High school is something most students can’t wait to get out of. We are always focused on the future. I mean, why wouldn’t we be? There is so much freedom, so much hope, and so many possibilities in a relatively short amount of time ahead of us, so why wouldn’t we be? The problem is we will spend so much time either living in the right now or running as fast as we can to the future that we miss a key stepping-stone in between. That stepping-stone is goals.
A goal is a very simple idea. It represents setting what you want to do and how you want to do it. An easy way to set up goals is using the SMART method. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time bound. This means you have to know exactly what you want to do first (ex. I want to lose weight.). That is the most commonly done step. Next, you figure out the extent that you will go to (ex. I want to lose 20 lbs.). After that, you figure out how you will come to meet that goal and make sure that is reasonable (ex. Run 5 miles a week.). Finally, you set the amount of time you will do this (ex.1 year). Then you have a SMART goal! Using the examples above, it would be: I will lose 20 lbs. by running 5 miles a week for 1 year.
Now all of that sounds like something that you could just say, “Oh, I will do that eventually.” or have an idea of what you want to do in your head. Don’t! When it comes to setting goals, a key step is to actually write them down. In Mark McCormack’s book, What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School, Mark speaks of an interview with Harvard students where he asked them about their goals. 84% had no specific goals whatsoever. 13% had goals in mind but had not written them down. Only 3% had actually written down their goals. The 13% were making about twice as much as the 84%. However, the 3% had made, on average, ten times as much as the other 97% combined! Don’t you understand the importance of actually setting goals? A great app and website to keep track of your goals is http://www.mindbloom.com/.
Now to finish my thought, think about your future. Have you set any goals? Have you written them down? Remember, do you want to be the three percent or the other ninety-seven?