How to set reachable goals

As we welcome the new year, many of us look to set new year’s resolutions and goals.  From weight loss to becoming more organised, our resolutions resolve to change something we may not like about ourselves in order to improve our lives.  The nature in which we set these goals see them to be more unattainable.  We often challenge ourselves too much, applying unnecessary pressure that in fact impacts our own mindset.  Because of this, many give up on their resolutions before January ends.

For many students, setting reachable goals is of upmost importance.  Whether you are a first year working towards the end of the year, or a final year student soon to graduate, setting goals that you can actually achieve is not only rewarding, but also satisfying and increases self-believe.

Whilst many of us will aim to set large goals, setting smaller goals often pave the way to a larger outcome, ensuring you actually meet the goal you had originally wanted to, rather than giving up half way.

Here are our top tips for setting reachable goals.  Written by a final year university student who is currently completing their dissertation, applying for graduate roles and completing other assignments, we know our ways to set reachable goals are a success!

  1. Keep it simple

Setting simple goals as opposed to complex ones will ensure you are not only able to achieve what you set out to, but it will also remove pressure that is associated with larger goals.  Rather than setting a goal such as ‘complete all first drafts of essays within three weeks’ you could set yourself a more-simple goal of ‘start essays and gain some feedback within three weeks’.  Whilst similar, the difference between the goals is the time frame to complete work and the pressure applied.  Starting essays and receiving feedback based on what is done is certainly more manageable than completing numerous first drafts in a short space of time.


2.  Be specific

Setting specific goals will help you to stick to the goal and deadline.  For a student approaching graduation, a specific goal may center graduate job applications.  Rather than setting a goal to apply for 100 jobs in two weeks, make your goal more specific, for example, you could set yourself a goal to apply for 20 graduate role jobs and 20 assistant job roles.  Not only will be specific seem more realistic, but you will find that you will actually achieve what you set out to in a shorter time frame.

3.  Define your goals

Similar to setting specific goals, defining the goals you want to achieve will help you set what you want to accomplish, when you want to start working towards the goal, the time frame in which you want to complete the goal and what you want the outcome to be.  If you have a deadline approaching, defining goals to complete the work by a certain date will ensure you are able to break up the mass of work into more manageable chunks.


4. Give yourself a timeline

If you need to achieve a goal within a certain time frame, creating a timeline will help you along the way.  For example, if you have a deadline in three months, your timeline could be split up into months.  The first month would see you researching the topic, the second month would see you writing a first draft and having the work reviewed and the third month would see you completing the final draft.  Breaking the goal down into manageable timeframes will help you remain calm and complete a goal.

Following our simple steps will lift the weight off our shoulder and ensure that you are able to meet all of the goals you set out to achieve!


Written by Rebekah Louise Litherland

Posted in Uncategorised |

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