Most of the time students have similar academic goals. These goals usually tend to have something to do with their GPA at the end of the semester. The problem with this goal is that it’s hard to translate the goal into actions you need to take. Sometimes you want to set shorter term goals in order to guide yourself along the path to a longer term academic goal. When you set short term goals, it’s easier to measure your progress. If you do not achieve your short term goals, you know you will need to make adjustments to get to your long term goal.
Short term academic goals can involve things like your test scores, homework grades or attendance record for a period of the semester. It is a pretty good rule of thumb that you should set goals about once every 2 weeks to meet your longer term goal. You need to be sure that your short term goals are attainable and can be measured in a meaningful way. Once you decide on a short term goal, you should determine obstacles to obtaining this goal. Simply identifying possible obstacles will help you to avoid them when you come upon them.
One part of goal setting that people often forget is the reward. You should think about how you are going to reward yourself after achieving your goals. That way you have extra incentive to perform. It is preferable to reward yourself with something you enjoy doing instead of material objects. This way you can reward yourself as often as necessary, and you have a specified block of time devoted to your reward.
In order to stay on top of your goals, you need to write them down. Writing down your goals will make you aware of what you have achieved in the past and what you want to achieve in the future. You need to come up with a description of the goal, an achievement date, and the reward if achieved. Once a goal has been reached you can cross it off the list and get to the reward. About halfway through the semester, you need to determine if your longer term goal is still viable. You should ask yourself questions like: “Will this short-term goal help me reach my long term goal?” and “Are these goals helping me perform better?” If you answer no to any of your questions you should consider revising your goals.
Letting others know about your goals is also helpful. That way, you will have a little extra motivation to do well.
Another way to improve you goal setting is to have a health goal to accompany your academic goals. You can use “lessons learned about achieving your health goal” as a way to improve your “achieving your academic goals”.