How to Actually Reach Your Academic Goals

How to Actually Reach Your Academic Goals

You’ve created some amazing academic goals for this semester. Maybe you want to perfect those note-taking skills. Or you want to add regular movement to your weekly routine.

And then a month later, you can barely remember those goals, let alone think of what you did to work on them. Yikes! This is not what you meant to happen. 

But now is not the time to start a shame spiral. (Mainly because there is nothing to be ashamed of. You’re human and we’ve all done this at some point.) Instead, it’s time to reconnect with your goals and make some plans.

So, how do you get back on track? Or, even better, stay on track to begin with? Let’s talk about what things you can do now to reach those academic goals!

How to (Actually) Reach Your Academic Goals & Become a Better You

Create a plan

It’s one thing to create your goal, but quite another to reach it. If you stopped after writing your SMART goal, you only completed half the process. Now you need to think about how to put your goal into action. What smaller steps do you need to take? What resources do you need?

Check on your progress

You need to check in on your progress every week in the beginning and every few weeks later on. Pick a day and time NOW and write them in your planner. 

During that check-in time, ask yourself some questions

  • Am I meeting this goal?
  • If not, what can I do differently to start achieving it?
  • If yes, how can I adjust my goal to challenge me more?

You might realize that your original goal wasn’t set up that well or isn’t working for you. No worries because you can make changes! Your goal is a living document that should change as you change.

Say It Loud, Say It Proud!

It’s time to let someone (or everyone!) in on your new goal.

One option is to get an accountability partner. It could be a parent, friend, colleague, whomever. It’s should be someone who is supportive and will help you reach your goal. They might check in on your progress from time and give you a push when you need it.

You can also go public and share your goal with a ton of people. It’s time to hit your social media feeds! Nothing keeps you honest like telling everyone what you’re working toward and how. Be sure to keep your followers updated with your progress. They might even have ideas for you that can help you reach those goals!


According to Forbes Magazine, building in a reward now will help you reach the goal. And eventually, the positive outcome of the goal will become the reward. In other words, it’s time to treat yo’ self for sticking to your goals. 

After you break your goal down into an action plan, add a reward to each step in the process. Just keep the reward in proportion to the amount of work. Trying a new notetaking style does not get you a trip to Paris. But it might get you an episode of your favorite show.

Hopefully, these steps will help you stay on track or get back on track. Remember to give yourself some grace in this process and even a day off every once in a while. New habits weren’t made overnight. 

How do you reach your academic goals? Let me know in the comments below!

Related Posts: SMART Strategies to Jumpstart your Motivation, Back-to-School Goals For Better School Year, How to Be Productive When You Just Don’t Want To

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