7 Student Goal Setting Tips

Student Goal Setting

Learn goal setting and you’ll improve every aspect of your life you decide to set goals for. This applies to your health, wealth and happiness as much as it does your studies.

Naturally, student goal setting focuses on improving your academic achievement. After all, that’s who and what you are -- a student.

But learning isn’t all formal. In fact, most of it happens to us in ‘real life’. Set goals and you’ll fast track your academic achievement and your personal development.

It's worth remembering that developing a few good study habits will help -- but there are no short cuts to genuine success.

Goals boost motivation, focus and productivity. They are the key to good time management, so let’s look at how to ‘do’ student goal setting...

  1. Start at the end. What, ultimately, do you want? Got a career in mind? If so, everything flows towards achieving that. How and when will you know you’ve achieved? Make sure you’re clear on that so you can measure your progress towards it.
  2. Less = More. The fewer goals you have, the more you’re able to focus on them. Try having two goals; an ‘ultimate’ and an ‘immediate’. This applies for each area of your life.
  3. Move closer. Not sure what you want to do? Pull your goal towards you and focus on academic achievement. What are your ideal realistic grades? How badly do you want them? Remember that Desire (10) x Reality (10) = Probability (%).
  4. Act SMART. Clarify what you want and measure your progress towards it using the SMART goal setting model. 
  5. Pen to paper. Or fingers to keyboard. Whichever way you do it, write your goals down. This helps you commit and focus as opposed to think and dream.
  6. Keep it close. The more you see your goal, the more likely you are to achieve it. Put it in your pocket and keep it there to remind yourself what you want.
  7. Know and tell. Some people advocate sharing your intentions with everyone to ‘pressure’ your way to success. I wouldn’t. It dilutes your motivation and sets you up to fail. Instead, if you want to share, only tell people who you know will support you, particularly when things get tough.

Goals have a habit of changing over time. Expect that to happen and make adjustments along the way.

Whatever you choose to achieve, apply these principles to increase the ‘reality’ part of the equation mentioned earlier. If you’ve got the desire as well, you’ll achieve whatever you want.


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