Educational Resource Center

Ready? Set? Goal! (No, not the soccer kind)

June 25, 2014

Ever wonder where the time went? If you’ve ever found yourself lamenting what you could have done with a few hours that somehow slipped away, this post is for you.

Managing your time is not rocket science; it just requires a little thought and some simple goal-setting. Here are some tips you can apply right now, even when your most serious goal might be catching some rays (hopefully while you check some summer reads off your list).

1. Let no day be a complete surprise: Have a plan that includes waking up at a reasonable hour, time for physical activity, and getting “stuff” done, even if “stuff” is running errands. This fall, “stuff” will also include homework, remember.

2. Set S.M.A.R.T goals:

Specific: Have a daily to-do list. Be specific! Don’t just think you want to “make the most of the day.” Write specific tasks down and aim to check them off your list by day’s end.

Measurable: Let’s say you’ve decided to hit the gym. Don’t go in there thinking you’re going to “kill it.” Think of the kind of workout you want to achieve and come up with a program you can quantify when you’re done.

Achievable:  If your goal is to add a minor to your degree, don’t just randomly register for classes that sound good. Meet with an academic advisor to figure out if a minor even fits into the time you have left here. Have a plan in place for when you’ll take certain classes and check your progress each semester.

Realistic: You’re not going to become a marine biologist on sheer will, much less if you just can’t stand science classes. Take a candid look at your long-term goals as they relate to your personality, priorities and current available resources. You may find you can still use your natural strengths to do related work in your chosen field.

Time-Bound: Goals should have a shelf-life; otherwise we wouldn’t get anything done. Having a series of mini-goals is helpful for this very reason.Give yourself a realistic amount of time to reach a goal and move on to the next step.  Many mini-goals (once realized) eventually equate to an achievable bucket list.

Career Development Cycle