Chapter 1 Outline

Chapter 1: Planning Your Future

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The introduction asks students to consider how they will get to their future goals. Goals, the thing that set “highly effective, successful people apart,” are compared to the difference between a piece of driftwood and someone in control of the rudder of a sailboat. Goals are placed in a college setting – selecting a major, courses for the semester, and whether to have fun or to study. It Goals set now will guide a student to a successful future. The chapter will explain how to set goals in three areas on the student’s life: personal, educational, and professional.

Things are Different Now. This first subsection in the introduction also explains how things are different in high school in college, and lists several realities of college that students will face, including difficult course work, roommates, homesickness, responsibility, attendance and parties.

Before You Begin. This second subsection explains the journal students are to keep their Taking Charge exercises and assignments in. It will have four sections: Personal, Educational, Professional, and Vision.

I. Personal Goals—Success Starts with You

This section explains how a person needs to visualize their success and set specific goals now in order to achieve their future goals.


i. Specific. Set a specific goal for your future that you can visualize. Students are asked to put a photo of something that helps them visualize something they want to obtain, i.e., a car, in the Vision section of their journal.

ii. Measurable. Certain steps are associated with obtaining a goal, so break the goal into measurable units to built confidence along the way.

iii. Attainable and Realistic. These go hand-in-hand, and they are things to be considered to you don’t set yourself up for disappointment.

iv. Timed. Set a timeline of your goals so you have accountability.

b. Putting It Together. In order to ensure your goals meet the SMART criteria, write them down and check it.

II. Educational Goals—The Path to Your Future

Most successful students know the specific reasons for being in college. It explains that college students need to spend two hours on schoolwork for every hour of in-class time. A specific statement of purpose made in the beginning of freshman year will keep students on track throughout their college career.

a. Plan. Check your college catalog to identify which courses you need and discuss the order in which to take them with your academic advisor.

b. Prioritize. Finding a balance between study time and your social life is imperative to success.

c. Persevere. Your mindset must be established from the beginning of your college career.

III. Professional Goals—Achieving Your Dreams

This section explains that freshman year is actually a perfect time to discuss professional goals, because they can begin to consider “Where do you want your career to take you?” Researching a specific career option and understand people in that career earn. Opportunities for advancement in the students’ career choices may mean that they need to seek higher educational degrees. Verifying the potential of a career means that students will get the results they desire from their future career. Students should refer to the SMART acronym to set the goals associated with their career selection.


i. Specific. Have specific goals for your career. Imagine what you will be wearing, the work you will be doing and the people you will be working with.

ii. Measurable. Set your goals in measurable units, because measuring successes in your professional life creates job satisfaction and confidence.

iii. Attainable and Realistic. Make sure your work goals are attainable and also realistic. Do not set your goals too high or too low.

iv. Timed. Ask yourself if your chosen career offers opportunities for advancement. Set a goal for where you would like to be in a certain number of years. These goals will keep you going.

b. Steering Your Ship to Safe Harbor. The conclusion asks students to use the SMART acronym and the “Three P’s” as they set their expectations for their future. It also reminds them to research their future career and to keep up with their journal.

One Final Thought

This section warns students to “beware of dream stealers,” as in people who love you but are afraid to see you try and fail, distractions or poor time management.