Here we go, 2022! The turning of the calendar to a whole new year is a perfect time to start thinking about what you want out of the next 12 months. Dreaming big is great, of course, but setting goals and laying out steps to reach them will help make you successful—in college, your career and your life.
Goal setting is important because…
It Helps You Plan Ahead
This is obvious, but goal setting forces you to think about the future—what you want to get out of college and what you want to do thereafter. Once you set those larger goals, you can begin to lay out the smaller steps to take in the short term.
It Helps You Get Organized
Your time is precious, and setting goals forces you to prioritize it. You can evaluate everything you have to do, and put tasks that get you where you want to go ahead of those that waste your time or don’t move you in the right direction.
It Makes the Scary Seem Achievable
It’s easy to get scared when thinking about the future. But when you engage in a goal-setting process, you do more than just dream—you plan. You plan out how you want take practical steps toward those things you want.
You Put Yourself in the Driver’s Seat
When you set goals, you take control of your life. Every step you take will be an accomplishment and you’ll continue to gain motivation and steam. Progress feels exciting and keeps you going!
How do you get started on setting goals for 2022? Here are a few pointers:
What was difficult about the last year of college? What do you want to change? Start there when thinking about your goals for this year.
While a fresh start is wonderful, it’s important not to ignore what happened last year, but rather, to learn from it. Think about the roadblocks that got in your way, the valuable lessons you learned and how you can work around those this year.
Adjust Your Mindset
Ever heard of a growth mindset? That’s the belief that learning is not static and that you’re always capable of expanding your mind and building new knowledge. It’s a good philosophy for anyone—but while you’re in college, this is especially important.
Start this new year with the outlook that there’s nothing you cannot learn and no challenge that is too big to overcome.
Put Your Mental Health First
Real talk for a moment—the last two years have not been easy for many, and students of all ages have been greatly impacted.
This year when setting New Year’s goals, remember that taking care of yourself is essential. If you’ve been struggling with feelings of anxiety or depression—or just feeling overwhelmed—make sure dealing with this is at the top of your list of priorities.
Maybe you just need someone to talk to. At FRCC, we offer free counseling and stress management help to our students. We’ve all been there, and we can connect you with help—either in person or virtually.
Set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely—this is the SMART goal setting framework that you might have heard about.
An example goal that meets all of these criteria might be: I will strive to earn an A (raising it from a B) in chemistry in the spring 2022 semester—by attending all study sessions and asking for homework help as soon as I’m confused, so that I am prepared to take organic chemistry in fall 2022.
Break Down Those Goals
That’s where the SMART framework comes in handy—goals that are broken down into smaller steps that you can take each day, each week, tend to feel more attainable and less intimidating. If you’re a visual person, put both your big goals and smaller goals on paper and hang them somewhere as a regular reminder of what you are working toward.
Last but not least, don’t forget that the purpose of goal setting is to take those dreams and make them tangible. Your efforts are everything when it comes to actually reaching your goals!
Put in the time and remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, as the saying goes. Your daily actions will make all the difference in your success when achieving your goals in 2022!