Life GoalsPosted: July 20, 2010
When you get into your car in the morning, you know the destination you’re driving to, right? If there happens to be a road block as you’re driving, you will need to take a detour But since you know your destination, you’ll be able to get where you’re going even if you have to go a different way. Going to college is very much like driving your car. Some of you know the eventual destination you want to get to and you have a path you can take to get to where you want to go. But just like driving without a destination, going to college without a goal means it will take you longer to go where you aren’t sure you wanted to go.
The first thing you should do is figure out your personal goals. Ask yourself where you want to be five, ten, twenty years down the road. What kind of lifestyle do you want? What kind of a career do you want to have? It is important while you make your goals that you use the SMART acronym.
Don’t make a general goal like “I want to live in a big house with my family.” Be more specific, say instead, “I want to live in a two-story, four-bedroom house with a large kitchen and a pool in the backyard with my spouse and three kids by the time I’m 35.” By being specific you give yourself a definite goal to work toward. You can plan for how much a house like that might cost and plan for how much money you might need to make or save in order to be able to afford it. Keeping a journal of your goals and putting pictures of what you want into a Visual section also can help keep you motivated. That way when you get discouraged you can look through the pictures and remember why you’re working so hard.
Make sure you have definite steps to follow when pursuing your goal. If your goal is to lose 25 pounds, you can make every five pounds a milestone to celebrate. If you want that two-story house, then you know you were successful when you finally move in. By breaking goals up into smaller steps for you to accomplish, you can keep yourself focused and build your confidence that you can achieve your goal. Nothing is more daunting than a large project and having no idea what steps to take to complete it. So break your goals down into smaller goals that will help you stay focused and not get discouraged.
- Attainable and Realistic
Keeping your goals attainable and realistic also will raise your self confidence. Don’t assign yourself a goal that is unrealistic or unattainable because you only will be setting yourself up for disappointment. Evaluate your goals and make sure they are realistic for you.
Give yourself a specific timeline. This will keep you motivated and working toward your goal. Many New Year’s resolutions fail because there is no timeline attached to them. Without a timeline, the goal will lack accountability and you won’t achieve your goals as quickly as you would like to.
Once you’ve figured out your personal goals, you can move on to your educational goals. When you begin school, write out a purpose statement for yourself. It should say something like “I will complete an associate degree in aviation maintenance technology within 24 months because I want to get a job as an A.M. tech working at DFW airport.” This statement of purpose will keep you focused when classes get hard, and the workload seems unending. By knowing what you are going to major in and what career you want to have, you can then utilize the three P’s: Plan, Prioritize, Persevere.
While going to school, it is important to plan ahead and know which classes you will need to take to graduate. This is very important because you do not want to waste time or money on a class that is not a part of your major requirements. Once you’ve created a list of the classes you will need to take, organize them into what semesters you will take them in. Some classes require a prerequisite class that you will need to take first, and others may only be available one semester of the year. So look ahead and plan your schedule. Next, consider your personal life. Will you be able to handle the workload from school as well as balance your personal life? If you need to work full-time, then you will need to take fewer classes, and it will take you longer to graduate.
After you plan what classes to take and you’ve begun school, you will find that there are many distractions. It may be family, work, or your social life but you will find there are some times when you need to choose between studying and doing something else. You will have to prioritize some things in your life if you want to be successful in school. Remember, sometimes to get what you want you may have to make sacrifices. However, the rewards you and your family will reap when you are successful in your goals and you have the career you wanted will outweigh the sacrifices you have to make now.
And the final component is perseverance. Make sure the goals you have for yourself are so important to you that you will not even consider giving up. You have to be determined to make it happen because if you aren’t, then when things begin to get rough, you will give up. Your determination to be successful in college must be established from the beginning.
If you have a dream for yourself that you have carefully planned and is reasonable and attainable, then don’t give up on it. Some people may try to talk you out of pursuing your dream or make you doubt yourself, but you can’t let them. You are the one who needs to be determined and focused because it is your life, not theirs. Don’t lose your focus and don’t get discouraged. Keep reminding yourself of what you want and where you are going. If you do that, then you will find a way to make your dreams come true.