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College of Arts & Sciences

Goal Setting for Students

One of the most helpful tools for being successful—in college and life—is to set realistic goals. People without goals generally do not accomplish a great deal. How do you set effective goals? Try using the following guidelines:

Goals should be:

  • Specific
  • Realistic Try to offer yourself a little challenge—but not too much!
  • Measurable, so that you know when you have accomplished your goal.
  • Timely, with a time frame by which they should be completed
  • Written down
  • Personally be desirable. They should be things you want to accomplish, not necessarily what others would like you to do.

State your goals in the affirmative and indicate what you will do. Instead of writing, "I will not waste time," consider instead, "I will follow my time management schedule." Review your goals periodically and make necessary adjustments. Be sure to reward yourself for achieving your goals!

Sample Goals

  • I will earn a 2.5 GPA by the end of the fall quarter.
  • I will study for my mathematics course 2 hours every Monday through Thursday of this quarter.
  • I will meet my professors in each class at least 2 times this quarter.

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