The necessity and importance of setting goals is taught to every student of the world, be it for studies, health or passions. Students, very passionately, write their goals in their diaries or a piece of paper, only to be found in the dusting the next day. This is the most common situation that every student will relate to. What does this exactly mean? Two things can be inferred from this common behaviour – (a) ignorance of realistic goal setting among the students, and (b) inability of students to actually achieve the goals they’ve set.

This article will serve the best purpose by being a guide for students on how to set realistic goals and practically achieve them. But before that, let’s briefly discuss the importance of setting goals for students.

Why Must Students Set Goals?

As a student, the most difficult thing is to manage your time for various activities, and producing the best possible output in each case. You want to get good grades, have good health, relationships, less screen time, more productivity, more time for skills and hobbies, etc. With tons of things to progress in, you lose the track of your improvement in absence of a well-defined goal. Yes, goals help you to track your progress and improvement, in any field you choose. 

Another reason why students must set goals is that, if actually followed, goals make you disciplined. The more disciplined you are in your ‘ambitions’, the more time you will have for other activities. Seems absurd but it is true.

Consider this, suppose you have a test next week. In absence of a goal, most students will spend the week worrying about how and when they will complete the syllabus. However, if you make a goal to study for the test, say, about 3 hours every day, or a goal to complete 2 chapters every day, you won’t have to worry about when and how will you cover the syllabus because it’s right there in front of you. You can then spend your excess time elsewhere, without anxiety.

The student life is the best time to incorporate this habit of goal setting, as it will be a very helpful and precious gift to yourself for the rest of your life.

How To Set Realistic Goals?

Setting a realistic goal, the one that is not overpromised and can be practically achieved, is an exercise in itself. Most of the students synonymise ‘setting goals’ with ‘setting deadlines’ and end up fixing a date to complete their syllabus in the name of setting a goal.

Setting a goal requires the consideration of many factors.

  1. Consider the nature and amount of the work you want to do in a specified time.
  2. Now, consider your rate of working. How much you are generally able to do in a day? Let’s say you want to complete 10 chapters of economics. Before setting a deadline, consider your grasping power and time. If you can finish one chapter in one day, set your goal accordingly. Don’t set an unrealistic goal of completing it all in 5 days.
  3. Consider the other engagements that may come your way while you progress towards your goal. Adjust the deadline accordingly beforehand. If you have an important family function in the coming week, spare that day and compensate for it by adjusting in other days. Do not neglect your other engagements and end up setting an unrealistic goal. 
  4. Your goal must be out of your comfort zone, but not in such an uncomfortable zone that the mere thought of the process of achieving it gives you anxiety. For example, in the situation discussed above in (2), you can set a goal to finish 10 chapters in 8 days, which would neither be too comfortable nor too uncomfortable.

How Can Students Achieve Their Goals?

Here comes the real problem, where most of the students give up. Setting a goal isn’t as difficult as achieving them. However, setting a realistic goal is the first step towards achieving your goals as a realistic goal encourages you to work for it. The most important aspect, however, is to create a mindset.

  1. Create a mindset. Take it as a challenge to yourself. Why do you want to, say, look fitter? Focus on the reason and take it as a motivation dose.
  • 2. Do not rely on motivation to achieve your goals, set a habit. As James Clear puts it, “If you want better results, then forget about setting goals, focus on your system instead.” Most of the students depend on motivation to stop procrastination and start working. While motivation surely boosts you up, it is a temporary dose of energy, which will witness highs and lows constantly. Relying completely on it would never help you achieve your goals.
  • 3. What kind of a person would achieve the things you’re trying to achieve through your goals? Think about it. You want to top your class. What kind of a student would do that? Most probably who is consistent in studies, revises concepts regularly and practices test papers. Become that person.  
  • 4. Take small, consistent steps. Do not try to climb at the top of the building in one go. You won’t be able to do that. Take one small step every day. Progress and improvement are a function of compounding. The results won’t be obvious in the beginning, but as you continue putting small efforts consistently, the output will start rising tremendously with time.
  • 5. Create environment. Want to drink more water? Always keep a water bottle near you. Want to have less screen time? Keep your phone away from yourself. Want to exercise more? Keep you shoes and outfit ready in front of yourself. Want to study more? Keeps your books and pen on the table, always.
  • 6. Reward yourself once you have achieved a goal, no matter how big or small it was. Your hard work and dedication must always be followed by appreciation, by others or by yourself. You will thrive to work harder for the goal if you know that your diligence will be appreciated.

Setting and achieving goals is now much simplified for students! We wish you all the best for a well targeted and disciplined life. 

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