3.2 Goal Setting

It all begins with setting goals and thinking about priorities.

Paper with a motivational saying on it in marker
Photo by Estée Janssens, Unsplash License

As you think about your own goals, think about more than just being a student. You’re also a person with individual needs and desires, hopes and dreams, plans and schemes. Your long-term goals likely include graduation and a career but may also involve social relationships with others, family, hobbies, or other activities, where and how you live, and so on. While you are a student, you may not be actively pursuing all your goals with the same fervour, but they remain goals and are still important in your life.

Goals also vary in terms of time.

  • Short-term goals focus on today and the next few days and perhaps weeks.
  • Midterm goals involve plans for this school year and the time you plan to remain in college.
  • Long-term goals may begin with graduating college and everything you want to happen thereafter.

Often your long-term goals (e.g., the kind of career you want) guide your midterm goals (getting the right education for that career), and your short term goals (such as meeting all assignment deadlines and doing well on an exam) become steps for reaching those larger goals. Breaking down your goals into action items or task will help  you realize how even the little things you do every day can keep you moving toward your most important long-term goals.

Write down your goals.

Actually writing down your goals is important, because the act of finding the best words to describe your goals helps you think more clearly about them. The next section will help you develop a system to create realistic, specific goals that you can track, that will help you stay focused on a plan to reach your goal.

1 Successful students have goals” from A Guide for Successful Students by Irene Stewart and Aaron Maisonville is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.



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Fanshawe SOAR Copyright © 2023 by Kristen Cavanagh is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.