Set Goals for the New School Year
Study Skills Series: The first Monday of every month, we give timely, practical, and original study skills advice. Timely means it’s especially useful during that month of the school year. Practical means it’s easy to act on. Original means we wrote it ourselves and you can only get it here.T he new school year will be here before you know it, so what do you want to do better this year than last year?
Do you want to be better organized? Get better grades? What about having more time to work, volunteer, hang out with friends, or sleep?
It’s a good idea to think about these things now, while you have lots of time and energy and fewer responsibilities than you’ll have once school starts.
You might not know your exact schedule yet, but you probably know which activities you’ll be involved in; things like sports, clubs, jobs, internships, volunteering, and your own creative projects.
What are your goals for each of your main activities? Are there certain things that you want to achieve? Do you want to do a great job this year so that you can be elected leader of your group next year?
Spend 15 minutes today writing out your goals for this upcoming year. Make sure that your goals are specific, measurable, realistic, and that they have a deadline.
For example, “I want to visit each of my instructors once per month outside of regular class time,” is a good goal. So is, “I want to get at least 8.5 hours of sleep every school night in September.”
However, “I want to do a better job of being more organized,” isn’t that useful a goal because it’s not very specific, it’s hard to measure, and there’s no deadline attached. A better version of this goal would be, “I want to 3-hole-punch all loose papers and organize them in my binder every day after school, and tidy up my various workspaces once per week.”
Once you’re happy with your goals, share them with a friend or family member. Telling other people your goals will not only help you stay motivated, but will also inspire those around you.