Published on January 22nd, 2014 | by MelShaferHS

Goal Setting and Achieving Success

One of the things that helped me navigate my last two years of the foster care system and my transition to college was to stay focused on my goals. It’s important to make both long-term and short-term goals but also to make a plan for how to achieve them. As writer Katherine Paterson puts it, “A dream without a plan is just a wish.” And Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 speaks about there being “….a time for everything under the sun.”

So no matter whether you are inclined to the philosophy of the bible or any great author of our time you wont get very far without plans and actions toward your dreams and goals. Keeping focused on my future got me through the challenges the foster care system brought and as youth learn no one will take care of you like you will.

Here are some quick tips and ideas on goal setting.

1. Write it down
Sometimes it helps to get things out of your head and whether you write it on paper in a notebook, journal, or the notes app of your tablet this makes it more tangible and its always a good first step

2. Organize your thoughts
Make lists, bullet points, columns, doodle in graphs or pictures whatever works for you and your personal style, make them your own

3. Set time frames

Be sure to separate short term from long term

5. Plan
Begin to think of steps you could take towards achieving your goals and then list them. If you see my previous blog on applying for college you will see that there are first tasks listed and then tips and ideas on how to go about getting them done. So for example if your goal is to get into Delta Community College and the step you’re working on is registration of classes you would first need to have all, your transcripts submitted and be signed up to take the placement tests and meet with an academic advisor; it sounds like a lot but having the tasks listed out and the steps planned makes the process much smoother and seem less intimidating.

6. Gather support
Whether its an academic advisor or a life coach or mentor or just a trusted friend we all need someone to rely on and run ideas through when it comes to planning our future.

Network (see my previous blog on local resources/support groups) to build your support system. This draws in new ideas and thoughts you may not have considered; this always opens new doors and opportunities so never underestimate the power of networking.

Remember to only surround yourself with those who will be positive and encouraging in supporting your goals you don’t want someone who will bring you down

5. Just do it!

Don’t procrastinate on going after something you want. Remember to draw on your support circle if you ever feel discouraged. Things like applying to mew schools and jobs can be  intimidating but that’s no reason to short change yourself on what could better your future, after you make your lists just get out there and do it! Stay encouraged đŸ™‚


About the Author

Melanie Shafer

College student, blogger and youth ambassador for HealthShack

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