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Walla Walla, WA
Friday, December 8, 2023

Does SMART Get You Far?

December 1, 2022
Kudzai Mhondiwa

A Closer Look at SMART Goals Heading into the New Year

Kudzai Mhondiwa

SMART goals have become an innovative strategy for students to quantify their goals with value-driven methods heading into the new year. 

50% of Americans set themselves up with a New Year's resolution. Within a month of the new year, 40% of Americans that set this goal fail in following through with their New Year’s plan. [1] 

SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based goals. They are pioneered from setting short-term goals to long-term goals. While some may feel it is intimidating, it yields a 42% higher likelihood that those who plan their goals are more likely to achieve them. [2] 

Bayli Follet, senior social work major, implements SMART goals in her day-to-day routine, as well as being a mentor to Walla Walla University students. She said, “SMART goals is a way set up goals for you to be as successful as possible,” and later added, “You need to do something so that you can see progress, but not so much it’s overwhelming.” [3]  

It is important to note the very purpose of setting up a goal is to have a plan structured to attain that goal. A plan that is far from reality is synonymous with an unachievable goal.   

Follet illustrated how students can avoid unrealistic and unachievable goals, saying, “Someone else can point out what doesn’t seem realistic or attainable, or what things you might need to make it attainable.” [4]  

Heading into the new year, one can gain a new perspective from others directing them towards their goal in a way that they may not have sought for themselves. This other perspective can be harsh to grasp, but it provides growth and endless opportunities for a new year’s resolution.  

For WWU’s high achievers, it becomes daunting to master certain goals, whether in sports, academics, or even in a social setting. Follet responded to this by encouraging “smaller incremental goals so that you can achieve them and that will help motivate you to proceed.” [5] 

Nevertheless, our result-orientated society positions itself around how fast we can reach our goals. 

 The SMART strategy slows down our rush in achieving our goals, providing us with calculated small steps that can lead to giant accomplishments.  



  1. Saad, Gad. (n.d.). Miscellaneous facts about New Year's resolutions. Psychology Today. 
  2. Kruse, K. (2022, April 29). Smart goals get results: How to set smart goals (with examples). LEADx.
  3. Interview with Bayli Follet, 11/17/2022. 

      4-5. Ibid.

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