A new year is right around the corner, and what better time than now to set goals? I know that not everyone enjoys this task and maybe nothing I say will be able to convince you otherwise. However, it is something that you should at least give another try (in true Scratches on the Notepad Style) before you decide to discount it. (Note: If you have your own method that works, use it. It doesn’t matter how you set your goals as long as you do it).
First, find a sheet of paper, divide it into 3 columns, and write “academic”, “professional”, and “personal” across the top. Then just write down everything that comes to mind in its respective column. Academic is for school work, professional is for current or future jobs/careers, and personal is for anything else. Don’t censor yourself and don’t bother considering its feasibility. Just write until you are out of ideas. Think mostly about next term but if you have long-term goals, definitely write them down! Then leave the sheet of paper (or papers) for a couple of days. If you come up with anything else, add to. If a goal seems to fit under more than one heading, pick one category. The headings are useful guidelines, but are by no means set in stone. If you are a more visual person, you can do a mind-map or concept chart (rather like the image above). Whatever works for you.
Finally, take out the piece of paper and look at your goals. This is when you decide whether to keep or remove them. Some goals might be fanciful (anyone else wants to become a superhero?) or not achievable at this time (e.g. become the Prime Minister of Canada). Others may not be as important to you on the short term as others. Whittle down your list until you have a workable one (this length varies from person to person). Now grab another piece of paper and write down the goals that you did decide to keep. Be as specific as possible and you can use the SMART(ER) criteria. If you’re fairly organized, go ahead and try sorting goals by short-term, medium-term, and long-term.
I always keep the paper on which I brainstormed because it provides insight onto what I was thinking and can be pretty funny.
And that’s it! Easy breezy, no?
Do you have a specific goal-setting method? Why does it work so well for you?
Happy New Year!