So you’re out of college. You completed the required classes and now have a degree, but don’t know what the next step is. You’re not alone! Personal goal setting often sounds easier than it looks, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible, because it’s not. All you need is some guidance and self-motivation and you’ll be well on your way to doing what you love in no time at all. It’s one thing to think about what you want to pursue in life, but it only comes to reality once you begin to take action. Yes, that means you have to get up off of the couch and actually do something about it- that grace period between college and the real world is officially over. Let’s take a look at a few ways to set some personal goals that may not only inspire you, but can get you to take immediate action.
- Set Lifetime Goals: What do you ultimately want to do with your life? This can be categorized by a specific age in your life or in your whole lifetime. By setting lifetime goals, it can help you determine the overall perspective of what you’re aiming for. Actually spend some time brainstorming these goals. It shouldn’t be a messy scrawl; this is your life- you may want to spend more than 5 minutes thinking about it! Set some goals for yourself in some of the following categories in order to get a broad coverage of the things important to you:
- Career: What do you want to do day in and day out, and what level do you want to reach? List your desired achievements within your career as well.
- Financial: How much money do you want to earn? Monthly? Yearly?
- Family: Is marriage something you want? How about kids? Pets?
- Physical: Is staying healthy important to you? Are there any athletic goals you want to achieve before a certain age?
- Education: Is there anything you’re interested in learning more about? Maybe taking some online accounting courses or literature studies?
- Pleasure: What extracurricular activities do you plan on doing for fun? (Life does have room for enjoyment, after all.)
- Set Smaller Goals: Once you’ve looked at the big picture, step back and consider the smaller goals you want to achieve in life. This means setting up and organizing a five year plan of smaller things you would like to accomplish first in order to reach your lifetime goals. Creating a daily to-do list can assist in this step as well. In this stage, your research might include reading books or looking online for tips on how to achieve what you’re ultimately working towards; gathering and organizing information could be the most important thing you can do in this step.
- Stay on Course: Now that you’ve written down your goals- both short term and long term- it’s time to actually apply them, which can be the most difficult part. In order to stay true to your objectives, review and update your daily to-do list- daily. Your long term plans may eventually change over time, which is okay, but keep up on them and update them as needed. An excellent way to monitor this is to schedule regular, repetitive reviews by using a computer calendar or diary. Set the reminder to activate every time you turn your computer on.
Kristy Kravitsky is a Pennsylvania State University graduate with a degree in English. Her future plans include traveling the country and continuing to pursue her passion for writing.