Are you the type of person who wants to do everything, but just can’t seem to find the time or the means to do it all? I find that my brain has a tendency to pull me in a thousand different directions at any given moment. I want to queue up some blog posts, but I’d also like to be working on a writing project or spend the entire day reading (or, in the case of this winter break, watching The OC all day in bed). On a grander scale, I often feel overwhelmed by the vast amount of career possibilities. I really am the girl who has had a different career aspiration every year since Kindergarten. Since starting college, though, my aspirations have narrowed enough that I had no trouble choosing a major. But ‘Business’ is still incredibly vague. I believe that college students shouldn’t have to decide their fate so quickly. The key here is starting small. Find out what you like to do, find out what your strengths are, discover your passion and uncover your gifts. College isn’t really about selecting one life path out of many. For me, at least, it has been about discovering who you are, deciding who you want to be, and building the necessary skills so that you may build a life that is uniquely yours.
At the start of each season, I sit down and make a list of goals. For the Fall and Spring semester, these goals are typically school-related. For Winter and Summer, I like to focus on goals that allow me to relax and do some sort personal enrichment.
Just before the start of each season:
- Take out a notebook or open a new Word document.
- Jot down five or six or ten things you would like to improve upon or something you’d like to learn. These can be as vague or as specific as you like, but typically the more specific, measurable goals are the easiest ones to achieve. This past semester, some of the goals I set for myself were to improve my conversational French, start a WordPress blog (clearly, that worked out), teach myself how to use MySQL, and to meet at least five new business contacts/mentors. I can say that I have successfully completed three of those goals (my French lessons were put on the back burner).
- If you choose to be specific, make sure that you are selecting an attainable standard for yourself. If you’d like to start running, perhaps set a goal of running 3-5 miles every week rather than planning to run a marathon. If you are trying to eat healthier, start by cutting one “bad food” out of your diet rather than becoming a strict vegan overnight. As I said before, it’s all about taking small steps toward a larger goal.
- Over the winter break, I might set a goal to take a walk everyday or to see five movies at the theater. The same thing typically goes for the summer. Although, this summer I will be working at an internship out of state, so I have a feeling my goals will be a little bit different.
Another fun option is to make a “101 in 1001” list. I was inspired by Mackenzie Horan when I began writing my list last August. The concept is simple. You have 1001 days (just under 3 years) to complete 101 goals. They can be as small or as ambitious as you’d like. For instance, #69 on my list is “Learn to sew a button”, while #19 is “Move to a new city”. They can range from the practical (#47 Open a brokerage account) to the silly (#68 Have an ice-cream cone on the beach) to the obvious (#46 Graduate from College). Many people post these lists on their blogs so that their readers/friends/family can see their progress. I must say, checking off goals from the “101 in 1001” lists can feel pretty satisfying!
Now that the Spring semester is upon us, it’s time to map out your short-term goals and decide what you would like to get out of the next four months. I once heard of someone who claims to live their life by the seasons. After all, our entire lives are the sum total of how we spend our days or weeks or months or semesters or seasons.
Here are some excellent articles regarding goals!
How to Turn Goals into Strategies (Levo League)
7 Ways to be a Better You in 2014 (Levo League)
Top Tools for Setting Goals (Levo League)
Fitness Goal-Setting Worksheet (Lululemon)
Who Do You Want to Be In 10 Years? (Psychology Today)
Set Goals, Not Resolutions, to Achieve Results (Huffington Post)
How To Be Young and Alive in 2014 (Huffington Post)
I use this DIY Goal List in my dorm!