The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Counselor urges goal setting

By Robert Lavery/reporter

South Campus counselor Annie Dobbins taught students the importance of clear goals in the ABC’s to Goal Setting seminar March 31.

Dobbins said students should try to keep their goals SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.

“All of us need to set goals for our lives, no matter where we are,” she said, adding that clear goals move students to greater heights and motivate them to do better. “Your goals should be specific.”

She said action-oriented words like direct, develop, plan and build are key to successful goal-setting. Students should establish what, why, how and when they plan to accomplish their objectives.

Dobbins told students to make their goals measurable. She emphasized that short-term goals can become an integral part of long-term success. She gave the example of the credit hours a student earns in a semester. Passing 12 hours in the spring semester achieves a short-term goal that leads to the long-term goal of completing an Associate of Arts degree.

Keeping goals attainable helps people stay realistic about accomplishment.

“You should be able to complete the goals,” Dobbins said. “It should be a real goal that offers a challenge and is reachable.”

Dobbins said buying a dress four sizes too small three weeks before a class reunion is an example of an unrealistic goal.

Dobbins told students their goals should be timely. 

“Time frames help you to start now to reach your goal,” she said. “They establish a sense of urgency.”

Finally, Dobbins told students how to deal with failure to achieve their goals.

“Remember the mantra, ‘Failure is something I do, but failure is not who I am,’” she said.

She said even toddlers as they learn to walk know to stand up and try again when they fall down.

Students who attended the seminar were thoughtful about Dobbins’ presentation and applying the SMART system.

“It was really good,” said Candice Johnson, a student on South Campus. “I loved her energy … the way she talks is really fun.”

Vickie Tran, also a student on South Campus, liked Dobbins’ focus on time frames.

“It’s a good reminder: Time is important to college students,” she said.

Dobbins said she wants students to constantly re-evaluate themselves and set new goals to take the place of the ones they’ve accomplished.

Above all, she said, “If you fail, don’t stop … students need to know, ‘We’re OK people.’ They should always be moving toward success.”

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