The Power of Goal Setting

Michelle Blomfelt-Jabs, Student Retention Manager Explains how Goals can Change Your Life

I am a list maker.  I have daily goals, weekly goals and a journal that I keep with lifetime goals.  As I revisit my daily list, it gives me such pleasure to cross something off as completed.  It’s actually funny how much satisfaction I get from knowing I have accomplished something, and the tangible Post-It note serves as my proof.  Of course, it also serves as a nagging reminder of what I have left undone!

As students, goal setting is such an important tool in the process of learning and organization.  From the beginning of a student’s journey, I encourage each student to put their goals down on paper.  Something about that act creates almost a “contract” with one’s self.  It makes us accountable to others, as well, if we choose to share our goals.  Each class begins with goals—the course syllabus is there to guide both instructor and student and keep the course on track to desired outcomes.

My favorite piece of advice to a stressed student/parent who is trying to juggle it all—work, kids and school, is to make study goals and post them on the refrigerator.  Go ahead and share them with the kids!  One student was amazed at how this engaged her children in her learning and held her accountable to them.  They didn’t let her off easy!  If she wrote that she had a test to study for, the kids loved asking her if her homework was done (the tables were turned, I’m sure.)  The most wonderful part about this was that the children became invested in their mother’s education.  They learned how hard she worked, they observed their mother modeling good organizational skills and they became proud of her success.  This mom shared with me that the kids would excitedly call and text her to find out how she did on her tests.  This type of goal setting was mutually beneficial.

Here are some tips for goal setting:

  • Be realistic.
  • Start with 2-3 goals to ensure success—it will keep you motivated.
  • Put your goals somewhere you can easily view them.

In the words of author Karen H. Whiting, “Goals are very important so that you know where you are going and you also know when you have arrived!”

Written by:
Michelle Blomfelt-Jabs
Student Retention Manager, Institute of Business & Medical Careers