Make sure your goals are specific.
Don’t simply say I want good grades. Be more specific, such as I am not going to have any missing assignments this quarter or I want to achieve a 3.8 GPA by the end of the semester. This level of specificity ensures that you can identify how to achieve your goal.
Make sure your goals are measurable.
How will you measure your progress? These days grades are regularly updated online. If your goal is to achieve a certain GPA, it is important to make a habit of regularly checking your grades to monitor your progress. This way, if there is a problem, you are aware of it and can address the issue to stay on track with your goal.
Make sure your goals are achievable and realistic.
You want to make sure that your goals are achievable. If you just started to play tennis, it is unrealistic to think that you will be varsity team captain by the end of your first season. You want to challenge yourself, but also be realistic.
Make sure your goals are time-oriented.
Your goal should have a date on it. For instance, "I want an A on the February 10th Math exam," or "I want to have a summer internship figured out by March 31, 2020." Setting a deadline will help you structure your time efficiently and prevent procrastination.
Make sure your short term goals align with your long term goals.
Why are you working towards this goal? Is it actually important to you, or are you doing it because someone else is or someone told you to? For instance, if you want to be a college athlete, it is important to maintain a solid GPA so that you can continue to play on the team. Good grades in this context should not be because your parents or your teachers are requiring it of you, but because it helps you achieve your goal of playing on the team, not letting your team down, and eventually getting recruited. The goals you choose should align with your long term goals and where you see yourself in 5 years.
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