Why Goal Setting Matters
When you start college, you’re excited about the future and determined to succeed. Somewhere along the way, however, you can start to feel overwhelmed, stressed, and lacking in motivation. What happened to all that excitement and determination?
Setting strong goals can give you direction and help you find motivation and minimize overwhelmed emotions.
Why Set Strong Goals?
Most college students have great intentions. They want to pass classes, study harder, and graduate with a degree that will lead them to a fulfilling career. These are good things to desire, but they are merely vague intention statements and will not be as effective or beneficial as a strong, well-defined goal.
- Strong goals provide direction to your life. A good goal should be like a detailed road map of where you want to go and who you want to be. Setting strong goals creates a step-by-step process with very specific actions that must be accomplished in order to reach the goal. Creating realistic, challenging goals is one of the best ways to put yourself on the road to success
- Setting strong goals unlocks motivation. Write your goals in a place where you can read them every day. When you start to feel overwhelmed, read your goals to help you find your focus. Establishing your focus every day will help you stay motivated.
- Strong Goals empower you to make positive choices during times of feeling overwhelmed and lacking motivation.
How to Set SMART Goals
Effective goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Accepted, Realistic, and Time-Bound.
Follow these steps to turn an intention statement into an effective SMART goal:
A SMART goal identifies a specific action or event that will take place.
Example: “I want to graduate with a degree in business management.”
A SMART goal has specific outcomes that can be measured.
Example: “I want to graduate with a degree in business management with a 3.5 GPA.”
A SMART goal needs a reason for why you want to accomplish it.
Example: “I want to graduate with a degree in business management with a 3.5 because I want to own my own retail store in NYC.“
A SMART goal should challenge you beyond your normal abilities but still allow for likely success.
Example: “I want to graduate with a degree in business management with a 3.2 GPA because I want to own my own retail store in NYC.”
A SMART goal needs a specific time period for when it will be accomplished.
Example: “In four years, I want to graduate with a degree in business management with a 3.2 GPA because I want to own my own retail store in NYC.”