Keyed In: Achievr


By Megan Cohen

Would you describe yourself as a person who can always accomplish your goals? Yeah, me neither. I either forget about what I’m supposed to be doing, have no idea how to do it, or get a visit from my good old friend procrastination. Whether it be saving money, trying to lose weight, or attempting to improve a certain skill, we all have goals we want to someday meet. Unfortunately, it’s a lot easier to come up with a goal than to actually achieve it. Luckily, however, we have been gifted with a user-friendly, no-nonsense approach through the Internet. I present to you Achievr.

I wish I could write a two-page column with a description of the oh-so-complex process, but in all actuality? A five year-old could use it to save enough money for a new box of Crayolas. Basically, you start off by typing in your goal, the day you hope to have achieved it by, and the reason you’re setting this goal.

Before you rush to the site and excitedly type about how you plan to learn fluent Italian in a week, calm down for a second and use the S.M.A.R.T. criteria. Recognize it from health class? This five-step evaluation allows you to determine whether or not your goal is realistic. Is your goal specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound? If so, good for you — you can move on to the hard part: working towards this goal.

Obviously, this site is not going to give you specific instructions for reaching your goal. The good news, however, is that it doesn’t need to. By giving you the means to track your progress and evaluate what you did today to achieve your goal, the rest is just a matter of taking the time to get where you need to be.

That being said, any goal that is worth achieving takes dedication over a longer period of time. Don’t you remember being a little kid and desperately wanting to buy something, only to find out that your allowance must come into play? No? Well, I do. I was maybe six years old, and — don’t laugh — I wanted a Sleeping Beauty jewelry box that played “Once Upon a Dream” when you opened it. To this day, I have still not actually seen the movie, but for some reason that is only logical within the mind of a first grader, I wanted the jewelry box.

How much it was I don’t remember, but it was far more than what I was earning from feeding my dog. So, for weeks I saved up my money and was finally able to buy the box off of Amazon. I actually have no idea where it is now, but it still does hold a lot of sentiment for me simply because it is the first goal I remember truly being committed to reaching. And that is a good feeling, one a lot of us haven’t felt in a while, simply because we’ve lost our way.

Maybe it’s a good thing we are the generation of technology nuts because, unlike our parents at our age, we are able to access multiple tools to help us do what we’ve been struggling to accomplish. Achievr is unbelievably simple, so maybe I’m just going all Oprah for no reason, but it really is amazing how much the Internet can offer us.

Seriously, though, this website is so simplistic your grandmother who can’t even figure out how to turn on the television can use it because it is literally the easiest way to do something so difficult. Maybe we can sit here and be like, “Yeah, we’re going to make our dreams come true!” but it takes work. A bunch of self-help books and your mother’s words of encouragement can only do so much. You might have to — gasp — put some effort in.

This isn’t the most informative column; it’s more like some knock-off of a segment on Dr. Phil, but that’s because I don’t know what else to say about Achievr except that it’s the most efficient way to accomplish something. Afraid of failing? Aren’t we all. But the good thing about failing is after it, there’s only room for improvement.