How to Set Educational Goals (And Meet Them)
It's easy to set goals, especially when it comes to earning your degree. You want to do well, earn great grades, and achieve during your time in school. Goal setting can be a great way to motivate you to keep striving for the best, even when the road gets rough. But how do you meet those goals?
Let's take a look at some great ways to help yourself set goals and meet them while in school. Remember: this is not going to be easy. But in the end, it could be well worth it.
Set Short and Long-Term Goals
When people think of goals, they often think of New Year's resolutions: a goal you set for an entire year. But the longer your goal stretches, the more daunting and difficult it's going to seem. It helps to break larger goals down into smaller chunks.
For example, your long-term could be to earn your degree. Your short-term goals could be to complete classes and terms. This way your large goal of earning a degree, is broken down into several smaller sections, classes and terms.
Set Measurable Goals
Say you have a math class coming up in your next term and you're a little nervous because you struggle with high-level math. Setting a goal to help you get through this class is a wonderful idea. But you have to know how you've achieved your goal when you do.
For example, if you set your goal as "I want to get better at math," you might have trouble measuring it. How do you know if you're better? How much better do you want to get? Does "better" translate to your grade?
A better idea would be to set your goal as, "I want to earn an A in my math class." This gives you a clear idea of what you need to achieve and how you know you will have gotten there after you achieved it.
Set Reasonable Goals
Beyond setting a goal that defies the laws of time and space (for example, graduating 3 months early), you should set your goals as doable but difficult. There's no reward in setting a goal you could achieve without really trying. On the other hand, you might get frustrated or discouraged if you can't achieve any of your goals because they're out of reach.
If you know you struggle with a subject, set a reasonable goal for that class. You should always try your best, but you don't want to get to a point where you're pouring all of your resources into one class at the expense of another.
Set Goals Out of your Comfort Zone
If you've always been a B student, strive for an A this term. If you feel shy in class and leave with questions running through your head, set a goal to ask a question in each class session. Push yourself to practice your soft skills as well as the skills it takes to perform in class.
Remember, it's not just your degree that you're earning: you need to be able to communicate your ideas, work with a team, and respond well to problems. Your goal setting doesn't have to be way outside of your comfort zone, it just needs to help you work on any issues you might have in the workplace - before you get there.
Map Out How to Achieve Your Goals
It's great to get an awesome goal on paper and be ready to achieve it! But how do you do it? Sometimes goal setters neglect to figure out exactly how they're going to accomplish their goal, and end up wasting time, unsure of where to start. Going back to the math class example, if you know you have a math class coming up and you want to earn a fantastic grade in it, you can set out exactly how you're going to get there.
You could plan for things such as tutoring, a study group with classmates, extra time in your schedule to study for that class, or meeting with the instructor for additional help. You know how you study and learn best, so do what seems appropriate for you and fits into your schedule. If you're not sure where to start, you might ask your classmates or instructor for ideas.
Check in on How You're Doing
Once you've set a goal, don't forget about it for weeks and hope it just comes true. This is something you're going to have to focus and work on. So check in on yourself and see how things are going occasionally.
If you've set a goal to get that A in your math class, check your grades and see what's coming up. If you're doing well, continue studying. If your GPA is dipping, it's time to change things up so you can meet your goal and earn your desired grade.
Evaluate your Results
No matter the result, success or failure, you have to look back on exactly what happened to understand why you got this outcome. For example, if you got an A in your math class, you can look back and think about what brought you the most success. Perhaps your tutoring was invaluable, but your study group was too unfocused to accomplish anything. Now you know where to focus your energy in the future.
If you failed, try to figure out what went wrong and why. Failures are the biggest learning opportunities in life! It's important to look back on both your failures and your successes to figure out what works for you on your educational journey.
Are you interested higher education? If earning a degree is one of your goals, consider ECPI University for your education. With degree programs in nursing, health science, business, criminal justice, culinary arts, and technology, you could be on your way to a bachelor's degree in as little as 2.5 years. All you have to do now is contact a friendly admissions advisor today to discuss your options.
It could be the Best Decision You Ever Make!
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