How to Set (and Stick to) Goals for the School Year
Start the New School Year Off Right By Setting Your Own Objectives
Much like New Year’s resolutions in January, it can be helpful for students to create their own set of goals in advance of the new school year. Coming in with a list of defined objectives can help you stay focused and committed to taking the steps needed in order to achieve your big-picture dreams.
If you’re eager to set yourself up for success this academic year, take some time before school is in session to brainstorm what you wish to achieve. Keep reading for some tips on goal setting as well as pointers for staying motivated throughout the year.
Look Back, Think Ahead
If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to goal setting, reflect on your most recent academic year. Review how each of your courses went, what you were most proud of, and what you wish had gone differently. Then, start to consider where you wish to be in the next few years. Many high school students aspire to enroll in their best-fit college, so maybe think about what steps you will need to take in order to get there.
Write it Out
Once you have an idea of some of the changes you wish to make based on your past academic performance and the big picture goals you are working towards, start to write out short term objectives to tackle throughout the year. If you weren’t thrilled with your performance in math class last year, for example, maybe draft up a weekly study schedule and look into any in-school or private tutoring options. You can also tie objectives into future goals, by creating study benchmarks for the SAT/ACT or steps to take for your college search.
Check-In With Yourself
After you write out your goals for the year, continue to refer back to them. Set aside time every week or so to come back to your goals list and assess what kind of progress you are making. Some goals may be easier to accomplish than others, so be patient with yourself and think back to your longer-term aspirations for motivation. Take note of any objectives that you are really struggling with and try to pinpoint what factors make this goal more difficult to achieve.
Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out for Help
If you are really struggling to stick with one of your goals and feel like you aren’t making any progress, look to friends, family, and teachers for support. For example, if one of your goals is to boost your grades in Spanish, but you’re struggling on every test, reach out to your teacher to see if there are any enrichment or extra credit opportunities. If you are proactive and eager to make a change, it will be much easier to turn around any negative habits and work towards your goals.
Find Meaningful Rewards
Students who are looking for a little extra motivation may wish to consider creating a rewards system for their goals. If you choose to do this, it’s important to select treats that complement your goals and avoid any rewards that will throw you off track. Seek out options that help you relax and recharge, such as a weekend movie night or long hike with friends. Save these rewards for moments of progress, such as boosting your SAT score or improving your grade in physics.
Setting goals is one useful tool to help prepare for the academic year. If you are looking for additional guidance towards achieving your short and long term academic goals, our team of tutors and counselors are here to help!