Where do you see yourself in the next five to ten years? Don’t say that you see yourself at Hogwarts, whispering a spell with Harry Potter or accompanying Bilbo Baggins in one of his adventures through the Middle Earth. You are too old for that. So don’t cook up a fantasy tale. Think about a real life situation. Have you ever thought about what you are going to do and where you want to be after your academic life gets over, after you are done with all these exams and struggle for percentages? Are you aware about what you want to achieve by the end of today, next week, month, year, and so on? If yes, have you thought about how to get there?
They say that a goal without a plan is just a wish. It is no different than an impractical, absurd wish like living at Hogwarts. So, if you have goals, you must have a plan too: a roadmap with directions to keep you focused and motivated. Having a well-defined plan is a must to achieve a goal. You must be wondering that it is too early to be thinking about all of that, that you are just a student trying to get through school/college. But read on and you’ll be surprised to learn that setting goals will help you at any stage of life and now is as best a time as any to start!
1. Set Goals That Motivate And Inspire You
Motivation is key to success of any kind, and it is crucial when it comes to setting goals. You should be able to answer clearly if asked why that goal is important for you to achieve. And this motivation should drive you towards achieving it, which means it should have great value and mean a great deal to you. Else, you will most likely find yourself easily distracted and soon giving up on it altogether, which will have a bad impact on your confidence and self-esteem.
2. Set SMART Practical Goals
You must have heard the acronym already but it is never too much to be reminded of.
S – pecific
Your goals should be simple, clear, and well-defined. Remember that your goal should guide you so if the guide is unclear, then so will be the path.
M – easurable
Everything can be measured nowadays and so can your goals. Name a price, a year, a month, a date to make it as tangible and quantifiable as possible.
A – chievable
Your goals should be achievable as much as they should be challenging. If you set yourself an impractical goal that has little hope of being attained, you’re only setting yourself up for disappointment.
R – elevant
Your goals should be relevant to what you want to do in your professional life. Then only will you be able to focus on the proper direction and what you do will be properly aligned to what you want to be.
T – Time-Based
Without a deadline, there won’t be any sense of urgency and there will be no call for a much awaited celebration. Goals are always achieved better and faster when they are time-based.
3. Put It On Paper
There’s something about putting ideas, plans and strategies in writing; it makes it real and official. Just like having a to-do list or a sticky note, a diary, a calendar, anything helps and reminds us of what we want to do, putting our goals and strategies to achieve it on paper helps too. Besides, nothing feels better than to be able to check things off your to-do list. It gives a sense of accomplishment that you have been able to achieve what you have set out to do.
4. Map A Plan
You have set your goals and you have thought about how to achieve it. But what most people miss out on is the steps in between. . To reach your goal, it is necessary to make a well-defined, well-structured plan, it is important to break down your goal into steps. Ensure that you device a step-by-step plan as to how to move from one phase to another from start to finish. It doesn’t have to be final. You can alter and modify it as you move along and understand the journey better.
5. Stick To It
Now, this is the most crucial part of goal-setting -> going through with it. If you intend to do something, and that too something which means a lot to you, you should be able to see it till the end. So make sure you are constantly up-to-date with its proceedings so you don’t lose track and, most important, you don’t lose focus.
Excited to accomplish something? Start setting your goals and get them going underway! Practice using these same golden rules with your studies and you won’t be disappointed. 🙂