Its second semester, do you know what your goals are yet?
It’s ok if you don’t know, but a positive strategy for ensuring you feel accomplished in what you are doing is to simply set goals. It’s important to set goals as it can help you build and grow as a student and a person and over time become the best you that you can.
Goals can be as simple as just passing online courses, or perhaps you’re looking to get into a certain university or post-secondary program and need to set specific goals to get in. Whatever your goal, it’s important to set them and as an online highschool we’ve got some advice on how to do that.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO SET GOALS?
Sometimes life can feel daunting and a sure fire way to ensure it continues to feel that way is by not having something in front of you to aspire to. Think of the quintessential cartoon image of a horse with a carrot dangled in front of it. That horse is hungry, it wants the carrot and it continues running trying to get it. Now, think about the things you want in your life. This can be something academic like getting into a specific university. Maybe it’s lifestyle-based like the type of job you want, or to travel the world. All of these goals and aspirations are your carrot.
Goal setting gives you direction and empowers you towards positive behaviour. It confirms your aspirations and desires and helps you get over obstacles to get there.
Goal setting focuses on what you wish to achieve and provides you a road map for taking the steps to achieve it.
Now you know why goal setting is important, but how do you know if your goals make sense?
WHAT ARE S.M.A.R.T. GOALS?
One way to set academic goals is to focus on some key parameters. Determining what those parameters should be can be a pretty simple exercise if you keep to some key principles for your goals. Whether you’re setting goals for passing your online courses, in-school courses or just life in general, these principles will help. Goals should be distinct, achievable and rewarding to you. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals. This means they are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.
- Specific: Make sure you are clear on what you want from your goal. It should be well defined and understood by anyone who sees it written down.
- Measurable: You want to be able to show you’ve accomplished the goal, and therefore you need to create some way to verify whether or not you are on track to achieving your goal.
- Achievable: Make sure your goal is realistic. If you set something that is not really possible for you, it may be too challenging and therefore something you may not want to work on.
- Realistic or Results-Focused: Always ensure you have a focus on a measurable outcome.
- Timely or Time-Bound: Set a timeline for your goal. It should have a start and an end date. This ensures that your goal doesn’t linger or take too long.
Educational goals can follow these principles quite easily and are important to set when moving into a post-secondary and life overall.
HOW DO I ACTUALLY SET THESE GOALS?
- Step 1: Select your goal, then determine whether it is relevant to yourself and worthwhile. You can do so my assessing it based on the SMART principles we defined before
- Step 2: Find your motivation? Why do you want your goal?
- Step 3: Break the goal down into bite-sized chunks. Set smaller goals to get to the larger one. Greatness is achieved one step at a time.
- Step 4: Write down your goal and put display it somewhere you can see. If the goal is always in front of you, then you’ll always know what you’re setting out to achieve.
- Set a goal for each class or course
- Break long-term goals into several short-term goals
- Work with teachers or instructors to determine your problem areas
- Avoid setting too many goals
- Take online courses
In order to achieve success, you can practice goal setting for each of your classes. Try working with your teacher or instructor to help define these academic goals in your school or online course based on your academic progress.
HOW OES CAN HELP YOU SET GOALS
Ontario eSecondary School offers a number of different options for self-evaluation in our courses. If you’re taking an Ontario eSecondary School course, you can set goals by working directly with your instructor during a Student/Teacher conference at the end of a unit. Some of our units even offer self reflection and goal setting assignments.
We know that humans have a higher cognitive intelligence than other creatures on this Earth, but in the end the ones that have dangled a carrot in front of their faces see a lot of success. For this writer my carrot was to finish writing this blog post, and I got the carrot…