Sept. 22, 2020

Goal-Setting – When “Perfect” is the Enemy of “Good”

Goal-setting can be intimidating.

Tip #1:  Holistically consider what we want in our lives. No goal exists in isolation. A good starting point is to ask yourself what you want your semester to look like. From your perspective, how will you know if you have been successful? Allowing yourself permission to dream can provide hope, energy, and aspiration and is a crucial part of the goal-setting process. At the same time, paying attention to our own circumstances and constraints allows us to be realistic.

Tip #2: Make your goals SMART. First, it is important for a goal to be specific. Make it clear and focused with a tangible outcome. Second, is there a way you can measure whether you achieve the goal? It is also important for the goal to be attainable. Goals that are too difficult to achieve can leave us feeling unmotivated. Try to set goals that aren’t too easy to achieve either, but are still realistic. Next, try to make your goals relevant. Is this goal worthwhile to you? Does it fit with your overall vision for how you want your semester to look? Does this goal align with your values? Lastly, determine when you want to achieve the goal by. Create a timeline. Having a target date can be motivating and help you to get started!    

Tip #3: Write your goal down and keep it visible. In order to stay motivated, revisit your goals regularly. As you review your goals, remind yourself why they are important to you. How will your life change if your goal is met? Try to go deep here and think about the underlying reasons you want to turn this goal into reality.    

Tip #4: Allow for Flexibility. Life happens. Our needs and circumstances are constantly changing and evolving. That said, it is important that we keep an open-mind and are willing to refine our goals when required. It is impossible to anticipate everything that will happen, so it can be helpful to see goal-setting as a cycle, rather than a line that extends one way into the future.

Thanks for reading! If goal-setting is something you’d like to explore further, consider booking an appointment at the Student Success Centre.