Get it done in 2021: The importance of goal setting

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Writing down attainable goals can have a significant impact on our lives. Accomplishing these goals boosts motivation and brings us a step closer to success. Photo by Estée Janssens/Pexels

When it comes to the concept of setting goals, our minds often look to setting long-term goals that we may wish to accomplish at some point in our lifetimes. Whether these goals involve careers, traveling or academic success, it is the simplest option to set one overarching goal and expect to somehow achieve it one day. But what many of us do not realize is that achieving one big goal for a successful future is unattainable without setting smaller goals for ourselves along the way. Here are some tips on goal setting and how small victories each day can boost motivation and confidence for a successful future.  

Start by investing in a to-do list or an agenda planner that allows you to make a daily checklist for yourself. Taking life day by day is key to a productive lifestyle, and constantly planning goals far in advance can cause unnecessary stress. Handwriting your goals for the day, the week or the month is known to boost motivation in completing them.  

Keep your first few goals small. For example, if you have a huge essay and a project due, try not to write in your to-do list, “Write and finish project and essay today.” Although it may seem more productive to scramble all of your assignments into one homework session, you will soon find that this increases fatigue and lowers confidence levels. 

 The same concept applies to goals that do not involve academics. If you want to run a 5K race but have not gone for a run in over a year, you should not write in your agenda, “run 5K today.” It will be harmful to your progress if you do not start with smaller goals, such as “run one mile today” in order to eventually reach your original goal. Otherwise, you will find it easier to just give up when you cannot complete it on the first try.  

Envision what you want for yourself and how you will realistically be able to get there. For example, traveling is a huge interest for college students post-graduation or at some point in their 20s, but this dream requires setting goals so that traveling can be affordable and well-deserved. Where do you want to travel? How long can you realistically be away for? Will you travel as a career or for fun? Based on personal answers to these questions, you will be able to start setting goals early for yourself to transform this dream into a reality.  

And sometimes, setting goals and trying to complete them every single day can be difficult. Motivating yourself to get out of bed and make breakfast for yourself or go to class is a great achievement in itself for college students in this stressful world we live in. This productivity tip is all about personal growth and involves people starting at different stages of life, so there’s no judgment on how big or small your primary goals are. As long as you are ambitious and ready to work toward success, any goal you set will be attainable.  

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