Goal Setting for Academic Success

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29 November 2010
Goal Setting for Academic Success
Goals are like road maps; they get a person from one point to another. Goals provide the direction one needs to reach a destination. The best way to get results is to plan for the future, but live one day at a time. Think about the future; how does one define success? What makes one happy? What drives a person? What makes a person get out of bed in the morning? Does success mean family, money, security, helping others, improving the environment, solving problems, a career, or a degree? Whatever a student decides, the key to academic success is to strengthen one’s will to succeed and to do this one must set academic goals.

The first step in setting an academic goal is to define an attainable, relevant goal. A student must ask himself about his own core values, what motivates the student, where does the student want to be tomorrow, next week or even a few years? What does the student want to do? Be very specific with academic plans. If a student’s desires are specific, goals will be specific. Never ask the questions, "What if", or "What would happen if". Make the questions a positive affirmation of what the student will do. While developing a relevant goal, make sure to also ask if what is desired is attainable. After some thought write out a clear description of a goal (Carter et al. 100).

The second step in academic goal setting is to defining a specific path. The student must think about what the most important goal is, and what is the first thing to do to start towards that goal? Then plan backwards in time and outline. Start by creating a rough outline or some type of map that includes specific steps in regard to the academic goal. The beginning of the student’s road map is this map being personalized just for the student. Outline specifically the steps towards goals, keeping in mind behaviors and life events that are under one’s control. In...
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