Motivation and Goal Setting
Setting a Goal is one of the most effective ways to increase motivation. Here are some tips to make your goal-setting experience a great one:
- Your goal should be something YOU genuinely care about. This increases your motivation and makes it more likely that you will achieve your goal.
- Make your goal “SMART” (see below!)
- “You can’t hit what you can’t see.” Writing your goal on paper is a physical way to make it tangible, and more likely to be achieved. Stick a post-it with it on your mirror or put it on an index card by your bed. The more you see it, the more it seeps into your subconscious, which works on your goal even when you’re not directly thinking about it.
- Notice how you speak to yourself. Give your brain a subconscious boost with confident self-talk – for example, saying “I will…” instead of “I would like to”. Positive words give you power!
- “Hope is not a strategy,” says business expert Frances Cole Jones. To avoid losing your drive during the semester, make an action plan: Write down the steps you must take in order to reach your goal. If you only focus on what you WANT to happen without a plan of how to MAKE it happen, a goal is more like a wish. Break it down to bite-size pieces and cross each one off as you complete it throughout the semester– this clearly shows you what you’ve already accomplished – which adds momentum to your motivation! See below for a ready-made action plan worksheet.
Remember: be gentle with yourself! It’s easy to get discouraged – but be easy! We have more ways to make it simple. Visit us in ASP’s office (Memorial 012), schedule a meeting with your advisor, and make an appointment with a tutor in UTP! We’ll be psyched to see you.
*SEE BELOW FOR GOAL-SETTING WORKSHEET YOU CAN USE NOW!*
How to Set a Goal – the “smarter, not harder” way!
SMART Goals are:
Specific: Clearly-defined goals give you direction.
Measurable: Include a precise element, like a specific grade.
Examples: Precise = earn a 3.25; Not precise: Earn a good GPA.
Attainable: Make sure the goal is realistic and challenging. If your goal is too easy, you won’t get satisfaction from it. If your goal is unrealistic and unachievable, it will wrongfully decrease your confidence.
Examples: Attainable = go to all 7 Academic Success Workshops. Not Attainable: get inducted into NASA by the end of my freshmen year.
Relevant: Align your goal with what you want most in your future. If your goals are scattered or not that important to you, you may decrease your motivation.
Time-Bound: Give yourself a deadline! This increases your motivation with a sense of urgency – plus you will know when to celebrate!
SMART goal example: I will earn a 3.5 by the end of the Fall Semester by using the Academic Success Program & University Tutorial Program.
*Why does this goal work? It uses “SMART” criteria, and has the added bonus of telling yourself what to use to reach those goals.