Friday, January 30, 2009

To Achieve Success In Study, How Important Are Targets And Goals?

By Scott Edwards

Nothing great ever happens by accident. Successful people from all walks of life don't just wake up one morning as high achievers! For change to happen, a plan of action has to be made, targets have to be set and a commitment to see it through has to be adopted.

Prior to commencing your training course, take the time to think about your personal goals, and work out a study programme with targets or indicators of success along the way. To help you get started, use the acronym Smart to qualify the goals you plan to achieve. Smart stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and targeted.

To really get involved at an emotional level with the successful completion of your studies, compose a contract for yourself using the following headings:

DEFINE exactly what you expect to get from your efforts, in terms of possessions, income, lifestyle etc. Make a collage of pictures that reflects these things, and look at them regularly (e.g. before your study sessions). The more specifically you define what you want, the better.

DESIRE is what stirs us deep down. Think about why you've decided to take this course, and why it's important to you. The more emotionally involved you get with your desire, the more you'll stick with it. Pin point whether it's the job, the status, the challenge, or the control etc. that drives you.

Commitment or DEDICATION. Announce to yourself and those close to you that you're dedicated to your studies by writing up a timetable and sticking with it. However much time you choose to study each week, have it written on a calendar planner that you can cross off once you've completed it. Put it in a prominent place so it's at the forefront of your mind (at least until it becomes a habit). All things that are important get prioritised, so let your friends and family know that this is a priority to you for perhaps ten hours a week for a set number of months. Once your timetable has become established, you'll take pride in your dedication, and study all the better for it.

A contract illustrates your DETERMINATION to see this thing through. Having a written document about the positive direction of your life makes it harder to bottle out of it.

DISCIPLINE. The goals and disciplines you put in place will give you strength to overcome any adversities that inevitably come your way.

Once you've done this, sign it and do NOT put it away in a drawer. This is a working document and should be read every day for at least one month so you buy into it and it becomes your new way of life. If and when things get tough, read it again for another month. Always have it close to hand while you study and show it to your partner, kids (if you have them), friends and parents. This will help you to see your goal through.

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