Setting (and Achieving) Powerful Goals: A Quick Guide
Have you ever decided on a goal and, just days later, completely forgotten about or given up on it? If so, you’re not alone. This is common because of how we structure (or don’t structure) our goal-setting process.
Here’s a quick guide to setting goals you’ll achieve:
Make your goal specific
Instead of setting the goal of, “getting good grades this semester,” plan for a 4.0 GPA, or attending every one of your classes, or of visiting each professor instructing your courses during office hours. The more specific you are, the easier it is to plan.
Make your goal measurable
If your goal is tangible and trackable, you’ll have a better sense of how much progress you’ve made along the way. If your goal is vague or ambiguous, you won’t know how close you are to achieving it.
Make your goal attainable
In order to complete a goal, you need the capacity to attain it. If you’re a full-time student, setting the goal of writing a novel may not be ideal. If your goals are related to your day-to-day experience, however, you’re more likely to stick to them.
Make your goal realistic
Similar to being attainable, make sure your goal is realistic. If other words, plan for goals that align with who you are.
Make your goal time-bound
Goals that don’t have a timeline are hard to achieve. Set yourself a deadline and plan accordingly.
Make your goal exciting
While setting your goal, think about how it’ll make you feel. If you’re not compelled by your goal and excited to start working on it, you won’t stick to it. Obligatory goals tend to fall apart quickly.
Examples of Powerful Goals
- Spend 15 minutes each night planning out your following day
- Learn how to utilize a budget sheet – and revisit it daily
- Find an internship for the summer
- Visit all of your professors at least once during office hours
- Dedicate one hour a week to your planning your professional life
Setting goals can be a lot of fun and hugely productive. If you make sure your goals are detailed, time-bound, and exciting, you’re likely to complete them and will feel proud of yourself when you do.
Check out this year’s Student Success Planner and follow us on Instagram for more information about goal-setting. We’d love to hear from you as well!
How do I get started with setting academic goals?
- Schedule a meeting with your Academic Advisor.
- Learn from your Academic Advisor about different academic options and how they might lead to your long-term career goals.
- Work with your Academic Advisor to set clear goals and break them down into the steps needed to get there.
How do I get started with setting career goals?
- Schedule a meeting with Career Services.
- Learn from Career Services about different career fields that match your interests and strengths.
- Once you decide on a career path, work with Career Services to learn what steps are needed to get you there.
How do I set personal wellbeing goals?
- Remember that personal wellbeing is just as important as academic and career goals.
- Know what’s available to you. UMass has tons of helpful resources to help you cultivate wellbeing in your life as a student.
- Try different approaches and strategies, and be persistent in finding what works for you.