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Goal Setting 101

Let’s Talk Goal Setting: You probably have heard people talk about how important goals are and the difference they can make in your life. You may or may not have taken them seriously. But, as a student myself who knows what it’s like to be goal-less and disorganized, I can attest to the difference that having goals can make.


This blog post will cover the importance of having goals, the difference they can make, SMART goals, and some additional tips. I am by no means an expert, but I do speak from both experience and research.


Why Goal Setting

Well, why not Goal setting(cheesy, I know)? Goal setting and having goals have a lot of benefits including:

  1. Helping with organization and planning: When organizing and planning how you’re spending your time, having your goals in the back of your mind can help with deciding what your priorities are. For example, if you lead a busy life and a goal of yours is to work out more, some organization will have to take place in order to make that goal a reality. This is because you’re going to have to figure out how to make working out a consistent part of your life.

  2. Providing a clear sense of direction: Oftentimes, people feel aimless and that they’re doing things just to do them. This makes it easy to feel purposeless. However, having goals gives us something to work towards, helping us feel like we’re making the best use of time.

  3. Promoting growth: Having goals and working towards them helps us become a better version of ourselves. Healthy goals tend to promote our emotional, physical, mental, or financial well being. Therefore, having goals and going through the process of working towards them helps us improve.


S.M.AR.T Goals

When working on goal setting, keep the SMART acronym in mind. Making SMART goals can save you time, help you focus your energy, and be more effective when it comes to achieving your goals.

  • S- Specific; Having a goal that is clear and specific allows you to be intentional and sets you up for success.

  • M- Measurable; Using something that is quantifiable gives you something to evaluate. It will help you see the progress being made.

  • A- Attainable; The goal at hand should be realistic, not impossible. It shouldn’t necessarily be easy,, but it should be possible.

  • R- Relevant; A relevant goal is one that aligns with you and what you want for yourself in the long run.

  • T- Time-Based; Having a goal with a clear timeline (including a start or target date) makes the time frame of the goal clear.


Tips

When trying to set goals and navigating them, there are a few things that would be helpful to keep in mind:

  1. Be true to yourself. Like I just mentioned, it’s important that your goals align with who you are -- not who anyone else wants you to be. So, when trying to figure out the goals you want to set for yourself, try picking ones that promote your growth, experience, and well-being. If you are struggling to figure out what those things are, try reflecting on the following: What are your priorities? What makes you happy? What do you want for yourself? The answers to those questions can be the foundation for the goals you set.

  2. Have Persistence, Perseverance, and Patience. Achieving your goals won’t always be easy. There’s a lot of effort and energy that goes into them. So while it’s important to work through the hurdles, it’s also important to understand that it’ll take some time to reach your goals (maybe even more than you originally intended).

  3. Write your goals down and look at them often. This will serve as a reminder of what you are working towards.

  4. Understand that your goals may change. And that’s okay. People change. Circumstances change. Life changes, and your goal may change with it. Don’t let that deter you though. Try making the necessary adjustments instead.


All in all, having goals and working towards them can enhance your life in more ways than one. Having goals can help you grow, keep you organized, and feel purposeful.


I hope that some part of this piece was useful to you. Know that we are always here to help you should you have any questions, so don’t hesitate to reach out!



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