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November Goalsetting – Ideas and Advice

As November 1st rapidly approaches, you might find yourself overwhelmed that there are only two more months of 2021. Remember all those goals you set back in January? Hopefully, they’re going well. If you’re a tightly wound, type-A personality like me, you may rely on organized to-do lists and goals to get you through not only each year, but also each month, week, or even day. Even if it’s not a habit you normally practice, sitting down and getting serious about your goals can be incredibly beneficial. You don’t need to wait until 2022 to set new goals – the first of each month is a great time to think about what you want to accomplish. Read along for some tips & tricks that will help you set your November goals.

write down your goals and track your progress

You are 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down. The very act of physically writing down your goals on a piece of paper makes them more memorable and important to you. Instead of just thinking about your goals, taking the effort to write them down makes you more inclined to achieve them, making your effort worthwhile. Going back and rereading your goals periodically is also a great way to ensure that you achieve them. As you reread your words, try to visualize yourself attaining whatever goal you set. Before you know it, that visualization will become a reality!

set s.m.a.r.t goals

SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. Let’s break that down:

Specific: Saying “I will do well in school” is not specific enough. How well will you do? What grades are you aiming for in each class? What GPA are you trying to achieve?

Measurable: A goal of “I will lose weight” is only attainable if you use the right measuring system. To measure how much weight you lose, you need to invest in a scale. Otherwise, you will only be able to guess if you are achieving your goal.

Attainable: We often fall into the trap of setting huge, unrealistic and unattainable goals. Though it might sound great, setting the goal of “I will earn $100,000 this month” when you are not even employed is not attainable. Make sure that as you set goals, you ensure that they are goals you can actually achieve.

Relevant: Irrelevant goals might be great in the long-term, but avoid setting goals that are simply irrelevant to your life at the moment. Saying “I’m going to backpack across Europe this year” when you know you are a full-time medical student simply isn’t relevant to what you are investing most of your time into – trying to become a doctor.

Time-Based: It’s incredibly important to set a deadline for achieving your goals. If you want to start cooking more, saying “I will try five new recipes” is not nearly as effective as setting a goal of “I will try five new recipes by November 30th.” The lack of a set deadline for your goals allows them to drag on, going week after week without being completed.

set short and long term goals

Short and long-term goals are both important. However, only setting one or the other often leaves us feeling lost. Setting only short-term goals leaves us unsure about what our long-term plans are, or what is most important to us in the long-term. Setting only long-term goals, on the other hand, leaves us unsure of what to do each day, week, or month to get closer to those goals farther in the future. During your November goal-setting, I suggest setting a couple of goals that you want to finish during certain weeks such as “I will finish my term paper by November 14th” as well as a couple of goals you give yourself all of November to complete like “I will apply to ten internships by the end of November.” This allows you to be more organized and to always feel like you have a purpose – even if you finish all of your short-term goals you’ll still have a few long-term ones to focus on.

set goals you’re passionate about

Setting goals you’re passionate about should come easily, but often it doesn’t. We often feel pressured by society to care about certain things or prioritize certain aspects of our lives over others. If you’re super passionate about your studies right now and you really hate the idea of going to the gym five times a week- don’t set that as your goal! Passion will fuel you to complete the goals you do set. If you don’t enjoy an activity it will be so much harder to complete a goal around it. Now, that’s not saying you should never set goals that involve doing things that are difficult for you – this is super important for self-growth! However, you should be excited about all of your goals, even the ones that you know will be challenging.

Now that we’ve reviewed some important tips for goal-setting, here are a few of my November goals in case you need inspiration:

  • Cook one new recipe from my cookbook each week
  • Exercise for at least 45 minutes at least five times each week
  • Read at least 2 books by the end of November
  • Attend at least 2 club meetings each week

Happy goal setting!

Kaleigh Pfohl

Fordham '23

Kaleigh is an International Political Economy major at Fordham and loves writing, reading, and social activism!
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