for a lot of students, myself included, it can be really hard to figure out how to set goals! often, things like new year’s resolutions are made with the best of intentions, followed for a week, and then forgotten. here’s my personal step-by-step on setting and sticking to a goal!
- think about why you are setting this each goal. if you have a concrete reason, it’s much easier to remind yourself of that later and stay motivated.
- set realistic goals. if what you are trying to do is impossible, you simply can’t meet your goals, and you will become discouraged!
- make quantifiable goals. this is, in my opinion, the most important step! you need to be able to keep definite track of your progress. if your goal is just “smile more” or “be nicer,” how will you know that you are succeeding? however, if your goal is “smile at least 5 times a day” or “compliment my friends at least 3 times a week,” that’s something you can measure. if you have trouble coming up with these, check out my list of them here!
- set a time limit. this isn’t applicable to all types of goals, but it’s important for some. if your goal is something that can be completed, like writing a novel or finishing an assignment, know when you want it done by, instead of just “someday.”
- break down your goal into smaller goals. “writing a book” is a daunting task, but if you have smaller, daily goals of “write 1000 words,” it becomes much less intimidating. it’s easier to hold yourself accountable. this also prevents procrastination, because if you are making regular progress, you can avoid doing it all right before the deadline.
- account for time. make sure to include goals in your schedule, especially if it’s something like “work out for half an hour every day.” set aside time to achieve your goals, otherwise you might find yourself scrambling.
- set reminders. sometimes the easiest way to not achieve a goal is to forget to complete it! i use phone alarms with a unique sound and a label, but sometimes all you need is a daily checklist.
- have a way to track progress. keep all your information about a goal in one spot, and don’t lose it! bullet journals, google docs, and printables are great for this. at the end of every day, consider: did you meet your goal for the day? write down the answer, and maybe a reason why. it’s a great way to hold yourself accountable.
- tell others. another way to hold yourself accountable is with a little help! personally, if i’m the only one who knows about my goal, i’m less likely to achieve it because if i fail, i don’t feel like i’m letting anyone down. sometimes that extra pressure is useful.
- reward success. sometimes success can be its own reward, but sometimes you need a little extra motivation. this is where having an outside party helping can come in handy: if you have a partner who you’re working with, they can reward you if and ONLY if you’ve achieved your goal! it might be hard to restrain yourself from taking the reward anyway if you’re the only one calling the shots, so having an outside voice of reason can be really useful.
- don’t let failure make you quit. sometimes, it takes a lot of work and a lot of tries to get something right. if it seems like you won’t get it on the first try, see if you can on your second.
- work hard! in the end, only you can get yourself there.
good luck with your goals, and feel free to add to this post if you have any other tips! if you end up using my method, tag me with #celestudial. you can do it!