Got Goals?

Are you being inundated by questions like "What do you want to do with your life?", "What are your plans?" and, of course, "What's your major?" Often, high school seniors and those students early in their college career feel as though questions about their future are premature. While it is tempting to shrug your shoulders and wince at the idea of making decisions that have a lasting effect on your future, it's not advisable. Just feeling like you have all the time in the world does not in fact, make it so. The people who achieve the most in their life realized their dreams early on, made plans, and took action in order to see their dreams to fruition.

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Why Should I Make Goals For Myself?

It is critical that as a student, you understand that life does not begin when you receive your high school diploma or when you graduate from college. These events are just milestones and they are evidence that your life has in fact, already begun. Before you're knee deep into the process of selecting and visiting the universities that you are interested in attending, sit down and chart out your life course. It sounds tedious, but it is the only way that you can ensure that you are headed in the direction of your goals.

Keep your big picture dreams in mind when charting out your smaller and more immediate goals. This vision is made up of thousands of smaller goals that we'll refer to as the micro elements of your universe. You can typically assume that if you want to succeed at bringing the larger picture into focus, it will take years of achieving micro goals to make this happen.

How Do I Make Goals For Myself?

Let's revisit the question, "what do you want to do with your life?" If this is too vague or overwhelming to answer, resize it. Think short term. If for example, you are about to begin your senior year of high school, determine whether or not you are planning to attend college the following fall. If you are, you have established a clear starting point for your self.

Ask Yourself "Big Picture" Questions

  • What do I enjoy doing?
  • What am I good at?
  • What areas of learning or achieving are the most problematic for me?
  • When do I feel as though I've accomplished something?
  • Where do I want to be in 10 years?
  • How much do I want to make?
  • Where do I want to live?
  • Do I want a family?

Ask Yourself "Little Picture" Questions

Only you can answer these questions. The answers that you provide begin creating a map, that if you choose, can help you to reach your goals. By taking the time to consider such questions you are making an investment in the very important decisions you will make. These decisions, like where to attend school, what to study, and whether or not you want a family, will have a lasting impact on what your life looks like. Your salary, career choices, and leisure time are all impacted by such decisions and drastic differences in any of these categories will determine the lifestyle that you live. That said, choose wisely.

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Last Reviewed: September 2021