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Set Your 2016 Education Goals

by Margaret Hurst
Marketing Specialist

January 03, 2016

Instead of making New Year’s resolutions, why don’t you try setting 2016 goals instead? Specifically, why don’t you try to set education goals? Resolutions are firm absolutes and usually are about completely changing a habit or behavior. We’ve all done it—you set a New Year’s resolution with the best of intentions only to break it three weeks later. Well, not this year!

This year, set goals.

Goals require work, deadlines, and check-ins. Goals need a game plan and a schedule. The best part? If you fall behind on a goal, you can always get yourself back on track.

You don’t have to do it alone. We’ve set up 4 easy steps to setting education goals you can (and will!) stick to in 2016.

Step 1: Reflect on last year

Did you have goals coming into 2015? If so, did you reach them? Even if you didn’t officially set goals you probably had some idea of what you wanted to accomplish. If you didn’t accomplish what you wanted, reflect on why not. It’s true that sometimes outside roadblocks can get in the way of accomplishing what you want, but often these are just excuses that we tell ourselves. Separate the excuses from the real roadblocks in 2016.

Step 2: Think about your endgame

Let’s say your endgame is to earn your bachelor's degree. Don’t make that your only 2016-education goal. Earning your degree takes commitment and time. Think about what you need to do to earn your degree. Maybe your want to take 6 credits per semester instead of 3 to reach your goal, or maybe you want to earn straight-A's so you take less credits. Set goals that are realistic and that will propel you towards your endgame. 

Step 3: Identify your roadblocks

Roadblocks are anything that might stand in the way of you achieving your goals. Write out any potential roadblocks, and think now about how to avoid them or how you’ll deal with them when they come up. If a roadblock is that your child will need you to take care of him or her after school, then come up with a solution now. You could work out different after-school care a couple days a week, or commit to doing your school work at night instead. If you come up with a plan now, you’re less likely to fall behind on your goals.

Step 4: Be accountable

Being accountable is an important part of any goal. Be accountable to yourself, and also to others if it helps you. A good way to set up accountability is to write down all of your goals and share them with others. If you tell your loved ones what your goals are, you’re more likely to stick to them and to receive positive reinforcement.

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