Now that we’ve all left 2020 behind us, let’s take a moment to pause, reflect, and set goals for the future, whether they be to build on projects that you started in the past or starting afresh with a blank slate. Having tangible goals is a fantastic way to stay positive and remain motivated; it’s also the perfect way to hold yourself accountable to work towards success and achievement. Students who set goals are more likely to make long-lasting and impactful changes in their personal lives, academic futures, and surrounding communities. Here are some great steps to help you pick and choose your goals wisely and to determine what you want to achieve in 2021! 

 

Why Set Specific Goals? 

At first, it might be tempting to want to accomplish everything. After all, successful people and the role models we look up to are often known for more than one project or accomplishment. But these individuals didn’t come up with their ideas overnight, and they certainly didn’t accomplish everything they’re passionate about in a day or even in a year. In fact, most meaningful contributions to society require many months or years of planning, thinking, organizing, and development. Setting a specific and concrete goal for yourself will ensure that your big project is not only feasible but also enjoyable. Setting bite-sized goals will keep you motivated to push through any reservations and accomplish great things. So whether they be scholastic, personal, or professional, here are some great tips to help you set some goals. 

 

Read books 

Reading books is always a great way to learn new information about a diversity of topics. In fact, the books you choose to read can help you to determine what you might want to do in the future. For instance, reading a book about investing might help you learn the basics of the stock market and choose a career in finance, while reading a work of fiction might sway you towards pursuing the study of literature. Whatever your interests may be, reading books will open your mind to a variety of new ideas and will leave you inspired by the written word. Books allow the opportunity to delve deeper into the nature of humanity and figure out where you might want to take your life. The more erudite you are, the more precisely you can express your ideas. This skill will be incredibly helpful during the college application process as well!

 

Network with as many people as you can

We often think of networking as that tedious thing you have to do to get a job or an internship, but that’s not necessarily the case! Changing your outlook on the idea of “networking” can open many new doors. Networking might just be catching up with an old friend over coffee or getting to know a teacher’s story outside of the classroom curriculum. Networking allows you to hear many differing opinions and life experiences so that you can start forming your own. You will be pleasantly surprised by how many people will want to talk to you about their lives and how much wisdom you can gain from this process! Learning more about others will broaden your worldview and prepare you for the real world, where everyone has a unique story! As an added bonus, it never hurts to have connections for your future professional life! Colleges love to admit outgoing students who aren’t afraid to learn about new perspectives. 

 

Branch out by learning something new about a new topic 

Some of us might already know what we want to study or pursue in the future, but you might be surprised by just how many opportunities exist that you might have never heard of! Although high schools do a fantastic job, for instance, of teaching history or math, many high schools never touch on subjects such as philosophy, sociology, or even computer science, and these might be great areas of study for you—you just might not know it yet! Getting a head start by learning something new might help you to discover new goals, and new ways of achieving them. Starting a free online course, talking to a professional in a specific field, or just watching YouTube videos about a new topic will certainly help expand your knowledge-base.

 

Start a journal to reflect on your lived experience 

In our fast-paced lives, it might be helpful to slow down a little and spend a bit of your day reflecting on what you did and how you felt. Starting a journal can be the perfect way to track the thoughts that you experience throughout the day and the emotions that accompanied these thoughts. Although it might seem cheesy, there are many tangible benefits to journaling. The more you write, the better you can rationalize and understand all of your thoughts and thus develop a more nuanced vision of the world. The life experiences that end up in your notebook or computer can even help you write your college essays! Sometimes, the most interesting college essays are written about the banal world. Writing and reflecting will help you to become a more self-aware individual.

Following some of these suggestions can help you figure out what you might want to do in your future and achieve many of the goals that you set out for yourself! You can use these tips as precedents for setting specific goals, or as stepping stones to achieving greater things. 

Sometimes doing small things for yourself will go a long way. We hope that 2021 will bring you great luck and success!

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