I first took this blog post on for Catapult because I figured it would be a good opportunity to take a closer look at my own goal-setting habits and establish real defined goals instead of just keeping them in the back of my mind. In doing so, I hope it will encourage you to do the same!
Historically, I haven’t been the most active goal setter, which is exactly why I wanted to write about it, so I could learn more about being a better goal-setter. Honestly, I find goal setting to be somewhat of a daunting thing. Thinking about the desired outcome, while it’s exciting, it’s a bit scary as well. The amount of work and obstacles that will have to be overcome can be overwhelming, and sometimes you might question your abilities. While this is understandable, the truth of the matter is that we can never let that stop us. However, as easy as it is to say that, it doesn’t mean much until you have a strategy to face the goals.
I’ve decided that I’m going to focus on what I can do every day and make “mini goals” for the day or week to break the big goal down. In order to do this, you have to think about your day-to-day routine. This gives you a good opportunity to look at your habits, both good and bad. Think about what’s working and what isn’t. For example, I definitely stay up too late most nights, leaving me tired in the morning, and I am not always the best at getting work done ahead of time. But since I’ve admitted this to myself, I can better look at how to change, and think about smaller weekly goals that will ultimately lead to a better overall end-result.
Another reason why I think this strategy might be useful is that if you’re constantly thinking about the big end-goal, you aren’t thinking as much about what you can do in the present moment. Getting so caught up in what you want in the future, you’ll forget to live in the moment. It’s important to keep a balance, though, between living in the moment and living in the future. Last semester I’ll admit I was probably living in the moment a little bit too much, and not thinking about my goals, but I’m learning that it takes both to make a happy present situation, and a successful outcome.
My goal this semester is to maintain a GPA that will allow me to keep my scholarship. To do this, I will have to do better in physics and calculus this semester, which is scary to think about, but when you break it down it really is as simple as actively paying attention in class, getting enough sleep, and doing practice problems more frequently.
In conclusion, I want to say that goals definitely don’t have to be solely academic, it’s important to have other types of goals too, like to put yourself out of your comfort zone, or to do more socially. Don’t be afraid to look the goal in the eye, because you deserve to succeed and you have it in you to make the small day to day advances that will eventually lead you there.
Thanks for reading, and I wish you guys all the best this year!!
–Ava, Catapult 2012