High school students who seek my services often complain about their lack of motivation, trouble with focus, or ongoing procrastination.
My diagnosis: a lack of clear goals.
Without goals during your educational journey, you could drift through your courses, school day after school day, and probably not fulfill your academic potential.
Goal setting is a life skill we need to be taught! And then, we need to nurture this skill to help it work.
Articulate your goals clearly and specifically! Then, when you commit to them, you’ve started on your path to personal success.
Here are some goal setting basics:
Get started now! Don’t wait one minute to get working towards your dreams.
Write a list. Include everything you want to accomplish, in the short-term, and the long-term. Include your big picture too!
Get specific. For example, instead of saying “I want better grades in high school than in middle school” — commit to the specific goal — “I’m going to prepare for my math test ahead of time, with no cramming anymore.”
Create action steps for each goal. Break down the end result into small steps, tasks you can complete easily and daily. These action steps bring you closer, slowly but regularly, to achieving your overall goal. Completing small steps regularly will keep you motivated and feeling a sense of accomplishment.
Set a timeline for each goal and action step. Some tasks must be completed tomorrow, while others in a month or year. Commit to a deadline of when you need complete small tasks, and bigger goals.
Prioritize your goals. What is most important to you? What must get done immediately?
Be flexible. Spend time reflecting on your goals and your progress. You may need to adjust your timeline. You may change your mind about your pursuit. Personal growth requires flexibility.
Be kind to yourself. If you can’t stick with your plan and need to adjust your goals or schedule, that’s okay. The path to personal success can be bumpy, but challenge will force you to grow.
Fine tune your time management skills. Goal accomplishment requires efficient use of time management systems such as weekly schedules and daily To Do Lists. Need help in this area? Check out my video on time management.
I challenge my students at every stage to create a clear vision of what is most important to them. A vision of what they want to accomplish. It’s okay to get distracted by interesting things that come up in life. Just make sure to manage these inevitable life distractions by keeping a tight and clear set of goals and priorities.
You can do it!
Go for it!