University Life Café

The Bookshelf → Tips for Setting Goals

Preview Points

  • Setting goals may help make a life more manageable.
  • The following are some simple tips for setting goals.


  • State the goal very specifically.

EXAMPLETOO GENERAL: I want to get a good job.

EXAMPLESPECIFIC: Following graduation, I want to obtain a job. By July 1, I want to be a supervisor for a construction firm in Kansas City.

  • Select a goal that’s truly important to you – one in which you are strongly invested.
  • Select a goal which you can personally have influence over achieving.
  • Make sure you can measure progress toward your goal.
  • Choose goals that are challenging and yet realistic.
  • It is often helpful to state the goal in a way that (1) describes the situation as it is currently and (2) the situation as you’d like it to be.


INSTEAD OF: “I want to improve the way I study.”

STATE THE GOAL AS: “I will implement a system to better plan and organize my study time.
Concluding Points

  • Plan goals that are important.
  • Set challenging but realistic goals.
  • Describe the goals in measureable ways.

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