How to set goals

Right, so you’ve  realized how goal setting can enhance your work ethic and help you get ahead in your studies.

Now you’re ready to apply goals to your every day studying sessions. What do you do?

The long term goal

This is the first step to effective goal setting. A long term goal is generally broad and can be subject to refinement as you go along your journey to awesomeness. Typically, a long term goal is just that- something you want to achieve over a long period of time.

It doesn’t take much to know, vaguely, what you want out of all the effort you put it. An acceptable goal could be “I’d like to get an A in three of my subjects this year,” or “I’d like to lose weight and become fit for the summer,” as long as you’re still assigning a time value to them.

Time periods

Always, always, ALWAYS try to assign a time period to your goals, even if they are long-term vague goals. A student who takes breaks doesn’t achieve high results in the life. If you’re in high school or in university, you might want to set an either a semester or an annual goal. These are ideal because of the timing; once you’ve achieved your goal, you’ll have the holidays to relax and prepare for the next session.

The short term goal

This is where careful goal setting becomes more important. You want to set goals for yourself in reference to what you need to do in the present to achieve your long term goal. A good example of this is where you want to get an A on a particular subject, say Mathematics. This is your long term goal- “To achieve an A in Maths at the end of the academic year.” Your short term goal may be “To ace the upcoming pre-calculus final,” as long as it is contributing to the greater goal you have in mind for yourself- to do well in Maths.

The intragoalecular goal.

Alright, the word “intragoalecular” doesn’t exist outside my head. What I mean here is that you want to set a certain number of very small and achievable goals every day or every studying session to achieve your short term goal, which will, in turn, contribute to your long-term success. Basically, if your short term goal is what you’re going to be doing to accomplish your long-term goal, then you need even shorter term goals to tell you how you’re going to go about getting your short term goal done. I’ll call these goals the “how goals” for the rest of the article.

How goals need to be specific and realistic- make sure you can get it done with the time limit you’ve set (but don’t give yourself too much more time than necessary) and that you can get it done well given that same time limit.

But goal making takes too long and is too complicated!

No, it’s not! All you need is a few minutes to decide your long term and short-term goals, and then another few minutes every day before your study to set yourself somehow goals.

Here’s an example of an acceptable set of goals that will help you out rather than be detrimental to your learning:

Long term goal: “I’d like to be in one of top rank colleges

Short term goal: “I will achieve a score of over 85 on my upcoming in-class essay”

How goal: “Today, I will write a timed practice essay so that I can show it to my teacher, who will then give me pointers on how to improve my essay writing skills”

As you can see above, the How goals change every time you sit down to study. A good way to derive a how goal from a short term goal is to ask yourself this; “what can I be doing right now to achieve my goals?”

Well, that concludes my very basic guide on how to set goals properly. Comments? Questions? Tips on goal setting? Just let me know!