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Back to school is here! I am encouraging kids at all levels to set S.M.A.R.T. Goals for the up-coming academic term! You can get the results you want as long as you keep your mind’s focus on what you want to achieve.Make your academic goals as specific as possible, also make them measurable (determine for yourself how you will know when you’ve achieved EXACTLY what you want!).

Importantly, write down your goal in a way that makes it ‘as if…NOW’. Don’t phrase your goals as an arbitrary wishful thought that may or may not be achieved at some eventual point in the future. Instead, make it real and as if it’s right now. You can do that by filling it with strong visuals, sounds and feelings that make the experience as though it’s happening at this very moment for you!

You do need to make sure that whatever goals you set are realistic and can be achieved in the time frame you set and with the resources you have available to you. Finally, ensure that you anchor whatever goal you make in a timeline with a specific time attached for obtaining your goal. So let’s try out an example of setting a S.M.A.R.T. academic goal:

“It is December 2014 and I have just received my end of term report from the office, I feel amazing because I have obtained an average of 90% on my report. (You may go ahead and put in specific scores for specific subject areas). I can hear my parents’ congratulations about the great job that I have done and I feel satisfied with my performance. This feels amazing!”

When we make S.M.A.R.T goals and position them at a concrete point in our future we give our minds something specific to focus on and because of the strong sensory energies (visuals, sounds, feelings) that we associate with the goal, we unconsciously are mobilised to do things that are guaranteed to get us what we want.

Just remember….where you put your focus changes EVERYTHING!
Have an amazing academic year from Caribbean Tots to Teens!


Matthew McKenzie is a Masters level Clinical Psychologist at Caribbean Tots to Teens. He can be reached at