Goal Setting

Goal setting is important for academic success. To successfully set and plan a goal, you must state the goal as an outcome, specify actions and measurement. The clearer and more specific the goal, the more likely your chances of achieving it.

To do well in the classroom, goals must be set in many areas. It may helpful to divide your goals into segments- daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly (or semester), annually. Dividing goals this way lets you know that you have overall goals and shorter, more easily met goals. It gives you an opportunity to accomplish some goals while keeping the larger picture in mind. Remember that if you set a goal in one segment of your life, it may affect another segment. In other words, if you decide to study three hours a day, you may have to visit with your friends one hour less. If you decide to change jobs, it may affect your times to study. Keep the big picture in mind when setting goals.

Many people label goals as long, medium or short range. Decide what goals fit which category then look at the time you have available. Set priorities with the goals. Decide which are the most important. Make sure that the time you give each goal meets the priority of the goal. Don’t give a few minutes to the highest prioritized goal and several hours to one of the low priority goals. If necessary, change your time commitments to meet the goals.

Sometimes, you have to go back and change your goals. Many unforeseen circumstances can contribute to this change. Your class or work schedule can change. A family member or you can have an illness. You may not have to change the goal, simply postpone it.

Setting goals give you a road map as to where you want to be. It is important to remain flexible with long range goals in case your circumstances change. Always congratulate yourself when you achieve a goal and mark it off your list. You can look back to that achievement while starting to work on the next goal.