I love to daydream about how I want my future to be, but the problem with daydreaming is that you are not really taking any action. When people decide to start taking action on what they wish to become, they usually write down their goals and start working towards them. But it is not easy to follow a certain path to achieving your goals, especially academic goals. In this post, I’ll take you through 7 simple tips on how to achieve your academic goals and dreams.
There are different types of goals; there are health goals, business goals, life goals, and the most common one among students; academic goals.
Most people’s academic goals are to get a certain GPA, read and study more for a particular subject, never miss classes, etc. It depends on where you are right now in your academic journey and what you want to achieve on that journey.
Let’s get started, shall we?
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How To Achieve Your Academic Goals
1. Set S.M.A.R.T Goals
Before you can think of achieving or working towards your academic goals and dreams, you need to set SMART goals. In order to make sure your goals are clear and reachable, each goal should be;
Your goal needs to be simple and clear. What do you want to accomplish? Why do you want to accomplish it? Who are the people involved in helping you reach the goal? Which resources are involved? Get clear on what exactly you want to do.
Your goal should be measurable, so you can track your progress. How much time will it take to complete your goal? How many hours per week do you want to dedicate to completing the goal? How will you know when the goal is accomplished?
Sometimes we tend to set goals that are unrealistic. To know if a goal is achievable, ask yourself these questions.
- How can you achieve this goal?
- What constraints do you have that might not make you accomplish this goal? For example, financial factors or any other constraints.
Does this goal align with the other goals you want to achieve? Is it worth it? Is this the right time? Sometimes, you might not be at the right time or situation to start working towards a particular goal.
Your goal needs a deadline. This will help you prioritize what needs to be done at certain points in time. It will also help you create a strategic plan that can help you reach the goal within the timeline.
Using this SMART goal technique to set your own goals is the number one step on how you can achieve your academic goals.
2. Avoid Distractions
There are so many distractions in today’s world. Ranging from social media to talking in class and missing that one statement that would’ve gotten you a 4.0 GPA (dramatic … I know).
The thing is, once you have goals you want to accomplish, you would not have time to be scrolling through tik tok or going to parties every single night. Once you start chasing something that is so important to you, you’re more likely to drop certain habits that waste your time.
But if this is not the case for you, try going on a social media detox. You’re more likely to feel less anxious and more productive when you do a social media detox. This provides you with enough time to start working towards your academic goals.
3. Practise Time Management
I know when I used to feel like 24 hours is not enough for one day, for me, it was because I had a lot to do but I wasn’t practising effective time management. The first step to effective time management is prioritizing. Prioritize everything you do, set them according to importance and urgency.
When you’re invited to a party, but at the exact same time, you want to do some research on something you’re working on. It might be really tempting to say “yes”, but the thing is, you have to take a step back and prioritize according to importance and urgency. If your research is more important, then you should give up the party and spend time on the research instead.
Use a daily planner to organize your tasks. Another tip is knowing when you’re more active. Are you more alert in the mornings or evenings? Set most of your tasks between the time that you’re more active and alert.
4. Use Study Strategies That Work for You
Figuring out study strategies that work for you could take years, and until then, you should be open to trying different methods of studying. Once you find what works for you, you’ll be unstoppable.
It’s like a business, you start a business and you follow a particular approach, but then it does not work. You use another approach at the business and you get massive returns. That’s it, from there on, that business is unstoppable. The business follows the strategy, keeps on making returns and only focuses on growing and scaling.
It’s the same thing with school! You find which study strategy that works for you (the business strategy), once you find it, you stick to it and keep on getting those good grades (the business follows the strategy and makes returns), then you focus on improving your skills (growing and scaling).
Trust me, you’ll be unstoppable!
5. Be Disciplined
Do you have a schedule or a strategy you’ve laid down for yourself to achieve your academic goals? Then you need to be committed to the schedule. If you have set a particular time to study every day, but on a particular day, you don’t feel like studying, instead you want to just lay on your bed; you need to discipline yourself to show up to your study desk.
In Atomic Habits by James Clear, he says “You need to master the habit of showing up”. Once you master the art of showing up, even though you don’t feel like it, you can achieve any goal! Any goal!
Training yourself to show up at your desk even though you don’t feel like getting up from your bed is a very good form of discipline.
6. Don’t Forget Your Social Life
When you have goals you want to accomplish, it is easy to get caught up in working towards that goal that you forget to have fun. If this is happening to you, try to include the time you wish to have fun in your schedule.
Your schedule should not be just about school or work tasks, you should also include times for you to take a break, or meet up with a friend, or attend that concert you’ve been looking forward to. The main takeaway is that you should also include fun time in your daily or weekly schedule.
7. Practice Saying No
Just in the same line with avoiding distractions and practicing effective management, you need to master the habit of saying no to some things. University is filled with a lot of events, both social and academic, so you should not be afraid to turn down some offers. Most people have the habit of saying yes even before the person completes their statement, they want to be more polite by saying yes.
Being polite doesn’t mean you have to say yes all the time. Yes, it might not be a good idea to turn down your best friend’s birthday party, but if you really want to use that time to do something else, you can turn it down and make it up to them later.
According to James Clear “Saying no is an important skill to develop at any stage of your career because it retains the most important asset in life: your time.” This is from his post titled “The ultimate productivity hack is saying no”
READ MORE: 10 Top Tips On How To Survive Exam Week
Bonus point: Create a habit for the type of person you wish to become
As of the time of this post, I am currently reading Atomic Habits by James Clear (You should already know I’m a big fan of James Clear). There are some key points I want you to take with you after reading this post.
- Who is the type of person you wish to become?
- What habit does that type of person do?
- Which of those habits are you going to work on now?
- When will you do those habits? ( I will [do this habit] at this [place] at this [time]) tweak the sentence however you like.
This will help you gain clarity on what exactly you need to start doing NOW. If you want more insight on how to can form better habits to achieve your academic goals as a student, get atomic habits by James Clear
Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identityJames Clear, Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way To Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
Key Takeaway Points On How To Achieve Your Academic Goals:
You should always set clear and attainable goals so you do not feel overwhelmed.
The key thing about achieving your goals is having the discipline to continue working towards those goals and never giving up.
If at any point you need help with your goals, ask people around you that can help.
The best way to achieve your academic goals is to set small habits that can help you reach those goals. And if you need help setting habits and sticking to them, try investing in James Clear, atomic habits.
Let me know in the comments below your current academic goals that you’ve set for yourself and how you plan to achieve them!
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