Ashworth College Blog

How to Set Goals and Stick to Them

Written by Ashworth College on Friday, 23 August 2019. Posted in Online College

Planner with cup of coffee.

Your path towards furthering your education may not have been easy, but having a goal steered you to enroll at Ashworth. Setting goals and working towards them is an important part of the education process. These stepping stones pave your path forward and lay the foundation for what you want to achieve and even who you want to be. It’s important to set realistic goals and stick to them while working through your program. Here’s how.

Set SMART goals

Enrolling in school can feel overwhelming, but goal setting allows you to have focus, gives you direction, and can help you succeed. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals, originally created by George T. Doran, a consultant and former director of corporate planning for Washington Water Power Company, to help you focus your efforts and use your time wisely. S.M.A.R.T. goals are

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound
  1. Specific. Your goal should be clear. This way you’ll focus your efforts on it and be motivated to achieve it. When setting your goal, start with the 5 W’s—what, why, who, where, and which. An example of a goal may be, “you want to pursue an education at Ashworth to take the next steps in your career.”
  2. Measurable. Be precise. This means setting a date or time frame in which you want to complete your goal. This will allow you to measure your success and hold you accountable. For example, your goal might be to finish 3 courses in 2 months.
  3. Attainable. Be sure to set goals that are achievable and reasonable. This way, you won’t be discouraged or stressed if your goal isn’t going to be achieved in the timeframe you set for yourself. For example, it’s attainable to complete 3 courses in 2 months, but it may not be realistic to plan to finish your whole program in 2 months.
  4. Relevant. Goals should align with the direction you want your schooling or career to take you. This allows you to be focused and know exactly where you want your path to go.
  5. Time-bound. Your goals should have a deadline. Make sure your deadline isn’t unattainable, but when working towards a goal, setting a deadline creates a sense of urgency to achieve what you want.

Write them down

Writing down your goals works. This increases your chances of sticking to them and keeping yourself accountable. According to an article from Forbes, people who write down and describe their goals are anywhere from 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to successfully accomplish them. When writing down your goals, include how you think you'll feel when you reach that goal. You should also write what you want to achieve. For example, “I want to learn new skills to change my career”, instead of “I want to quit my job.” Read your goals daily and visualize yourself accomplishing them.

Plan and keep going

Planning your goals is just as important as the outcome. By creating an action plan you’ll have a framework for how to complete your tasks to reach your goal in the most effective way possible. To create an action plan, start by identifying the tasks that need to be completed in order to reach your goal. Then, analyze your tasks and see where you should apply the most time and what tasks you can put off until later. Make sure to review your action plan to keep yourself on track. You should also set reminders for yourself to make sure you take the time needed to accomplish your daily to-do lists. By breaking big goals into individual steps, you’re tricking your brain into thinking it’s easier to accomplish. This also gives you confidence after you finish and cross off each small goal.

Celebrate your achievements

When you accomplish a goal, make sure you take the time to enjoy it and celebrate. Think about what you did to get where you are and all the hard work you put in. Also reflect on how you felt in that moment. That way, that feeling of success can keep you going towards your next goal.

Reaching your goals starts here

Whether you want to pursue a certification, college degree, or earn your master’s, take the first steps towards reaching your goal with Ashworth College. Cross the first task off of your action plan by calling an Admissions Advisor at .

About the Author

Ashworth College

Ashworth College

Our community is full of independent, motivated, growth-focused students. Dive into our blog to explore diverse stories from our students, friends, experts, and executives. From tips & tricks to student experiences and alumni stories, the Ashworth Blog is all about celebrating our community's accomplishments and passions.

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