My Experience with Goal-Setting

What I learned after studying for exams


We’ve all set goals in our lives at one point: whether it was to improve in academics, sports, or extracurriculars. But how many of us have sustained our goals? Probably not many.

So, what needs to change?

These thoughts swarmed through my mind as I prepared for finals my freshman year. There was an overwhelming amount of material to study, and it was my first year taking exams in high school. However, breaking my goal down step-by-step took some stress away.

  1. Focus on one class at a time: I started by looking at each subject separately and listing what I needed to study. I also focused on what I needed in order to get a satisfactory grade for each class individually.

2. Make a schedule: I made a schedule to map out how much I needed to study each day, taking into consideration other commitments. This was my biggest struggle.

3. Create a helpful environment: A perfect environment is key for success. I focus best at my desk where everything is organized to study.

4. Take breaks: Do not lose sight of the importance of your other activities. So, during past exams, I would take into account the times I would need to give myself a break.

5. Look at the big picture: The hardest part about setting goals is working toward them on a long-term basis. It is frustrating to not immediately see results. During exams, this is really where I wanted to give up because I didn’t notice progress after just one study session. In these moments, perseverance is important. Set small goals for the day with the big picture goals in mind.

I use these tips for my midterms and finals, but also other large tests. With a proper mindset, your goals are within reach.