Setting Learning Goals

from Eric Matas


In this lesson, you will learn to set effective learning goals that will help you stay motivated and on track. You will also explore various techniques for measuring progress and adjusting goals as needed.

The Importance of Setting Goals

You are never going to get a bullseye if you don’t have a target. Setting goals is crucial to any successful learning journey. Goals give you a sense of direction and purpose, and they can help you stay motivated and focused when faced with challenges. By setting goals, you also give yourself a way to measure progress and celebrate successes.

Techniques for Setting and Measuring Goals

There are several techniques you can use to set and measure your learning goals. One effective method is to use the SMART framework, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. When setting goals, make sure they are specific and measurable, so you know exactly what you want to accomplish and how you will measure progress. Goals should also be achievable and relevant to your overall learning objectives, and they should have a set deadline.

Once you have set your goals, it is important to regularly measure progress and adjust goals as needed. This could involve tracking your progress in a journal or using an app, and periodically reassessing whether your goals are still relevant and achievable.

Here are 10 examples of SMART learning goals:

  1. Complete a 12-week online coding bootcamp in Python by August 31st, to develop programming skills and be able to create basic web applications.
  2. Read and analyze three research papers on renewable energy each month for the next six months, starting from May 1st, to expand understanding of sustainable energy technologies and their impact on the environment.
  3. Attend a weekly conversational Spanish meetup group for three months, starting from June 1st, to improve speaking and listening skills and be able to hold a 15-minute conversation with a native speaker.
  4. Complete a 6-week online course in graphic design by July 15th, to acquire the skills necessary to create professional-looking marketing materials for a small business.
  5. Write a 1,500-word essay comparing and contrasting two historical events by September 30th, to strengthen analytical and critical thinking skills in the context of history.
  6. Learn to play three new songs on the guitar, practicing for 30 minutes daily for the next two months, to enhance musical skills and expand the repertoire.
  7. Complete a 10-week online course in project management by October 31st, to gain the knowledge and skills required to effectively manage projects and achieve a PMP certification.
  8. Watch and analyze one TED talk per week on leadership for the next 12 weeks, starting from May 1st, to identify and adopt effective leadership techniques for personal and professional growth.
  9. Develop a daily meditation practice of at least 10 minutes for 30 consecutive days, starting from June 1st, to improve focus, reduce stress, and enhance overall well-being.
  10. Complete a four-week online course in personal finance by November 30th, to learn how to create a budget, save for retirement, and make informed investment decisions.

These examples cover various topics and learning methods, including online courses, self-study, and in-person events, and they all adhere to the SMART criteria (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound).

BONUS: Chat GPT Prompt for Writing SMART Learning Goals

Get comfortable using AI to interview you so it can write SMART goals for you. Use a prompt like this to get started:

“Help me create a SMART learning goal by asking me questions about my interests, skills I want to develop, and the timeframe I have in mind. Please guide me through the process by asking questions that will help you gather the necessary information to formulate a specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goal for my learning.”


Using the SMART framework, set one specific learning goal that is relevant to your personalized learning curriculum. Share your goal with the JazzJune community and explain why it is important to your overall learning objectives. Consider sharing any obstacles you may face in achieving this goal and how you plan to overcome them.