Sunday, August 31, 2014

College Survival Series: Setting Goals

The College Survival Series introduces and discusses different aspects of college life, and aims to prepare college students for all situations they might encounter during their college career.

Setting Goals

One of the best ways to make sure you're getting the best out of your college experience is to set goals for yourself. You're at a time when you can really start taking control of what you want to get out of your life and start to map out your path. Setting goals encourages you to stay on track with where that path is taking you! I'm a huge fan of setting goals and do an okay job at sticking to the bigger ones that I do set. Of course, that's not without some failure, but that's all part of developing your goal setting skills! Here are some tips on creating and sticking to your goals:

Have a vision.  It's important to make sure you're setting a goal that you can see yourself reaching. Being able to envision accomplishing your goal helps build confidence, motivation, and can keep you focused. You need to be able to realistically picture all of the work that you have to put in, all the obstacles you may face, and of course, what it's going to be like once you do finally reach that goal. If you aren't able to envision all of these things, perhaps it is not the right time to pursue that particular goal. This doesn't necessarily mean it'll never be the right time, but a more clear vision is needed in order to move forward.

Research. All goals need a bit of research before they can be reached. Research can come in all forms - chatting with someone who has reached that same goal about what their experience was, reading about different techniques on how to successfully reach your goal, and learn about common obstacles that might stand in the way of reaching your goal. Researching what it takes to accomplish your goal is something that should be done throughout the entire experience of pursuing your goal, especially at the beginning stages.

Put your goals where you can see them. Write down your goal and put it in a place that you can see it (on your mirror, on your computer's monitor, on your car's dashboard, etc.). The more you physically see your goal, the more you'll think about it, and the more you'll be prompted to work toward it. One fun way to do this is to create a board on Pinterest that has links, videos, quotes, and photos that all pertain to your goal and motivate you to work towards it. You can even screen shot that board and set it as your desktop, phone, or tablet background, so you'll always see it when you're looking at your electronic devices!

Don't pursue too many goals at once. This is always a major pitfall to goal setting, and I am definitely guilty. When you start to think of goals that you want to set, you may feel tempted to pursue all of them. This leads to less focus on any one goal, will lengthen the time it takes to accomplish even one goal. It also could make you feel overwhelmed and discouraged, and may make you want to give up on the goal all together. If you do want to attempt multiple goals at once, try sticking to or three smaller goals instead of 5 large goals all at once!

Spend some time every day dedicated to your goals. This could be something as big as knocking out 20 pages of the novel you're writing or something as small as talking about the 20 minute training jog you went on the other day with a friend. I even consider thinking about it for 5 solid minutes as time spent dedicated to a goal. The more that it's in the front of your mind, the sooner (and better!) it will be accomplished.

Remember that goals take a lot of hard work and dedication to be accomplished, but if you stay focused, patient, and keep yourself motivated in a way that works best for you, any goal you set can be reached!

How do you stay on top of your goals?

This post is the last post of the Sundays in August College Survival Series schedule. I do post these time to time when an idea comes into my head, so if you enjoyed this series, make sure you let me know in the comments and I will make sure I fit them into my posting schedule! If you'd like to read more College Survival Series posts, check out the College Survival Series label on FivEleveNinety! :)


  1. I need to use this for my sales team. Everyone tends to lose focus at times, and not just about college life. Love this!