Tips on Goal Setting
Considering everything that happened in 2020 and the start of 2021, one might question the necessity of setting goals especially now when there are still a number of things that seem uncertain. Some may even say it is best to just take things one day at a time. Whilst I agree with being flexible and doing what you can each day, I believe that setting goals help to have a vision. The methods to achieve your goals may change depending on how things evolve (especially with the pandemic), but I have found that it is helpful to have something to look towards.
We are all different and we might have different ways we get motivated to get work done. However, I thought it would be a good idea to share how I have found a push to get going regardless of what is going on around me.
Here are some tips on setting and achieving goals:
1. Start with the end goal in mind
Do you want to get a first, a 2:1 or simply a pass? After deciding, then you should check the assessment criteria on your modules and see what it entails to achieve different grades.
2. Write your goals down
In doing this, use the popular SMART approach. Make sure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. Also, paste them in a place you can see them every day.
3. Break down the end-goal into smaller goals
Figure out how much ground you need to cover in each module, then break it into daily and weekly goals. Some questions you should consider are; how many topics do you want to study every day/week? How in-depth will your studying be? Do you need to do any more research? Etc.
4. Celebrate the tiniest progress
If at first you planned to read an entire chapter of a textbook but you only read the introduction and the first subtopic, tell yourself ‘Well done!’. That little effort is better than not opening the textbook at all. Try to avoid making a habit of not meeting it though!
5. Get a study buddy!
Find someone to make you accountable. Nothing ‘hard’ is fun done alone. So for me, it could be my friend from my course or someone I know from church that will be happy to keep tabs on me.
Although most of my references were academically related, please note that you can apply this to setting goals in other areas of your life. You could have health goals, social goals, financial goals, etc.
I really hope this helps you as it has helped me! I will conclude with this analogy I’ve heard before - the game of football only makes sense because there is a goal post. Find yours!
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