Find the thesis statement and the topic sentences that support this. larry elder, a popular author

Larry Elder, a popular author and host of a talk-radio program in Southern California, believes “a goal without a plan is just a wish” (Goals, 2008, para. 2). Whether you have personal, educational, or professional goals, having a well-developed plan increases the likelihood you will actually achieve those goals. One effective goal-setting plan is the S.M.A.R.T. model—an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
First, set a goal that is specific rather than general. “Earn a college degree,” for example, is too general. Use the six W’s (Top, 2008) to make the goal more specific:
Who: Joe Student
What: College degree
Where: University of Phoenix Online
When: By the fall of 2012
Which: B.S. in Business Administration
Why: To qualify for a position in management
Your goal then becomes “I, Joe Student, will earn a B.S. in Business Administration at University of Phoenix Online by the fall of 2012 in order to qualify for a position in management.” Information that is more specific helps you visualize your goal and stay on track.
Second, make the goal measurable by establishing both short-term and long-term goals (Top, 2008). “Finish General Education (G.E.) requirements by the fall of 2010” is an example of a short-term goal you must complete before you can reach your final goal. Celebrating these benchmarks along the way enhances your motivation to go on. Additionally, preparing for contingencies—finances, health, work, and so forth—that may delay reaching your goal increases your sense of empowerment. You will know what to expect, and you will be confident you can handle the emergencies.
Third, make sure the goals are attainable. Ask yourself whether or not you can actually reach the goal, what obstacles stand in your way, and what opportunities exist you may have overlooked in the past (Top, 2008). You may discover you can earn credit for your prior learning experience or take CLEP (College-Level Examination Program) tests instead of completing some of the G.E. courses. You may also realize you need to apply for financial aid to make your goal more attainable.
Fourth, the goal must be realistic. “To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work” (Top, 2008, para.5). Ask yourself whether or not your ultimate goal—qualifying for a job in management—is what you really want. If you do, is earning a B.S. in business the best way to achieve your goal? Determine, moreover, how to reserve the time, energy, and family support you need to work toward the goal of earning a college degree.
Fifth, set a goal that is timely. Setting a definite timetable increases your “sense of urgency” (Top, 2008, para. 6); otherwise, it is easy to become sidetracked. If earning a college degree in four years is not feasible, give yourself additional time to reach the goal. Perhaps you will discover that completing an A.A. degree qualifies you for advancement within your organization. As you work toward your bachelor’s degree, you may also be able to work your way up the corporate ladder—again increasing your motivation to earn your bachelor’s degree.
By setting goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely and by writing down the goal-setting steps and visualizing your success, you will be well on your way to achieving your goals. You will enhance your self-esteem, create a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, and be closer to living the life you can only dream about now.
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Asked Oct 31, 2014

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