It is a widely accepted fact that students who set study goals perform better than those who don’t. In general, goal setting could help us achieve more during academic situation. However, many students still don’t know how to properly set study goals, although it is one of the most essential life skills. A goal should be something that we need to aim for and something that we should reach for. Goals can help use set a mark and we should be able to assess our progress as we go along. Without goals, we won’t have a clear idea on steps we should take. Goals reflect our aspirations and we will have more hopes in achieving success. Goals should be considered as tools that can help us stay focused in our academics.
- Setting goals: There are two types of goals, short-term and long-term. Shorter goals should be achieved in shorter period of time and they can often be achieved relatively easily based on available resources. As the name suggests, long-term goals can be achieved in a longer period. As an example, we could plan to finish our degree in four years and this should be a good long-term goal. However, we could achieve this long-term goal, only by achieving, dozens if not hundreds of short-term goals. As an example, we should study for specific number of hours every day and we should get good grades in all exams. Study goals should be clearly measurable and there are parameters that we can gauge.
- Formulate action plans: First, we should specify our long-term goal and we should write it down. There are details that we need to consider and we must achieve them all to consider it a success. It doesn’t do any good to finish our education in just four years, if we have mediocre GPA. The idea is to reach long-term goals, by doing manageable and smaller steps as we go along. So, how do we eat a whale? The answer is one small bite at a time. The whale should represent our graduation goal and our small bites should represent short term goal. In this case, there should be more details about our long-term goals, such as we should graduate with specific target GPA. However, we can reach this goal only by determining the appropriate average of our grades for each semester. It means that we can break them down into smaller and smaller goals. Our goals would be to achieve those short term goals and it is nearly impossible to not achieve our long-term goals. However, we need a daily schedule to help us achieve these goals. As an example, we may have lower grades on classes with heavier Math contents, so we may need to focus our priority on them. Creating daily schedules should help us focus on our activities and we would be able to identify time wasters efficiently. We will be amazed how this simple step will allow us to remove unnecessary activities and bad habits. Discipline should be the utmost importance when we plan to follow the schedule.