I recently wrapped up my junior year of college. This is exciting because now I get to look forward to spending time with my friends and family this summer. At the same time, though, I have to prepare for my senior year of college—my last year of college. Scary. Because of this, I have many summer goals I need to accomplish.
I’m the kind of person who cannot be idle for days on end. I want to constantly be working towards something. Even though I am very goal-oriented, sometimes it’s difficult to check all of my summer goals off my list because I am completely in charge of myself. There are a lot of things I want to achieve over the next three months, and for once I want to be able to say that I did it all.
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If you’re like me and you don’t want to waste these summer months, here are some guidelines for how to accomplish all of your summer goals!
Think About What’s Important to You
One way to ensure you won’t accomplish everything you want is if you take on too much. Before making an official list of goals, think about what is really important to you. Do you need to save up money for a car? Do you want to learn a new language? Do you want to write a short story? Figuring out what is necessary and what is valuable to you will help cut out some extraneous tasks that will simply impede you from checking everything off your list. A bonus from this step is that if you set summer goals that are truly important to you, it’s more likely you will be motivated to get them done!
Write Down a List of Your Summer Goals
This step is vital to your success. If you haven’t outlined your summer goals, how are you going to get them all done? You need to clarify exactly what it is you want to accomplish. Who knows, you might surprise yourself during the process of refining your goals.
Here is my list of summer goals. As you can see, it includes small tasks (such as “clean off desk”) and big ones (such as “research future jobs”). It’s good to have some variation so that you can finish up these small tasks along the way and give yourself a confidence boost that will help you tackle the loftier goals.
I like to make my list on paper because then it is a physical reminder of what I need to do. If you think making the list on your phone or computer will work just as well for you, then go for it. Choose a method that you know will act as a good reminder for you.
Figure Out the Process
For those bigger goals, make a separate list with the steps of the specific steps you need to take to achieve them. If you figure out the process that will lead to your success, you’ve now broken down a big goal into several smaller tasks. Doing this will make your lofty goals more manageable. Therefore, you’ll be more likely to get them done.
Talk About Your Summer Goals
Tell your friends and family what you hope to accomplish. They will love hearing about it, trust me. Making others knowledgeable of your goals will keep you accountable because they will likely ask you how your progress is going throughout the summer. If you want to be able to brag, you’ll need to accomplish something by then!
Talking about your goals also makes them concrete instead of just an idea. Writing them down helps with this, but actually talking about them makes them even more real. When they are concrete, you are more likely to take them seriously and therefore get them done.
Set Your Own Deadlines
This step is a very important one. If you don’t set a timeline to accomplish your summer goals, then they will probably never get done. That’s because without a deadline, there is no sense of urgency! You will end up procrastinating and avoid making those improvements in your life. Setting a deadline will make your goal a priority.
For those big goals, I like to set a deadline for each step. Remember how you broke your large goals into smaller ones? Set a deadline for each part instead of the entire goal. That way you will have a better strategy to succeed. I like to write things down in my planner, since (as I said before) I like my reminders to be on paper. You might want to use Google calendar or another mobile planner that will give you notifications when your deadline is coming up. Do whatever will help you actually stick to the timeline you establish—otherwise, there’s no point!
Structure Your Days
Though it may sound contradictory, it’s easier to manage your time if you have less of it. That’s because when you have less time to get something done then you will focus better. Say you give yourself three hours to write an article. Knowing that you have to do research, write a first draft, and edit in this amount of time, you are less likely to waste time on Facebook or texting while you’re working.
Cross Things Off Your List
I feel so accomplished every time I get to cross something off my to-do list. The physical act of showing that something has been completed gives me some extra motivation to move on to the next thing. It is proof that I am making progress, and that’s exciting. When you have achieved a goal, big or small, check it off your list and celebrate a bit!
Look Back On Your Progress
Taking things day by day might obscure the amazing progress you’re making. Look back every two weeks or so to see how your goals are coming along. You might find that you’re further along than you thought, or discover that you need to pick up the pace. Either way, checking in on yourself will ensure that you stay on the right track.
If you clearly set your summer goals, make deadlines, and keep tabs on your own progress, you are sure to have success. No more wasting your summer days away! Here’s to a successful summer full of personal growth and work to make a better future.