You have decided to set some learning goals for your distance learning courses, but do you know how to do that? General thoughts about studying more or improving your grades is not setting goals. You will probably forget about those general goals the minute something comes along that seems more interesting – going to the beach, partying, surfing the net etc. Here are some suggestions for setting goals that will keep you interested for longer and help to ensure that you actually achieve them.
1. Set goals that you really want. Do not set goals based on what your parents or your friends want you to do. You will not achieve anything worthwhile if you do not really want what you are working toward.
2. Start with your big goal(s). This may be a career you want to undertake or it may be what you are hoping to accomplish with your college degree you are earning.
3. Break your goal down into smaller steps. This is often called making a plan. These smaller goals should have a date for completion that you can check off when you have completed them. This helps to keep you motivated as you work towards those larger goals.
4. Set goals for each course you are taking. This will help you stay interested in courses that are not that interesting to you and you will be more likely to see the advantages to the course. Instructors can use this as a getting to know you activity at the beginning of a course. It can be a discussion in which instructors find out what students are expecting in the course and students discover whether their goals will be met in the course. Student goals may have to be adjusted at this point but at least everyone will know the expectations and not be disappointed at the end of the course.
5. Write your goals down. It helps to keep them focused in your mind.
6. Write them in a positive way – what you want to do; not what you don’t want to do.
7. Write them in order of priority so that the more important ones will be the first ones you work on.
8. Make the goals measurable. Include information such as amount, date and time. This makes it much more clear and easy to tell if you have achieved them.
9. When you have achieved your goals, make new ones so you are constantly doing work that helps you to achieve all that you want to in your life.
Setting your goals in this way helps you to remember what they are when they are written down, you can review them frequently. It also helps you to be clear about what you really want to accomplish so you are more likely to be successful. This can actually be one of your learning goals – learning to set goals. It will help you with your distance learning education and can help you with all your future endeavours.