Getting Motivated Through Goal Setting

Goals are great. Amen.

In order to set goals that can be achieved, your goals should be:

-Realistic: Can the goal be achieved? If not, how can the goal be divided into smaller goals? You should try to have short-term, intermediate, and long-term academic goals. A short-term goal is one that you will achieve within the next few days. Intermediate goals are ones that you will achieve within the next few weeks or months. A long-term goal is one that will take longer still, perhaps a fee months or even years. Most people make the mistake of making only intermediate and long-term goals, but short-term goals are also important because they help you follow the progress you are making and they help you stay on track.

-Believable: Do you feel that you will be able to achieve your goal? Being confident about your ability to learn is crucial to your motivation. If you feel that a task is too difficult for you to achieve, your motivation will decrease and you might give up before you even try. Some students believe that they can succeed only in certain topics. If you find yourself believing this, take a minute to reflect on how that negatively affects your motivation to learn in those courses.

-Desirable: How much do you want to reach your goal? In order to succeed in reaching your goals, they should be goals that you really desire. Then, learning will be particularly rewarding or enjoyable to you and it will be easier to achieve. Your goal may be to graduate from college within four years and to land a good job in your field, but you must have the desire for success to reach that type of goal.

-Measurable: How will you know whether or when your goal has been met? Some goals are easy to measure. If your goal is to lose 10 pounds, you will know whether your goal has been met when you weigh yourself. However, sometimes learning goals are not so easy toes sure, so you need to set some standards to help you measure your progress. This may be as simple as taking a few minutes to think about what you have learned after each study session or it may include a more in-depth assessment. In general, you will need more checks of your progress for long-term goals than for short-term goals.

Excerpt from College Success Strategies by Sherrie L. Nist and Jodi Patrick Holschuh.

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