How to Create Academic Goals that are Achievable


The first day of school is always exhilarating—you get to see your old friends, meet new ones, eat at the cafeteria, learn new things—the list goes on and on and on. A few weeks later, the hype has gone down, and you now start feeling like the four walls of the classroom are closing in on you. This is caused by the daunting amount of homework, exams, and quizzes lined up for you to take day by day. Suddenly, all your goals start going down the drain as you get exhausted with all your requirements.

Frustrating, right? But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can still push through—but this time, you need to create achievable goals. Sometimes we think we can do everything, but we forget to consider that other factors may come in over time. Everybody wants to have academic success, which is why you should take note of the list below.

Creating Achievable Goals

Before listing out everything you want to achieve in a school year, you need to think and be smart about it. Being SMART means making goals that are:

  1. Specific

Be specific with your goals by identifying what you need to accomplish first. Thus, make a list of the things you need to do for the day and prioritize those that are most important or those which require immediate attention.

  1. Measurable

The goal should be beneficial to you. Thus, evaluate the goal and see how this may help you in your classes. Every goal must be measurable—for example, aiming for 75% of the exam so that you can get a particular grade in your class.

  1. Achievable

You already know yourself, so you know what you are capable of. Only set goals you can achieve. It’s good to challenge yourself from time to time, but also be realistic with your choices and decisions.

  1. Results-focused

When working towards achieving your goals, make sure you’re doing it with a solid work ethic. Effort is admirable, but you want to be able to focus your effort into productive tasks and methods so that you achieve the results that you are seeking. Unregulated and unfocused effort will only exhaust you. 

  1. Time-bound

Just like school projects, your goals must have deadlines, too. Setting definitive deadlines will motivate you to complete your work and efforts within a specific timeframe, rather than listlessly and aimlessly throwing metaphorical darts at the board. Nothing is more motivating than a definitive deadline that will force you to exercise your time management skills. 

What You Can Do

  1. List out all your main goals for the semester

When you start listing out your goals, ask yourself what you want to achieve for the semester. It can be as simple as passing all your subjects or challenging yourself to be part of the dean’s list of exceptional students. Knowing your goals allows you not to stray far from the path. Once you feel like things are going sideways a little bit, look back to why you’re hustling in the first place. This way, as the semester progresses, you can easily break down your big goals into something smaller, like a quiz you want to ace or a project you wish to submit before the deadline. All these small goals will allow you to complete your big goals over time.

  1. Manage your time well

It’s not easy to juggle more than five classes at a time. It can get quite overwhelming, especially when your teachers re fond of giving you homework and projects. It will can cause confusion and will make you want to give up. Thus, learn how to master managing your time will allow you to go through all your subjects’ deliverables one by one and with ease. To manage your time, you should know your priorities and avoid things that might distract you. If you give in to temptation, like night outs and parties with your friends, you’ll end up not getting anything done and regretting your past decisions. Your academic performance should always be at the top of your list.

  1. Ask for help

When things are getting complicated, don’t hesitate to ask people for help. These people can be your friends and even your teachers. This will allow you to pull your GPA up and avoid flunking a class. It isn’t shameful to ask for somebody’s assistance because we will all struggle in school. Having people who are willing to lend a helping hand is a big bonus and advantage.

  1. Join extracurricular activities

When all you do is study, there’s a strong possibility that you might get burnt out. To avoid this, you need to find ways to let off some steam. One of the things that can help you is by joining extracurricular activities. These activities may range from playing a sport you love, volunteering at a shelter, to joining a club that shares the same interests as you. Besides being able to explore new heights, you will also gain new friends and people who will help you in your academic journey. Just be sure that you won’t get mixed up with the wrong crowd.

  1. Never stop learning

Every day is a chance to learn. Learning is not limited to the four walls of the classroom because you can learn different things even when you’re at home, at the beach, or with your friends. Thus, make every day a challenge to become someone better. By improving your character and personality, you are also expanding the way you see things. This makes you more open as a person and more appreciative of life and what you have. And by what you have, this means education. Not everyone is privileged enough to go to school. Thus, use that privilege to help others by improving yourself first and learning as much as you can. In the future, when you’re practicing your field of expertise, you can share everything you know with those in need.