Tips that can help students set more effective goals


Molly Balison, Web Staff

When the new year springs up, people start to think about their resolutions and tell themselves that they are going to be a better version of themselves. Having New Year’s resolutions might make you feel good about yourself for a few months before you end up breaking them and forget what your goals even were by the time the next new year comes around. So how can you make your New Year’s goal stick?


1. Create a plan

Your goals will be more reachable if you sit down and design a plan to help you follow through with them. It has been proven that those who write down their goals and ideas are most likely to fulfill them. Write down the steps you will have to take to reach your goal whether it’s a workout plan, a spending/saving log, or a list of the assignments you have to finish to improve your grade. You may have to adjust your schedule around your goals, for example, if your goal is to wake up earlier, then you’ll most likely have to go to bed earlier. It is easier to accomplish something when you go into the new year equipped with the methods you are going to use to keep your resolutions.


2. Use the ‘SMART’ technique

That acronym ‘SMART’ helps people set meaningful, reachable goals. It stands for:

Specific – Your resolution/goal should be straightforward because it will be hard to achieve your goal if it is too vague or broad. Know exactly what you want to accomplish and why, as well as how it can be beneficial.

Measurable – You should be able to recognize milestones in your goal and know when you’ve completed it.

Achievable – Have a goal that you know you are able to fulfill and know the steps that you will have to take to accomplish it.

Relevant – Your resolution/goal should be one that is important to you. If you value the person that you will become after completing your goal, you will want to seek improvement in that area.

Timely – Set a time period that you want to achieve your goal by, or track your improvement in increments throughout the year, perhaps once a week or month.


3. Minimize distractions

Eliminate the obstacles that hinder you from improving in your goal. For example, if you want to get your homework done every night, then consider putting away your phone or turning off the TV or going straight home or wherever you study right after school. Also, multitasking is not productive. Doing more than one activity at a time means that you are never giving your full attention towards one thing, leading you to accomplish things inadequately or just slowly.


4. Don’t give up

You may slip up and forget about your resolutions in an instance, but just because you fail to be better in just one situation, does not mean that you have wasted your time and energy. Simply pick yourself back up and start again, even if it means that you may have to adjust your goal to make it more attainable. It is important to understand that no one is exempt from making mistakes, and that it is difficult to fulfill your resolutions perfectly every single day. Keep striving to improve and you will accomplish great, possibly even unexpected things.