Has anyone ever asked you, "What are your goals?" Were you able to list a few? Have they followed up with, "How are you going to accomplish those goals?"
Goals give us something to work towards, something to look forward to, and something to keep us motivated along the way. For many, earning a college degree is a lifelong goal, one that can be achieved with a lot of hard work, dedication and proper planning. Establishing a clear path toward achieving your dreams is one part of goal setting that is most often overlooked. As Yogi Berra put it, "You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there."
Creating educational goals will allow you to focus on your online degree program and use your time wisely. To help you begin, outlined below is the S.M.A.R.T. process for establishing goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.
Specific — Specific goals are clear, focused, concise and well-defined. A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal.
Measurable — To measure your success, you need to establish timelines, dates, dollar amounts, number of credits, etc. Measuring your progress enables you to stay on track and reach your target dates; as a result, you will experience the feeling of success that will drive you on to achieve your goal.
Attainable — Ask yourself, "Is this goal important to me?" When you identify goals that are important to you, you begin to discover ways you can make them come true. You can accomplish most any goal you set when you plan your steps wisely and establish a realistic time frame that allows you to carry out those steps.
Realistic — A realistic goal is one that you are both willing and able to work toward.
Timely — Set a time frame for your goal; your goal should have a starting point and an ending point.
Factors to Ensure Success:
"The person who gets the farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. The sure-thing boat never gets far from shore." ~Dale Carnegie