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Your Guide to Setting Goals for the Semester

At the beginning of each semester, the number one thing on my to-do list is setting goals for the semester. For me, having attainable goals helps me stay on track during the school year.

First, figure out what your long term goals are (see below for some ideas). Once you know what your long term goals are, you can figure out what your short term goals should be. The purpose of short term goals is to eventually work towards your long term goals. Short term and long term goals are essential for getting on top of school work and making sure that by the end of college you are on your ideal path for life. I am here to help you figure out what goals you want to set, how to set them, and how to stick to them. 

How to set goals:

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What is something I struggle with?
  • What is something I am already good at?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • What do I want to change most about my life?
  • Am I pushing myself to make changes to better myself?
  • Do I feel mentally and physically healthy?
What kind of goals to set:

Once you have answers to the questions above, you can figure out what parts of your life you want to change. I normally set my long term and short term goals into two categories: academics and wellness. 

If you want to grow academically here are some examples of goals you can set:

  • Be on a certain career path by the end of college
  • Get into graduate school
  • Go to class regularly 
  • Do homework every night 
  • Join organizations
  • Take notes that will help you succeed
  • Talk to people in class
  • Don’t procrastinate
  • Review notes/study every night
  • Find a study group

If you want to better your health/wellness here are some examples of goals you can set:

  • Feel healthy inside and out
  • Grow your bank account
  • Strengthen self reflection
  • Make peace with your past
  • Talk to more people
  • Go for walks
  • Get a full night’s sleep
  • Take mental health breaks
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Go to the gym daily, every other day, etc.
  • Eat healthy
How to stick to your goals:

Goals should be specific and achievable. It’s not realistic to expect yourself to achieve every goal on this list. Pick a couple of suggestions off of the list that you think will lead you to where you want to be by the end of the school year. The main objective is to be constantly seeing progress towards your goals. To do this, I recommend journaling or marking on a calendar the days you stick to your goals. Evaluating your goals and reflecting on what worked and what didn’t will help you make progress and also set goals to stick to in the future.

My name is Julia Canellis. I am a journalism major at the University of Missouri with hopes of attending law school. I am from Chicago, Illinois and I love playing tennis and listening to podcasts in my free time. Email: [email protected]
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