“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.”– Andrew Carnegie
I cannot stress enough that if you want to achieve things in life you need to set goals. You need to know where you’re heading. If you set off driving to a new destination without a roadmap, you will likely get lost. The same applies in life.
One of the founders of Semester (Joe) very much described himself as ‘lost’, when he was suffering badly with depression. He didn’t know where he wanted to go in life and as a result, he had absolutely nothing to aim for. This left him feeling deflated, empty, and really lacking any fire in his belly. This is the main reason that you need to start with goals on your academic journey.
Now that Joe sets goals, the opposite is true as he consistently sets goals to aim for, giving himself a target to always aim for an move towards. Having a goal or set of goals is so valuable, as it gives you drive, it gives you focus, and it gives you a mission and purpose to work towards. You might not always get there, but at least you have an idea where you are going. Without this you will end up like me (Nathan) in my early years of university…ruderless, barely scraping through and not a clue as to why I was really there (apart from thinking I might earn a little more money by the end of it).
I often repeat this message but “Progress = happiness”
“Even if you’re not where you want to be yet. If you’re on the road, if you’re improving, if you’re making progress, you’re gonna love it. You’re gonna feel alive.” “If you’re not growing, you’re dying inside”.– Tony Robbins
Personal goals are very much our road and route in life. They give us something to work on and as opposed to just standing still and getting caught up in other peoples dreams… we are instead growing on a personal level all the time because we have out own unique focuses.
Do now that we have painted the picture of why goals are so important and how the lack of them affected us as students, it’s time for you to create your own this year.
“The first step in your journey to an academic life of personal growth and productivity begins with setting clearly defined goals”
We begin by having you describe your goals at a higher level. This begins with your lifetime goals, then followed by your plans across each Semester for the year. Following this we then focus on our four most important goals for the year and break them down in much greater detail.
So, take two minutes now to look at your overall goals that you have written down for Semester 1 and Semester 2 and circle the top four that you want to achieve this year. One you have done that follow the next steps for each one.
Lets get Specific…
- Step 1: Describe your goal in detail (Here make your goal something tangible and measurable with a clear objective defined)
- Step 2: What are your key motivations (Once you understand why a goal is important it increases the likelihood of success, after all, goals must be meaningful to you)?
- Step 3: Your milestones (How will you measure your progress?) What does it look like when you have achieved your goal? When considering your milestone, you are also asking yourself, what steps do I need to take to achieve this goal? At first a goal might seem huge and unattainable, but by breaking it down into smaller steps (and milestones), it starts to help you see what needs to be achieved. Your goal might be to write a dissertation. Break this down further into smaller milestones, such as completing the introduction or reaching 50 pages.
- Step 4: How you will celebrate your goal (This is huge for wellbeing and motivation) For this final step you are looking to create an incentive to stay on track with each of your goals. At the end of the day these are going to be huge milestones on your much longer journey, so you deserve to reward yourself accordingly.
With all of these goals we want you to regularly look back at them and remind yourself of your most important goals for the year ahead. Flick back to these and remind yourself of what you are working towards and the reward you will get once you achieve them. Some common goals that students have as well as some good wellbeing goals to have are as follows;
- To achieve a minimum of 60% average for the year (or % of your desire).
- To obtain a 2:2, 2:1. or first (whichever level you set your sights for).
As we progress through the planner your ‘FOCUSED FEW’ tasks will be designed with the intention of taking weekly and daily actions towards achieving your ultimate goals. The FOCUSED FEW is essentially saying to yourself… what am I going to do this week or today that will help me work towards my goals?
Your regular reviews are also designed with the intention of assessing how you’re progressing towards your goals. Personal growth takes place when you start taking action and then reflecting on those very actions to ensure that you remain on track. What must you STOP doing, START doing more of and also IMPROVE? This whole planner is designed with the intention of making you a better well-rounded student and goals are at the forefront!
So, now that you have your goals created it’s time to create YOUR NEW SELF. Find the details to this next step of your student journey here.