Willis News

SMART goals for students – make your dreams a reality!

October 20, 2020
coffee and watch

Life can be a rat race. Do you ever feel like you’re on a treadmill, working so hard but never achieving what you hoped? Maybe things get a bit better, and you see little glimpses of the future you’d like to have, but you never fully actualize it. It can be hard to achieve your goals. Life can get in the way, knocking you off the path and making it hard to get to where you think you should be going. 

Setting SMART goals will help to clarify your ideas, focus your efforts, use your time and resources productively, and increase your chances of achieving what you want in life. They’re about making sure that the vision that you have for your future is crystal clear and then making a map to get there. These SMART goals can be for anything: the type of home you would like to buy one day, the career you envision, and even the type of education you would like to secure for yourself so that you can build that bright future. 

Today, we’re going to chat about what SMART goals are and how you can utilize them to make sure that your time at Willis College is as effective and productive as possible (so that future you’ve always wanted is within your reach!).

What is a SMART goal?

SMART is an acronym that is attributed to Peter Drucker’s Management by Objectives concept. To make sure your goals are clear and reachable, using the handy acronym, each one should be:

  • Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
  • Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
  • Achievable (agreed, attainable).
  • Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
  • Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).

Setting yourself up for success


Let’s look at the first one, S for Specific. Your goal should be clear and specific otherwise you won’t be able to focus your efforts or feel truly motivated to achieve it. This is the part that makes that vision for the future less hazy and more clear. 

  • What do I want to accomplish?
  • Why is this goal important?
  • Who is involved?
  • Where is it located?
  • Which resources or limits are involved?

If you’re a Phaarmacy Assistant student a great example could be:  “I want to gain the skills and experience necessary to graduate at the head of my class so that I have the best chance possible of securing a job as a pharmacy assistant before I graduate.”


You need to be able to track your goals and stay motivated to achieve success. Just saying what you want to achieve is helpful  but being able to know when you’ve reached the finish line and pat yourself on the back is kind of the point! A measurable goal should address questions like:

  • How much?
  • How many?
  • How will I know when it is accomplished?

To go back to our Pharmacy Assistant example, you’ll be able to complete the course in 32 weeks and graduate, but if you want to make sure that job is waiting for you before you graduate you’ll need to start looking ahead of time. 


Your goal also needs to be realistic and attainable to be successful. You need to challenge yourself but still be within the realm of possibility. A pharmacy assistant can be top of their class but they won’t be able to graduate any faster than the rest of the class. To ensure your goals are achievable you need to think  about the following:

  • How can I accomplish this goal?
  • How realistic is the goal, based on other constraints?

Do you have time to go back to school? Do you have the stamina to complete 32 weeks of education? If not, how can you make changes in your life to make sure that you’re going to be successful in your new endeavour?


This step is about making sure that your goal matters to you! A relevant goal can answer “yes” to these questions:

  • Does this seem worthwhile?
  • Is this the right time?
  • Am I the right person to reach this goal?

Is it the right time to head back to school?  Are you sure that you’re the right person for the Pharmacy Assistant course? Have you considered your spouse’s or partners goals? 


This part of the SMART goal criteria helps to prevent everyday tasks from taking priority over your longer-term goals. A time-bound goal will usually answer these questions:

  • When?
  • What can I do six months from now?
  • What can I do six weeks from now?
  • What can I do today?

To put this into the context we’ve been using, this is the breakdown to get you through the Pharmacy Assistant program and achieving success upon graduation (or even before!). What can you do today? Today you can talk to your spouse / friends / family members and get their support behind you as you move forward. Tomorrow you can call Willis College and find out what requirements you need to apply. And so on, and so on. These baby steps will lead you to the finish line and into your new dream career!

So what are you waiting for?

Set your goals and get to work achieving them! In most cases you’re less than a year away from an exciting new career with an education from Willis College! We’re currently enrolling students in a variety of programs and would love to chat with you! Visit our website to learn more and to get started today!

What Our Graduates Are Saying

Online schooling was helpful in working around my schedule. It allowed me to gain the education I needed from the comfort of my own home. Despite online classes, you receive a quick response when help is needed.
Daphne Phillips
Addictions & Community Services Worker Program