Back to School: Goal Setting

What is your goal this school year? Is it to be crowned the smartest man (or woman) alive, like Billy Madison?

To get into college? To bring up your GPA? To maintain your GPA? To try to learn something new? Or have you not really thought about it?

Goal setting, while not necessary to success, can be a very useful tool to help you get from point A to point B. The best kinds of goals are often referred to as “SMART” goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.

Let’s talk about these in a little more detail:

Specific: Instead of saying “A better GPA than last semester,” we can set a more specific goal to be “A 3.7 GPA,” or even better, “Studying for at least 1 hour before every Chemistry exam”

Measurable: A 3.7 GPA is more measurable, but should be broken out into smaller steps to be even more measurable – “92% or better on every quiz or test I take.”

Achievable:  This one should be easy — it has to be something you can achieve, e.g. no 7.0 GPAs or 200% on quizzes, etc.

Realistic: If you currently have a 3.0 GPA and were trying very hard, and now you have an even more difficult course load, a 3.7 GPA (and 92%s on everything) might not be realistic for you. Try to break your goal down into realistic targets.

Time-bound: This is another easy one. You’re bound by the semester. Look up when the semester ends to see just how many weeks you have to keep a solid 92% going.