One of the most important aspects to any dream is setting strategies in place to make it happen. These strategies are also known as goals. Goals set our dreams into motion and actually turn what we were wanting into a reality. 

When I was beginning to prepare for this journey, there were many smaller goals I had set for myself along the way: getting a private pilot’s license,  a scuba certification, and learning Russian were just a few steps I set in place to plan for the JAXA Astronaut Selection Process. The first stage is the planning of the goal, the second stage is the execution, and the third is reviewing, and altering the course based on your current state. It is also important to stay flexible along the way.

Setting SMART goals are one of the many ways in which we can achieve our dreams. SMART goals stand for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based. I am going to be showing simplified examples of SMART goals that I could have used to prepare for the astronaut selection process.

Smart Goals
Smart Goals


  • Plan your goal out keeping all the specifics in mind. Keep in mind the details of the goal, create mini-steps  to reach that big milestone (refer to graphic). You can even think about how you are going to feel once you achieve that goal or what you will be like once you achieve that goal.
    • For example: I am going to apply for the JAXA selection process this upcoming fall/winter selection. 


  • When you are planning for your goal, create measurable steps that you can track along the way. By setting a measurable goal, you will know how far you have come or how far you have left to go while working towards your goal.
    • Measurable: By the selection process, I will have completed my private pilot license, my master scuba diver certification, and have learned the Russian language.


  • To some people, being an aspiring astronaut may not seem like an attainable goal, but that is where faith, hope and optimism come in. Do not settle because you feel as though you cannot attain a goal. Really be honest and ask yourself, “Is this something I am willing to work for to make it happen?” If yes, then that is your answer to it’s attainability. Also ask yourself if the steps you have put in place will realistically help you achieve your overall goal. 
    • For example: Every two months, I will have completed a certification. 


  • Make sure that your goal has a relevant purpose. Ask yourself, “why am I doing this goal?” Is it related to school, career, or personal aspirations? Categorizing the goal will make it easier to relate it to your daily life.
    • For example: I’ve always dreamed of becoming an astronaut and making a difference.


  • While setting a time frame is important to a goal, sometimes goals take longer than you might expect them to. For some, setting a time frame has the opposite effect, and it actually may make them feel discouraged if they don’t reach that goal in a certain deadline.
Smart Goals
Smart Goals Timeline

While it is important to set a deadline (even if it is a loosely based deadline), try to not get discouraged if it doesn’t happen within that time frame. When you pass a deadline that you had originally set, ask yourself “How can I change this so the outcome is what I want next time around? What would I do the same? What would I do differently?” 

  • For example: I will start training on March 23rd and finish November 10th. 

To fill out your own printable worksheet, click here to download. On there is also a timeline guide to give you specific dates on when to complete steps toward the goal. If you are looking on specific steps of how to train for the astronaut process, please refer here.

Good luck with your goal! I am rooting for you!