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Setting Effective Goals for Students

Setting goals is one of the key practices that help students reach their academic success. It helps students to plan and organize what needs to be done and maintain their optimal level of motivation. They are also more productive and maintain a routine in order to reach their goals and in turn pave the way to their success. However, goal-setting isn’t just for education, it also goes beyond the borders of academe.

Goals give everyone a clear focus of what they want from life and ways to support their way to successfully reaching it. Your goals will also allow you to stay on top of things and will help you decide which things will be more important. This means that you will also get more time to focus on what matters most and be well-prepared for your classes. Goals also serve as the benchmark for you to check your progress and to see how much you have done and what the path you are taking to success is looking like.

As an example, if you want to achieve good grades, you can plan the number of hours per week you plan to study for. Understanding and knowing your goal can lessen the chances of you getting frustrated or overwhelmed as you can see the bigger picture and understand the process to get there. Having a goal and understanding how to work towards it step-by-step will also give you a boost in confidence. You can build your self-esteem through the progress from smaller goals to more complex ones. This in turn will prepare you for bigger challenges and more ambitious career plans.

Steps in setting effective goals

Setting goals may be easy: you can write whatever comes to mind on paper and think you’re done with it. But setting effective goals is different. For a goal to be effective, it also needs to be specific and clear. It should be challenging enough to keep you interested but not complicated and overwhelming, which could learn to you being demotivated by it. If you are wondering how to go about setting effective goals, don’t worry. We have some tips to help you.

1. Keep it SMART

SMART means to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. This acronym and idea originally referred to management but it has become so universal that it can also refer to setting goals. But what does this mean in the education context? Here’s how:

By setting specific goals, you will know exactly what you are trying to do and why you are needing to do it. It can be as usual as writing or finishing an essay or it can be working towards the more ambitious like getting into your dream university or getting a coveted scholarship. In relation, when saying that goals have to be measurable, it also means that you should be able to evaluate your progress. It can be that you can compare your previous test scores to your new ones and see if you have gotten higher marks.

Goals should also be attainable given the tools and resources. This is why working towards smaller goals is important before moving to the bigger ones. It doesn’t sound too overwhelming if your goals start with finishing your homework on time rather than starting it off with ranking first in your class. This also leads us to the next point of setting realistic goals. If you know you don’t have the capability to reach the bigger goals you have in mind, work on the smaller ones first. And lastly, also maintain the timeline of your goals. Establish personal deadlines and stick to schedules so you wouldn’t be behind anything you have already plotted for yourself.

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2. Short-term and long-term goals

Long-term goals are meant to provide you with the motivation and objective to strive for in the long run. These are the goals that are to remind you of the importance of working hard in improving yourself and working on your success. Singaporean students are more focused on long-term goals. They see their career aspirations and prioritize them more than anything else. They are more focused on reaching their dream careers and they also sometimes forget the importance of short-term goals.

Short-term goals are meant to divide the larger, more challenging goal into smaller and easier-to-tackle steps, which makes it more tangible and easier for you to achieve. This can also be applied to any goal such as if you want to get into your dream university so you have to build your grades and extracurricular. To make sure you get good grades, you also make sure to complete your homework on time and ace your tests. Short-term goals guide you through the process and build up the confidence and motivation you need to achieve your long-term goals.

3. Learn to accept challenges

Challenging tasks are also not something you should be afraid to take on. Each time you get out of your comfort zone, you may get a unique experience that will also result in learning something new about yourself or the world around you. Do not limit yourself to what you think you can only achieve and explore on what else you can achieve.

Challenging tasks are also more rewarding when they are completed. They will encourage you to strive more for success and explore new horizons. You will improve more in areas where you may not even think you need improvement in or haven’t really thought you were capable of. If you also only get to achieve something without really trying, it’s very unlikely that it will give you any desire to self-improve or grow in your chosen field.

4. Planning ahead your way to success

Of course, you may have a lot of goals you want to achieve, but how do you exactly start achieving them? Planning helps you set the way to approach your goals. If you want to get an A for your essay, you need to spend some time doing research on the topic or getting the assistance of a home tutor who specializes in essay writing. There has to be a strategy when working on your goal. Plan ahead the steps you have to take to ensure you are on the correct path towards your goal.

If you are also not too sure how to start, you can try backward planning. Start with your goal and take a step back. Visualize the milestones that precede your goal and continue to list down the steps in reverse until you reach the very beginning. It helps you identify the necessary steps and their sequence if you are not sure where to start.

5. Evaluate your progress

Do not forget to also check on your progress once you have identified your goal.  Evaluate your growth every now and then. You may still need to adjust and tweak your plans, as there may be unforeseen circumstances out of your control or you may get new insights. You may also want to change some of the strategies you are doing to be more productive.

Evaluation helps you keep track of your progress. Check your plan and measure the achievements you have so far. It helps you see the gaps or imperfections you can still modify. If you fail to reach the results you are wanting, you can try to identify the cause as to why and fix the issue. As such, with positive results, you will also be more motivated with your journey and want to achieve more. It gives you the confidence that will also help you identify your stronger points and use them to your advantage.

Conclusion

Achieving your goals can be a long process and it will take a lot of time and effort. To help you stay on the right track and keep you motivated to achieve them, you need to determine and visualize your goals. It will help you focus on the end result and will also help in identifying your priorities that will help you reach the success you want. However, don’t also take for granted the smaller victories of the journey you are taking along the way.

Carelle

Carelle

Carelle is a teacher who has been through the ups and downs of the teacher and learner life. She wishes for every learner to gain educational satisfaction that will help embody the people they want to be in the future.

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