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Goal Setting:. The Key to Managing Your Life. EIU 1111: University Foundations. “Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I’ll give you a man who will make history. Give me a man with no goals and I’ll give you a stock clerk.” J.C. Penney. Where will you be 5 years from now?.

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Goal Setting:

The Key to Managing Your Life

EIU 1111: University Foundations

Give me a stock clerk with a goal and Ill give you a man who will make history. Give me a man with no goals and Ill give you a stock clerk.

  • J.C. Penney

Where will you be 5 years from now?

Your plan for where you want to be 5 years from now is a long-term goal

  • On a piece of paper, complete the following sentence:

    Five years from now, I will be

Characteristics of Attainable Goals

  • Specific

  • Written

  • Measurable

  • Action-Oriented

  • Realistic

  • Time-bound

  • Own it

A person without goals is like a sheep out in the pasture just living from day to day. You dont want to be a sheep.

--Dr. Boyce Watkins, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About College

Achieving a long-term goal is like building a pyramid:

  • Long-term goal

  • Medium-range goals

  • Short-term goals

    What will you do this week to build this

    foundation of short-term goals?

5 years from now



Medium-range Goals

1-2 years from now

Short-term Goals

Daily/weekly habits & assignments

Build your foundation with effective, short-term goals for a successful semester

Set several short-term goals you want to achieve this semester:

Once you meet your short-term goals, your mid-range goals will follow each more easily.

Create a study schedule

Visit Profs office

Read text book weekly

Go to every class

Review notes weekly

Meet my advisor

Find a tutor

Keep reminding yourself of the long term goal you are working for.

Bachelors Degree with 3.55 GPA

As the semester or the year ends, you will replace short-term and mid-range goals with new ones.

30 Credits completed by May 2010

3.5 GPA by Fall 2010

Choose minor

Apply for Summer internship

Create a study schedule

Visit Profs office

Read text book weekly

Go to every class

Review notes weekly

Meet my advisor

Find a tutor

Each goal you reach, builds towards the next

Dream house3 bedrooms, big kitchen, deck and pool



$60, 000

Financial Independence

Bachelors Degree w/ 3.55 GPA

Marriage & family

A few hints to help you stay on track with your goals:

  • Remind yourself of your goals allow yourself to dream about them.

  • Write them down and put where you will see them every day.

  • Change your short-term goals if they are not working for you.

  • Be realistic, but aim higher than you think you can achieve you will usually surprise yourself.

  • Make sure you understand the price of reaching your goals.

  • Recognize obstacles and avoid or eliminate them.

The path to greatness is usually paved with failure. That means that most big successes come after you have tried over and over again and failed.

--Dr. Boyce Watkins

Obstacles and Roadblocks:

  • Take 2 minutes to write down 3 possible obstacles that might get in the way of achieving your 5-year goal.

  • How much control do you have over these issues?

  • What can you do to eliminate or avoid these obstacles?

Powerful habits to help you reach your goals:

  • Get up at the same time every morning

  • Establish a regular schedule for yourself

  • Use a to-do list or appointment calendar to keep track of assignments and appointments

  • Spend at least 20-25 hours a week on schoolwork outside of class

  • Study in small bits of time (not study marathons)

  • Get most of your studying done before 6:00 p.m.

Good Habits cont.

  • Find a study partner and form study groups

  • Stop in the professors office during office hours

  • Take a study skills class

  • Keep up with reading assignments

  • Meet with the instructor after the first exam to learn from your mistakes.

On a piece of paper. . .

  • Write down 4 or 5 short-term goals that you have for this semester.

  • Make sure they are specific, measurable, and realistic.


  • Adapted from a presentation by Pat Scheib, shared on the FYE listserv

  • Boyce Watkins, Black Voices, bvblackspin.com/2009/08/25/black-college-student-goal-setting/

  • Santrock and Halonen, Your Guide To College Success, University Foundations custom text

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