College Goal Setting:
Tips, Quotes, and Software

Boost your motivation for education with college goal setting! Listed below is a variety of goal setting tips, techniques, and software meant to help solidify your college success.

Benefits of College Goal Setting

Goal setting can be a great technique to boost your GPA, rekindle lost motivation, reduce stress, and/or simply keep you on track with your educational ambitions. By setting goals, you "compete" with yourself - you take control and track how you handle homework and study time.

How can goal setting affect your college success?

  • GPA - Obtaining and maintaining a high GPA is almost impossible without careful tracking. If grades are your goal, you'll want to record what you want to achieve every day, week, and semester of each course.

  • Motivation - Many students lose motivation in college because they've either lost interest in their area of study, or they've gotten so far behind they believe it is pointless to try and catch up. College goal setting can reignite motivation by pushing yourself into short term goals, which in turn affects long term college success.

  • Reduce Stress - More of a byproduct of goal setting. By setting goals you relieve the sense of being overwhelmed by difficult and demanding coursework.

  • Tracking Progress - By recording your educational achievements, you can look back at your accomplished goals and gain motivation through pride.

College Goal Setting Tips

Goal setting is an art, not a science. The best goal setting techniques are your own. That being said, it's nice to have some direction when making your own adjustments. Click here to view a sample goal worksheet

Once you've wrote down your general goals, work on more specific ones. What are the specifics on the actions you will take? If you plan on studying 3 hours a day, what exact times will you study? How will you study?

Common goals include:

  • Exact amount of study time per day or week

  • Exactly how you will study and how much of each technique (flashcards, textbook reading, etc.)

  • Amount of extra initiative (non-required activities, working for extra credit, asking your professors how you can improve your grades)

College Goal Setting Quotes

I like hearing the wisdom of people whom have seen success in life - they are at times inspiring and motivational. For those of you like me (I know you're out there somewhere), here are some inspiring quotes regarding goal setting.

"If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else."
-Yogi Berra

"It is not enough to take steps which may someday lead to a goal; each step must be itself a goal and a step likewise."
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"A goal properly set is halfway reached."
-Abraham Lincoln

Harvard Goal Setting Study

A study based on Harvard's MBA program revealed that only 3% of students had clear, written goals and the plans to achieve them. The study then claims that those 3% of students who had goals earned an average of 10 times more than the other 97% combined!

College Goal Setting Software

There are some very cool goal setting software programs out there; however, many of the best programs are very expensive as well. GoalsOnTrack as well as Single-Step are great goal setting software applications, but I wouldn't recommend them to anyone on a college student's budget.

While not as pretty, and maybe not as user friendly, there are some free goal setting applications out there such as

If you have an iPhone, you could check out Goal Setting Workshop + Simple Habits and Goals Tracker for $3.99. I've not personally used this app, but it has great reviews from users. **Prices subject to change**

As noted earlier in this article, the best goal tracking technique you can use is the one you develop yourself. If you have a creative spirit, make your own spreadsheet and fill it with as much detail as possible.

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