15. SMART Flight Training Goals For Student Pilots

Planning your flight training goals the SMART way.

Any goal, and I mean *anything* you set your mind to is achievable. Including your dream to become a pilot. I really believe that. I have been able to reach all the flight training goals that I have set for myself over time. And you will be able to so as well, by making sure that every one of those goals SMART.
I am sure that you have heard of *“S.M.A.R.T”*goal setting: “SMART”  is an acronym and it stand for  *Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant Time-based*. So let’s look at your flight training and SMART goals.

S, which stands for specific:

You have decided that you want to become a pilot, but specifically what type of pilot do you want to be? Helicopter pilot, fixed wing, corporate, airline or cargo. There are many options and you need to know specifically what you are working towards.

M, stands for measurable:

This is where the FAA, the federal aviation authority helps us out. The FARs Federal Aviation Regulations will help us make it measurable because they dictate the amount of flight hours that we need to fly in order to get a specific rating. For example. So you can measure your progress, against the minimum requirements of the FAA. For example the 40 flight hours minimum to get your very first pilot certificate, the private pilot certificate. But don’t forget that these are minimums and that the average student takes a little longer to get their private, on average it’s about 60 hours to get your private pilot certificate. 

A which stands for Attainable and R which stand for Realistic.

These are the two big ones we have to focus on: Attainability, what makes flight trining attainable? Money. What makes flight training realistic, basically when you have enough money to actually finish your flight training goals. Actually, it’s having enough money and time.

T, Time-based.

 Being good with time management is huge when it comes to feelings of burn out and jadedness. You need to be incredibly realistic when it comes to time management and how much time you can REALLY free up for flight training. And marry that with  the time frame in which you want to achieve your specific flight training goal.

S.M.A.R.T flight training goal setting:

So to summarize your SMART flight training planning.
S, be specific in what type of pilot you want to be, what certificates and ratings you’ll need to get
M, Measurable. Know exactly what the FAA wants from you for that specific rating or certificate so you can measure your progress
A, attainable. In this case, referring to your budgeting 
R, realistic, will you have enough resources to continue flying
T, time based, really work on your time-management.


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