Do you find that your best students have a strategy for success in mind as they work? What do they do that you think would help their fellow learners succeed? Share in the comments section below. 

Likely, your students are enrolled in college as part of a larger path toward the goal of future success. But like all roads not yet traveled, this particular journey would be well served by mapping out a path to the destination. Today, we share tips for your students on how to set a strategy for accomplishing their goals. It’s advice that should be useful as they work toward a degree or certificate, and hopefully also as they plot their next life goals.

In 100% Student Success, authors Amy Solomon, Gwenn Wilson, Lori Tyler, and Terry Taylor outline how goal setting is a vital part of success in college. They note that setting goals allows you to:

  • Plot a path toward success.
  • Identify the best ways to attain your goals.
  • Take stock of your progress along the way.
  • Change up your plan should you recognize the need to do so as you work toward your goal.
  • Recognize when you’ve accomplished what you set out to do, and celebrate! (pp. 6-7)

The authors also give some advice on how students can set a strategy for successfully completing goals:

  • Break it up. Of course, large goals like graduating from college can be daunting if not broken down into more manageable parts–plus, it’s encouraging to be able to check off small successes along the way! If your goal is to run a marathon, you don’t immediately head out the door expecting to run 26.2 miles. You break down the process and train, setting smaller milestones for yourself as you work to reach that ultimate goal. Students can apply that same principle to academic goals. Plotting out a strategy for success within each of their courses will help them on their way to the ultimate goal of graduating from their program.
  • Keep reaching… The authors note that an “important aspect of goal setting is its cyclic nature” (p. 8). As students work toward a goal, they may find that they need to make changes or revise their definitions of success. It’s important for them to recognize that by reviewing their progress and priorities, they can end up setting new goals – a process that ultimately allows for continued progress.
  • But also celebrate success! Students should of course set goals that represent short-term and long-term success, but in addition to continuing to revise those goals and reach higher, they should also take time to celebrate the successes along the way. (pp. 6-8)

For more student tips on planning a path to success, visit this past blog post that gives students advice on being decisive and making effective choices about the goals they set.

Reference: Content adapted from Solomon, Amy, et al. 2012100% Student Success, Second Edition. Boston: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.