Personal Goals

Personal Goals Can be difficult to reach

Students who decide to make good grades usually know HOW to do it. It takes time and hard work, but they know what is needed. They might be more effective with better strategies, but they understand that they need to learn material from their book and  from lectures, and they need to use this information to make high grades on tests.

But personal goals, like becoming more self-confident or self-motivated, often leave students thinking this is just wishful thinking. They don’t understand how to work toward these goals.Smiling Overweight girl in dark dress

Marlena, the girl in the picture is a good example. At the top of her list of personal goals is losing weight – losing at least 50 pounds. If she can do this, it will help her reach other goals like making more friends, especially finding a boy friend, and developing self-confidence.

But Marlena has tried to lose weight before. She would lose four or five pounds and then put it all back on again. She adds another goal to her list: Self Motivation. She will need to be motivated if she is to lose weight.

There is a boy in one of her classes that she’d really like to get to know. That will help her feel motivated, but is it enough?

She sits down to look at her list of goals and decides to do several things.

1. Talk to a doctor about her weight problem.
2. Change her eating habits.
3. Start an exercise program.
4. Talk to a school counselor about motivation.
5. Plan some rewards: A new hairdo when she loses ten pounds. New clothes when she loses twenty pound, etc.
6. She will talk to her roommate and tell her the plan. She knows that sharing her goals will make her work harder.

This is an example of Personal Goals.

What are Personal Goals?

To begin with, all goals people set for themselves are personal goals. This include the educational, career,and family goals you have set for yourself.  It would not include goals that others have set for you.

But we can be more specific. Personal Goals are more personal. They are about dealing with personal problems. They are about self-improvement. They include the following:

1. Improving  health (which can include weight-loss)

2. Improving  physical appearance (also includes weight-loss)

3. Improving attitudes including confidence, motivation, determination, courage, independence, and more.

4. Breaking loose from bad habits and addictions like smoking, drinking sugary drinks,and overeating.

5. Dealing with fear and poor self-esteem, and sometime with bullying and ridicule.

6. Learning self-control such as control of eating, of anger, of rudeness, of selfishness, etc.

7. Learning to meet people and make friends

8. Believing in yourself and your own potential.

9. Accepting what you cannot change

10. Seeing the good in yourself.

What are some common Personal Goals for College Students?

Even among the attractive students, even with those who have made some friends easily, the goals are similar.

1. Many students either want to lose weight or avoid putting on weight, though often more for appearance than health.  They may not need to talk to a doctor or counselor (though do it if you feel the need). They should however develop of plan of healthy eating and regular exercise.

2. The goal or wish that most students talk about is needing to be motivated, or to be more confident. You don’t need a counselor to help you. Read the pages on  Self-Confidence   and    Self-Motivation.

3. Most students don’t talk about it but some are still concerned with their appearance. They may not make many changes but they believe that if they just were better looking, they would have more friends. They would have a boyfriend or a girlfriend.  Actually, improving your appearance might help you feel more confident, but the kind of friends you want should like you for your personality rather than because you are so cute.

4. A related Personal Goal is all too often, making friends. I have seen many comments on Internet forums where students ask, “Where can I go to meet people?”  To most of us, this might seem silly. Your dorm is a good place to start. It is filled with students. Or go to class or to the cafeteria, etc. I read about students who join organizations to meet people when they aren’t interested in the organization.

The problem isn’t WHERE to meet people, but HOW to start a conversation and get to know them. For ideas on this topic, check out   Making new Friends

 And Then What?

First, you must write down your goals… goals you have really decided to work on …. not those that are simply wishful thinking.  If you say you want to quit smoking then go out and buy a carton of cigarettes, you are not serious about this as a goal. It might be something you’d like to do someday, but you aren’t ready now.

Second,, look at the pages on Short-term goals. Create goals for the year, the semester, the month or even for a week. Then set a goal to reach every day. Repeat these daily goals each morning and, if it helps, again at noon. When you tell yourself, I will smile when I meet people. I will eat cereal and fruit for breakfast instead of doughnuts. I will drink water instead of sugar soft drinks…. and you carry a water bottle with you, then you are more likely to reach your goals one step at a time.

If you haven’t already read them, you might check out   Educational Goals  and then
Study Plans

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