Goal Setting

November 20, 2009  |  Study Skills

As any good student knows, if you don’t plan for success, you are in fact planning for failure. The core of good planning lies in knowing how to stake out your goals. These goals will then function as milestones, helping you reach your destination much quicker.

If you do not systematically arrange your goals you will find yourself lost in the wilderness of our own thoughts. The clearer your mission is, the easier it becomes to complete it.

Goal setting is in fact a process. You start out by asking yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing right, are you proud of what you have achieved this far and do you think there is a noble pursuit into following this path or is it strictly related to material gains? (such as money?). In short; we have to learn the why, the how and the when of doing things.

Here’s where the importance of setting goals appear, whether these goals are on a smaller scale such as losing a certain amount of weight each month or on a larger scale such as what to do with the rest of your life. That’s why I urge to plan right now, end procrastination today!

Think, ponder, reflect!

Sit down and just reflect over your life, where are you going? We are all going to die in a few years from now, what makes you want live and continue striving?

Grab a pen and paper

It’s now time to set up the actual steps you need to take in order to reach your end. Get yourself a pen and a notebook and start dividing your plan into years, month and finally into days. You might want to look at this article on how to compose a task list.

Start asking…. and answering

An excellent way of starting the whole process is by simply asking yourself some questions. Here’s a few suggestions on the type of questions you could ask. Obviously, you can should add/subtract questions to form a picture that better fits your needs:

* Do I have any knowledge of this?
* What type of information is needed?
* Where can this piece of information be obtained?
* Is there any type of skill that I need to master?
* Are there any resources I could use?
* Is this really the only way to do it, are there any better options?

Take small steps – Think big thoughts

Now when you’ve finished all the planning, it’s time to actually execute the plan. It’s important that you don’t go over your head, be sure to make your goals small in the beginning. Walk in baby steps while keeping your eyes focused on the larger picture. There’s a famous Chinese proverb that says; “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one small step”

Just do it!

The more you keep on putting all your plans on the shelf, the greater the regrets afterward. How many times have we not wished we would of finished a certain task a long time ago? Don’t ever procrastinate, the faster you can get things done, the better. Always keep this in mind.

About the author

ABDERISAK ADAM is an author, blog writer and a PhD candidate in the institution of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology. He is also the owner and webmaster of www.study-habits.com, a website dedicated to the discussion of study techniques in the context of higher education. Adam is the author of a number of publications including 'The Study Guide PRO'. You can connect with him through Google+, Linkedin or by submitting a form.


  1. its a wonderful story of success

  2. wow… i loved all your articles..
    i’m a class 9 student and i used to be quite a good student but since a year my grades have been goin’ down slowly…i dont knw wht seems to be the problem.. i study, but even my parents say that the time i take to study is not enough…
    i feel they may be right but i’ve been losing my concentration these days, and i just can’t keep up my scores…
    especially since im in india, the studies here really put a lot of pressure on the students, maybe you can gimme some tips on what all i can do to get back on track ?

    p.s. after reading all your articles, i’ve got a special urge in me to study and to ace all my exams… i hope i do ! thnx a ton once again !!

  3. Hello there!

    Glad you liked the site 🙂

    It seems that your main problem is simply a lack of discipline. This can happen to all of us from time to time. What you need to do is, starting today, compile a schedule for your studies.

    The thing is, most people tend to study a lot when the exam is near and almost nothing when it’s far away. Studying a little (maybe 1-3 hours per day depending on your situation) over a long period of time is always better than studying a lot over a short time span.

    I know that having a lot of pressure on you can be difficult but it can also be beneficial. To get back on track, all you need to do is really decide to take action, starting today!

    Follow your schedule stringently and always remind yourself what goals you have in mind for your studies.

    I wish you good luck! 😀

  4. emmanuel amankwah

    Thank you.For insight you have given me.God bless you.

  5. ya it is a very superb paragraph that i have studied in recent years i have not studied such a wonderful article like this

  6. these artyicles are very effective to set a basic goals

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