is the S.M.A.R.T. model—an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.

First, set a goal that is specific rather than general. “Earn a college degree,” for example, is too general. Use the six W’s (Top, 2008) to make the goal more specific:

Who: Joe Student What: College degree Where: University of Phoenix Online When: By the fall of 2012 Which: B.S. in Business Administration Why: To qualify for a position in management

Your goal then becomes “I, Joe Student, will earn a B.S. in Business Administration at University of Phoenix Online by the fall of 2012 in order to qualify for a position in management.” Information that is more specific helps you visualize your goal and stay on track.

Second, make the goal measurable by establishing both short-term and long-term goals (Top, 2008). “Finish General Education (G.E.) requirements by the fall of 2010” is an example of a short-term goal you must complete before you can reach your final goal. Celebrating these benchmarks along the way enhances your motivation to go on. Additionally, preparing for contingencies—finances, health, work, and so forth—that may delay reaching your goal increases your sense of empowerment. You will know what to expect, and you will be confident you can handle the emergencies.

Third, make sure the goals are attainable. Ask yourself whether or not you can actually reach the goal, what obstacles stand in your way, and what…...

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