Creating a Vision: How to Set Goals & Achieve Them

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Goal setting isn’t just for New Years resolutions, folks. Throughout the year, we set goals for our academics, careers, finances, and even our health. Whether your goals are big or small, our steps for creating a vision, setting goals, and achieving them can help you get there!


Start with a vision

It’s hard to get somewhere if you don’t know where you’re going. You need to have a clear vision of your goals before you can develop a strategy to reach them. Maybe you want to raise your GPA, hit a certain number in your savings, or want to land an internship at your dream company before you graduate. No matter how big or how small your goals are, your vision to get there should be smart.


Set SMART goals

Create an action plan by using SMART goals:

  • Specific

  • Measurable

  • Attainable

  • Relevant

  • Time bound

Write down your vision statement for your goal and revise it until it meets the SMART requirements. Check out the example below:

“I will raise my cumulative GPA by .5% by the end of this fall semester by going to tutoring and hosting study group sessions once a week.”

Notice how it’s specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. SMART goals provide an easy framework for managing your goals.

Remember to be realistic when setting your goals, but don’t sell yourself short. You’re capable of much more than you think.


Commit to your goals

Commit, commit, commit! Tell yourself that this time is different. This isn’t like when you said you were going to go to the gym every day⁠—no matter what⁠—as your New Year’s resolution. This time is different. This time you mean it.

Hold yourself accountable by checking in on your progress each week. Are you any closer to your goal today than you were last Tuesday? If not, what do you need to do to move forward? If you’re hitting a roadblock, how can you overcome it and get back on track?

Choose an accountability partner; this can be a friend, classmate (ask a Braven Fellow!), coworker, or family member. By sharing your goal(s) with someone else, you’ll be more motivated to follow through and less tempted to procrastinate.


Evaluate your goals

If you notice your current strategy isn’t working, it may be time to make some adjustments. But don’t be discouraged ⁠— there’s still time!

Evaluate your goals and pinpoint any obstacles that may be preventing you from reaching them. Are they still attainable? Are you continuing to prioritize them and make progress each week? If not, why not? You may need to revisit our “Start with a Vision” section at the top of the page and tweak your vision statement.

Pro tip: if you find yourself stuck, reach out to your leadership coach for advice!


Reward yourself

Time to kick your feet up ⁠— you did it. You stayed on track, made adjustments where necessary, and persevered. No matter how large your goals were, you achieved small tasks along the way and proved to yourself that you’re capable of much more than you originally thought.

Setting goals begins with a vision and a SMART action plan, no matter how small or large those goals may be. Remember that setbacks don’t mean failure ⁠— they’re opportunities to learn and adapt. Once you identify the right root causes, you can clear the path to achieving your goals.