Goal Setting Strategies: Tips for College Students

Setting goals is…boring. Or not? Many college or university students would say that setting academic goals is extra boring. But the truth is that it is a great opportunity to find your motivation to study, stay on track, and even have some fun. With the goal setting recommendations we provided below, you will learn to set your unique goals and actually enjoy the process of learning.

Goal Setting + Mindset

When it comes to goal achievement, a proper mindset is one of the key ingredients. Whether you want to pass the test, become one of the dissertation experts, learn Spanish, or boost your skills in archeology, a proper mindset serves as some kind of mental framework that is a must to stay concentrated, deal with challenges and obstacles, as well as stay motivated throughout the long and tiresome journey towards achievement. After all, it will shape your attitude toward all those troubles along the way and provide you with a chance to grow.

Go for SMART Goals

When it comes to the SMART goal technique it has been one of the most popular goal setting strategies. Here is what the SMART acronym stands for:

  • Specific. Specific and clear, but not generic. What is it that you would like to happen? Do you have some sort of an action plan?
  • Measurable. How are you going to know that you have successfully reached your super goal?
  • Achievable. Are you sure you can succeed within the deadline that you specify?
  • Relevant & realistic. Is what you dream of reaching essential for you?
  • Time-bound. Is there a specific deadline? Make sure there is some.

Write Down Student Goals

Let’s face it: goal reaching is not an easy thing whether you’re a college student or an office employer. However, writing down what you dream of achieving makes even the most unbelievable goals more real. Getting those plans onto paper can become a constant reminder of what it is that is waiting for you in the future. At the same time, tracking your goals will help you think about your special plans and how you are going to make them come true. You will also be able to see your own growth and the mistakes you make in the process.

Celebrate Goal Progress

The importance of goal setting for students can’t be overestimated. However, one of the crucial things to keep in mind as you plan something is to celebrate any of your achievements, no matter how small they may be. Keep in mind that every single goal should be acknowledged and rewarded. Besides, the longer your special goal takes to achieve, the better the reward should be. Let’s say your special goal was to learn tango, and you successfully took the first steps. Bravo! Time to stop and get some treats. For instance, it can be some new dress, a dinner at a very fancy restaurant, or anything else that motivates and inspires you to keep going.

Do Regular Goal Update

One of the key reasons to update your goals on a regular basis is because it ensures alignment with your current evolving priorities and various circumstances. If you make sure to do that, you will have an opportunity to do some corrections and maximize your forces. On the other hand, setting goals guarantees a clear purpose, the right direction, as well as motivation for academic, professional, and personal growth. In other words, you keep your roadmap to success constantly updated. That’s great!

Categorize Goal Setting for Students

Whenever you are busy with your goals, it is important to think about setting goals for different areas of your life. For example, you can provide four categories for your special goals. They can be the following:

  • Personal life
  • College
  • Health
  • Love life

If you provide separate categories for a bunch of your goals, you will find it easier to manage and track them.

Focus on a Few Goals

When it comes to goals, they require your efforts, time, ambitions, and many other aspects of your routine. To cut a long story short, the more goals you have in store, the more effort you have to activate in various directions. The result? You are definitely going to be exhausted in the process sooner or later. For that reason, we highly recommend setting 2-4 goals in order to make sure such a thing as burnout is not going to overshadow your days.

Consider Your Weaknesses & Strengths

Goal setting can be a pretty challenging activity. So, if you struggle to figure out what your goals should be, we recommend beginning by evaluating your strong and weak sides. In order to become successful with your goals, you have to do two simple things:

  • Work on your weaknesses;
  • Add more issues to the strengths category.

For instance, if you know your fitness routine leaves a lot to be desired, then make sure to set a goal to have an evening run three days a week. Or, perhaps your time management skills are horrible, then ensure to set a goal to write a plan for every other day and stick to it.

Share Your Goals with Others

Looking for ways to hold yourself accountable for all the goals that you were brave enough to set? Let others know about that! You have friends, family members, and colleagues who can listen to your plans and be happy to know the updates. For instance, you can tell your cousin about your plans to learn to cook and ask them to encourage you as you progress (or not). Or, if you have a co-worker, you can tell her about your plans to visit Europe. Ensure to hold occasional meetings to discuss how your trip preparations are going.

The point here is that knowing someone else knows and monitors your plans can inspire and motivate you to commit to each of your goals. To add more, it can also make you feel proud to share your success when the goal is accomplished.

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