Being SMART - Control Cycle


65 mins


Suitable for 14+


8 -12 Participants


Face2Face & Virtually


Participants will be able to consider and set meaningful goals to address loneliness.


By the end of this activity participants will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the required skills to plan and achieve their set goals
  • Apply a strengths-based approach to setting goals.
  • Illustrate the confidence in their own ability to set meaningful personal goals.


Here are some guidance to support the participants


We recommend using - ‘Desert Island

Part 1: Action planning – being SMART!

Ask the whole group to come together in a semicircle.

Hand out the participant activity sheet 1: SMART planning sheet. The facilitator now asks the participants to look at they SMART goals planner and work through the questions. The facilitator informs participants of the meaning of each section as below:


  • Specific –what is it exactly that I want to achieve/change?
  • Measurable – what could indicate change, progress and/or success?
  • Achievable – the goal challenges me, but do I have everything I need?
  • Realistic- what can I achieve/change to grow? Be inspired, be you!
  • Time-bound – how long will this take/is available?

Problems or barriers

The facilitator asks the participants to now think of a problem or barrier that they are experiencing that they have influence over. This could be a relationship, transport, skills that they want to learn, or something their currently too scared to try as a hobby. However, there are no constraints, so provide enough time as the group require. This can be from the things the participants have influence over in session 5 or please see the British Red Cross video (in the facilitator notes). Ask participants to write the problem or barriers on post- it notes look at what actions can be undertaken to support a positive change - use a separate post -it note for positive changes - these should be realistic, however, allow the participants to determine this.


Ask the participants to revisit participant activity sheet 1. Use the Post-it notes highlighting the problems or barriers and the potential positive changes identified by participants. Have the participants to work through one problem or barrier using the SMART goals planner.


Facilitators can take a copy of the SMART plan for each participant as evidence and use for future discussions around staying in control.

Facilitator notes

The video available in facilitator notes can be used for motivation and played in the background.

Offer definition

Facilitator then offers a definition of loneliness (p12 of resources)

Part 2: What can I/we do to help?


The facilitator asks each participant to return to the semicircle to share their SMART goal from their individual planner with the whole group. If participants are comfortable, the group can review them and offer positive feedback and suggestions for ways of improving the goal to make it even more SMART (if needed).

How can we help participants be accountable with their goal(s)?

 If they are happy to, the group or individual can post their goals to a public forum, such as Instagram/Facebook or write a blog about their journey-just remember to safeguard participants and recommend that they disable comments or sharing when online.

Accountability & celebration:

To motivate participants, plan a future date to come back together to share how participants have got on with their goals and celebrate success (however big or small this may be).

Part 3: Has this session achieved the intended outcomes?

Learning Outcome

The facilitator refers to the learning outcome(s) for this session. Do participants all agree on the outcomes have been met? The facilitator can ‘test’ that learning outcomes have been met by a ‘pop’ quiz with prizes, etc.

Part 3: Has this session achieved the intended outcomes?

  • On a scale of 1-5 how confident do you feel about setting goals?
  • On a scale of 1-5 do you feel that you have gained skills to set future goals through this session?


Young people’s session evaluation is a questionnaire/survey style evaluation and works well, when linking evaluation of both sessions 5 and 6 together.


Please feel free to download the activity resources. All documents are editable and can be adapted for your bespoke session.