The above statement is a good summary of why we set goals. Without having something to work towards, we are aimless, unable to find motivation and/or direction to actually get results out of whatever we’re putting effort into.
The consequence of that is simple — without good short term goals, students are not going to be able to maximize their full potential.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at how to set short-term academic goals that you can actually achieve. Read on for more advice.
Know Your Knowledge Gaps
The first thing that you need before you can start setting your short-term academic goals is a deeper understanding of your own academic prowess. Where is it that you feel strong? But more importantly, where is it that you aren’t as well-versed?
What particular subjects and concepts do you need to shore up your knowledge on?
Knowing this will give you insight into how to best structure your goals. You need to target the subjects and concepts that will move the needle for your grades, as that is the ultimate long term end goal with your academic plan.
When creating goals, make sure that they are SMART. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Based.
Specific means that you should have a very detailed goal — it should not be open-ended. If it is open-ended, then it likely cannot be tracked or measured (the second principle of SMART goal-setting). If it can’t be measured, then there’s no way for you to know when you’ve hit the goal.
The goal should also be achievable. Setting unrealistic goals that you can’t reasonably attain will only serve to demotivate and discourage you.
The goal should also be relevant to your long term plans (this is where having a good understanding of your personal knowledge gaps comes in handy — make your goals relevant to those gaps).
Lastly, the goal should be time-based. Shorter-term goals help you with staying focused on moving the needle faster.
Don’t Neglect Long-Term Goals
But even as you do set short term goals, it’s important that these achievable academic goals all tie into the long term goals. The long-term goals should be SMART, but they should also have a longer time period associated with them.
An example of a long-term goal may be to graduate high school with a 3.5 GPA, or to win an academic scholarship that will pay your tuition money. Make sure that the short term goals you subsequently set roll up to the achievement of the long term goal.
Setting Short-Term Academic Goals Made Simple
There you have it. Now that you know how to set good short-term academic goals, you should now be better equipped to move the needle on your academic plans.
For more educational advice, be sure to check out the rest of the website!
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