Goal setting is an important part of academic success. Considering what you want to do and making a plan to get there will help you stay on track and achieve more. But there is a process to goal setting. Making any plan involves certain steps.
This is a point I’ve stressed over and over again to my students. You can’t just say, ” I want to get good grades.” and hope for good grades. This goal is simply too vague. For example, what does good mean to you? It may mean different things in different situations. A better goal may be to say, ” I will achieve a 3.0 GPA this semester.” Apply this philosophy to all of your goals.
Make a Plan
So how will you reach your 3.0 goal? Achieving your goals requires planning. Write an action plan that includes when you’ll study, for how long, what you’ll do if you need help in a certain subject, etc. You’ll need to come up with a method to get to your goal. If you need assistance with this, see your academic adviser. And don’t forget these tips for starting a new semester.
Break It Down
Set goals in various time frames. Short-term goals may include those you wish to achieve this semester, while mid-term goals may be everything you’d like to do in the next couple years or between now and the end of college. Long-term goals are those you set for the milestones in your life.
Breaking your goals down will help you to maintain focus and to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Goals you set for yourself this semester will help you to reach milestones down the road.
Don’t Forget Your Personal Life
While it may seem that I’m focusing on academic goals, it’s important to set goals for other areas of your life as well. Are there specific things you want to do socially this semester? Map out a plan for learning about clubs, sports, or organizations you may be interested in. If you’re in need of some extra money, think about how you’ll fit a part-time job into your school life and write down a plan for how to find that job. Setting goals in all areas of your life will help you to keep moving forward in a positive way.
Don’t Forget to Look Back
While it’s necessary to look ahead when implementing your goal plan, you also need to take some time to look at where you’ve been. Assess your progress periodically to see if your goals need tweaking. If something isn’t working, you may need to rethink things or revise your plan of attack. That’s okay. In fact, it’s often necessary in order to get back on track.
Check out this article on setting goals to achieve more. You’ll find additional tips to help you set and achieve your goals for this semester and beyond.