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How to Set Effective Goals

Your school years are a great time to learn how to set goals for yourself in your academic and personal life. In the context of school, learning to set goals can play a huge role in helping you gain both academic and student success. Having goals is a great way to stay motivated, as you will have something you are actively working towards.

Here is a template that will help you out with that

  1. Specify: Setting specific goals will make it so that your goals are more manageable. When you set a broad goal, such as “Get 100% on my next science test,” it can make it challenging to work towards. Instead, be specific about your goals. You can make it a goal to study a certain amount of time a day for your science test, including how much time you will spend on areas you find yourself having a slightly more difficult time with. Being specific will make your goals more manageable and feel less daunting.

  2. Track your progress: To ensure that your techniques and plans are giving you the results you want to see, try tracking your progress. For example, you can allocate a specific section of your binder or folder to keeping your science tests. That way, you will have physical copies of your tests throughout the semester and can track your progress. You can see which tests you did well on and which ones you would like to improve on. You can also think back and understand what you did to help you do better on one test compared to the other.

  3. Be realistic: It is important to dream big but realize that good things take time! If you have a subject you are struggling with, it is entirely possible to get better at it. Make sure you are being gracious with yourself and setting realistic goals. Be patient and allow yourself time to get better at something. Set realistic, manageable goals; ultimately, those small improvements will lead to great results! Setting unrealistic goals may cause disappointment; smaller, more realistic goals will help you eventually get to where you want.

  4. Set a timeline: This will give you a sense of direction and lessen your overwhelm. For example, if you have an essay due on September 27th, you can set a goal for yourself to have the essay complete by the 25th. But remember, you need to break down this goal. You can plan to work on your essay for 1 hour a day or decide what else works for you to reach your goal. On the first day, you can plan on researching your topic; the next, you can begin writing the introduction and so on. Having a set timeline will help you finish your work on time, all while having spent adequate and quality time on it.

  5. Write it Down: Write your goals down somewhere you will see them. This will motivate and remind you to work on them. It will also give you a clear idea of what you are working towards rather than having multiple things on your mind at once.

Like with anything, this requires practice and patience. Learning how to set achievable goals is a lifelong skill. It can be incredibly helpful with regard to academic success, career, and personal life. You can begin practicing this by using the above template and tailoring it to your needs. Good Luck!

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