Effective goal setting is something that teachers have been trying to get students to learn since middle school. But, as we all know, it isn’t easy and some of us never attain the skill to set goals that are realistic to our abilities. Here I want to offer some ways to avoid overwhelming yourself and getting stuck in a cycle of overreaching and failing.
One of the most important things to remember when setting goals is not to have too many. If you set a dozen tasks for the week it will be impossible to complete them all, which goes hand-in-hand with time management. My suggestion would be to set one goal for each week, one goal per month, and one overreaching goal for the entire year. It’s alright to even set two per time period, but this way it keeps you from being overwhelmed and gives you plenty of time to complete them. You might be surprised to realize how much you accomplish this way. The best example would be when it comes to long assignments, such as an end of term essay. Breaking it down into weekly bite size portions will make the entire essay appear far more manageable.
The most difficult part is knowing what is realistic for you. It can be difficult to be honest with yourself about how much can be accomplished, but giving yourself plenty of time to accomplish your goal is important. It might even take a few tries before realizing the restrictions you need to work within, just don’t get discouraged, and adjust it for the future. This does not mean it is impossible to improve and set better goals, only that it takes time to work up to it.
Another important aspect to setting goals is actually wanting to complete them. I know this can be difficult, especially when it comes to school assignments or studying, which is why I believe for difficult tasks it always helps to give yourself incentive. This can be in the form of extra social time, or buying a small treat for yourself – anything to encourage your goals.
Hopefully these tips help and you find goals easier to manage!