How to Set and Follow Through With Goals
This article helps students discover how to set and follow through with goals.
ACADEMIC ADVICECOLIN MILLIGAN
A Common Problem
Setting goals is a simple thing to do. New Year's resolutions are set every single year and broken by almost everyone. Although people understand the concept of goals, it’s more difficult to pinpoint how to stick with them.
In order to get started with setting goals, follow this template. First, number a list of five or more. Then, next to each number, write an annual goal you’re trying to reach. Try to make these goals specific and significant. Starting off like this is extremely important because it ensures you don’t miss the big picture. What are you trying to achieve?
Now that you have your annual goals listed, it’s time to go further into detail as to what is going to drive you to do these goals. For each goal, label it as either an “Achievement” or a “Habit”. This will let you know whether you’re trying to fix something or whether you desire an accomplishment. That should change the way you perceive your goal; as an accomplishment or a reform of yourself. Next, list five key motivations for doing your goal. For instance, if the goal were to lose weight, one could say he/she’s doing it to feel healthier, appear healthier, etc. Remember to do this for every annual goal.
Once you’re finished listing your key motivators, you need to identify at least five daily/weekly steps you’re going to take to work towards that goal (a.k.a. your reinforcing actions). For example, if the goal were to keep your skin clear, some reinforcing actions would be to wash your face twice every day, drink plenty of water, try to destress after school, etc. Once those have been listed, you now have a smaller set of goals to follow each day or week. Eventually, the time will fly and, before you know it, your annual goal will be reached.
Thinking ahead, once you’ve completed your annual goal, it would be nice to reward yourself. It’s highly encouraged that you celebrate your achievement of annual goals with others. This keeps you motivated the next year to set another goal and stick with it. Whether it’s hanging out with friends, spending some much-needed alone time with yourself, or other fun activities, recognizing your personal achievements is a great way to show what you did over the course of a year was a monumental accomplishment.
Although many people don’t want to accept it, setting goals is something vital to a successful life. People who don’t set and follow through with goals tend to end up as vagabonds, wandering neither here nor there. When you set yearly goals, it will benefit you in the long run, creating good habits and, most importantly, leading you to the greatest achievement of all… a life that satisfies you.