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Student goal setting- Setting goals you’ll actually achieve

Updated: Apr 13, 2021

The main of student goal setting is to make sure you know where you are headed and what you need to do to reach your goals. With the new year upon us, it’s a great time to start setting some academic goals that you can and will actually achieve! Often, we hear about how important goal setting is, but have no idea how to get the most out of it. Other times we set goals and never reach them either because they were either too challenging or too boring. Here are a few student goal setting tips that will ensure that you actually reach your goals in the end:

Don’t do it for anyone but yourself

A big part of student goal setting is making sure you actually want to achieve the goal you have set.

Trying to do well in school because your mum wants you to is not going to help you do well in school! Set goals for yourself- things YOU actually want to achieve- I’m sure your mum will be just as proud.

When I was at school, so many of my friends were “working hard” because that’s what their parents wanted. Truth be told, they weren’t working hard-they were pretending to.  The time they spent pretending to be studying could have been spent on goals they actually wanted to achieve! In all honesty, if you don’t really want it, you won’t really work for it.

These goals also don’t have to be academic! If you’re unsure what you like or would like to do, you should really invest time into understanding and learning about yourself! High school is a great time to do this!

Make your goals ambitious

If your goals aren’t exciting, why would you be motivated to reach them? Set yourself goals that truly excite you!

When you set large goals for yourself, you’ll also be more inclined to work for them- who would work hard for something they know they will get without really trying? Dream big!

Of course everyone can feel unmotivated at times- and that’s perfectly fine! However, if it’s becoming a constant issue, you should invest some time into learning how to motivate yourself throughout the year.

Don’t make them too ambitious

Another important aspect of student goal setting is having the right balance between ambitious and achievable

Okay, when I said ambitious, I didn’t mean that you should say “my goal is to make $20million in two weeks”. Very few people would be able to reach that goal! Your goals should be achievable, but ambitious enough that you have to work hard to achieve them. If you know deep down in your ambitious heart that there is no way that you’ll reach your goal, why would you work for it? Dream big, but not too big!

There is a great acronym used for assisting with goal setting that you’ve probably heard before- SMARTER goal setting. It explains that goals should be specific, meaningful, achievable, relevant and time-bound. The “E” stands for evaluate and the “R” means readjust. If you find it difficult to set goals, try understanding this framework and using it to set your next goals!

Know why you want to achieve your goals

Why do you want to get an A+ for that class? Is it to get into a certain university? To prove to yourself that you can do it? Whatever the reason may be, make sure you know why you’ve set yourself that goal. Think about whether you really want to reach it- if not, alter it until you find yourself wanting to achieve it! This will ensure that you don’t lose motivation before you reach it.

Here are some examples of BAD reasons for setting goals:

  1. My parents want me to get 80% for my next test

  2. I want to look good in front of my friends

  3. I don’t know, it would be cool to say that I got 80%?

  4. I need an 80% to get into the university that my parents want me to go to

And here are some example of GOOD reasons for setting goals:

  1. I need an 80% average to get into the university that I want to go to

  2. I want a high average because I want to look good for the workplace I really want to get into

  3. I want to prove to myself that I can do it

Remind yourself why you want to reach your goal when you feel like giving up- it should get you back on track in no time! I made a printable goal setting worksheet exactly for this purpose! Subscribe to get the password!


Workworkworkwork! If your goal is ambitious enough, you’re going to have to work hard to get there, but you can soooo do it! Remember that no one can work 24/7 and you’re definitely going to need some chill time between all the work!

Whenever you’re in doubt, remind yourself why you started. Don’t give up and always be the hardest working person you know!

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