Smart Goals: Keeping the Faith Over Break

FOCUS missionary Andrew Wierdak offers students advice on keeping up with their faith lives over school breaks. Andrew is one of five missionaries at St. Peter Catholic Student Center.




It’s important to remember when setting goals for break to set goals that are SMART.

S – Specific

This should mean that someone can tell what you’re aiming at when you tell them your goal. Things like “grow in my faith” or “keep up my relationship with Christ” are disqualified from being SMART goals because they are too general. We know those are good things to do but they are not specific goals. See below for some helpful suggestions on specific goals.

M – Measurable:

Your goal should be something that can be recorded, like visits per week to the chapel for prayer, or number of minutes reading and exercising. Use a habit tracking app to make this easier!

A – Achievable:

Make your goals possible. Ideally a goal stretches you beyond your usual routine and comfort zone to encourage growth. However, it is not prudent to set a goal such as living a mini monastic life while home for winter break with 4 hours of daily  prayer. That’s something we won’t be able to achieve 9 days out of 10.

R – Relevant:

Consider your station in life, the way God currently is calling you to serve others and His Church, as you make your goals. We want the goals we set to encourage growth and strengthening of virtue in those areas of life that are most important to our day to day activities.

T – Time Sensitive:

Make your goals quantifiable by time. While we hope to transcend the reality of time one day in the future, right now we are stuck on the timeline, which means we need to have goals that include a time-component. For example, 30 minutes of daily prayer, 45 minutes running on MWF, 20 minutes of spiritual reading before bed, etc.

Suggested goals:

Taken all together, SMART goals can take time and planning to form. But the investment of time will be worth it when you make strong, relevant, challenging goals which will bring you closer to God while at home over break.

How has your break been? Have you set any goals and how are they going?


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