When you embark on your studies, you probably have some idea about what you want to do when you finish them. You may have goals related to the organisations you wish to work for, what you wish to earn or you may even have thought about what your 10-year or 20-year plan is.
But how do you make your goals a reality?
Write down your goal
Goals have more power when you write them down. Writing goals down also helps you to clarify them further. Having them on paper can also help motivate you and stay committed to the course, when things get tough, or other ‘more attractive’ offers come along. You are also better able to monitor your progress and celebrate your achievements.
It pays to be SMART about your goals. That doesn’t mean being clever. It means:
- Realistic and
- A specific goal is “I want to own my own plumbing business by the time I am 30”, rather than “I want my own business one day”
- Measure your goal by keeping tabs on how you progress through your studies, how much knowledge you have, or how much you’re saving to establish your business.
- An achievable goal is “By the time I am 27 I will have saved half of what I need to open my own shop”.
- A realistic goal has to be relevant and achievable and fit in with your life. “I will save 25 per cent of my wage over 10 years” is more realistic than “I have to save as much money as I can.”
- While setting a time limit on a goal can be helpful, there is no shame in not reaching your target. Simply re-set your goal, or adjust your timeline.
Break it down into sub-goals
Sometimes goals can be very large and take a long time to achieve. These types of goals can seem overwhelming. The trick is to set manageable sub-goals that will help you reach the ultimate goal.
For example, if you are saving to own your own plumbing business, work out how much you will need to start up. Then work out how much you need to save over five years, or ten years to make it happen. Focus on meeting the small steps rather than looking at the overall enormity of what you want to achieve.
Celebrating success is an important part of goal setting. It is important for your self-esteem. It will also serve to motivate you further, to tackle the next step on your journey to success.
So what are you waiting for? Grab a pen and paper and set those goals!